Steelers Should Learn From Last Time They Had 3rd Rd Comp Pick

at EverBank Field on August 14, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Pittsburgh Steelers got a nice surprise for themselves yesterday when the league announced this year’s compensatory picks a bit early, and, as it turns out, they were awarded an additional third-round draft pick, which is the first time since the 2014 NFL Draft that they have had such a high pick.

That might not be so long ago, but the fact of the matter is that this one was far more surprising. The Steelers were awarded the highest compensatory pick in the 2014 NFL Draft when they suffered the loss of wide receiver Mike Wallace in free agency, who signed a big-money deal with the Dolphins in 2013.

Some evidence of how unexpected this was in comparison to the last time? The Steelers chose to deal their natural third-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft in order to acquire a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to select safety Shamarko Thomas, with their cited reason being their confidence that they would get that third-round pick back via the compensatory pick process.

Now, I’m not exactly saying that the team’s decision to refrain from wheeling and dealing in last year’s draft was indicative of the fact that they had no idea that they would be getting a third-round pick back, and it is true that they were interested in trading into the fifth round a year ago for a running back.

I honestly do not recall which beat writer Tweeted it, but I saw one of them write yesterday on social media that the Steelers were actually anticipating a sixth-round pick. I think that just goes to show how poorly-understood this compensatory pick formula is understood even within league circles.

The biggest piece of the puzzle was obviously Kelvin Beachum’s contract, which was structured as a one-year deal with a club option to turn it into a multi-year big-money deal. Though his option was declined, the formula evidently factored in the total value of the contract in order to help spit out a third-round pick for the Steelers.

We should keep in mind that the last time the Steelers had an extra third-round pick, they traded one of them away for a safety that proved to be less than what they were expecting, and they used the compensatory third in order to draft Dri Archer, a ‘slash’ player who wasn’t very good at either position between his designations as a running back or a wide receiver. He was released in the middle of his second season.

It would certainly be wise for the Steelers to be a bit more practical in their decision-making this time around after having been awarded an additional selection within the top 110 picks in the draft. They have an opportunity to add potentially another player of great significance in 2017, which is something that they failed to do in both 2013 and 2014 the last time they were awarded such a compensatory pick.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • steeltown

    Man, I supported the Dri Archer pick for far too long way back when, what a turd

  • capehouse

    After the draft last year, Colbert said they tried to trade up into rd 5 for a RB, because they were expecting multiple comp picks, so I doubt this is really that unexpected by them. What I do think is unexpected is that it was a 3rd instead of a 4th, but unlike the last few years where there’s less than a handful of 3rd rd picks there was 11 this year. That’s the most I ever remember seeing.

  • IchabodTheGloryHasDeparted

    Stick to the BAP at positions of need, and the Steelers should have a great draft. (though Kiper has already graded it as a “B minus” far below the “A” grade he is giving the Ravens)

  • WreckIess

    I still think Archer could’ve been a player had they not put a huge blinking sign on him that said “I am absolutely 100% getting the ball this play” every time he was on the field. Zero creativity whatsoever was used to get him into the offense.

    You’re right though. They need to be more mindful of who they use the pick on. I’d rather they just package it for another pick or a proven player than for them to use it on a player they aren’t sure they know how to use.

  • Rusted Out

    The fact that they had to be creative to get Archer on the field was the problem. He was a poor RB, a poor WR, and a marginal return man. A deuce of all trades drafted for his 40 time, and people are still making excuses for him.

  • capehouse

    He had that one nice play in preseason though lol.

  • SilverSteel

    He just seemed to fall over during any contact. If he would have shown some more tenacity and balance to go along with that speed, he still may be on the team.

  • Rusted Out

    Lol seriously, and the Dritards will never shut up about it. There’s a reason he’s out of the NFL, and it’s not because they couldn’t figure out how to use him.

  • francesco

    When you treat your compensatory pick as a free gift by the NFL gods… that is where you get stupid. The Steelers got stupid every time.
    It would not surprise me they get stupid again this time around.

  • WreckIess

    Not really. With the way they wanted to use him, it was going to require creativity. There was no effort to make him a regular part of the offense so when you play a guy 5 snaps in a game and they get the ball every single time there is absolutely no way that it’s going to work out. Point blank. They really couldn’t have made it more obviously.

  • Jaybird

    Even though he was small, he was pretty well built. I don’t understand how he went down so easy. Maybe he was looking to go down so as to avoid the big hits from 255 lb linebackers? I was surprised that he couldn’t pack on some more muscle and become a Darren Sproles like player. Really bad pick- and that’s not a knock against the Steelers. He was just a dud.

  • Jaybird

    You left out he couldn’t block either. And he was one of those track guys who just did not look nearly as fast in pads and on the field.

  • Rusted Out

    I’m not about to get into a Dri Archer debate. The guy was a joke.

  • WreckIess

    Then don’t. Why even comment in the first place? lol

  • William Weaver

    You think they ever considered trying him at corner? Afraid of the big hit but could he run with other fast guys? CJ Goodwin has made the transition. I would have at least looked at it before releasing him.

  • Rusted Out

    I was being kind. The only thing he did well was field the ball cleanly, although if he couldn’t do that, he would’ve been off the team by the end of his rookie season. Failed experiment.

  • Rusted Out

    Cuz I had a special hate for the amount if stupidity it took to waste a 3rd rounder on that midget, compounded by his loyal army of Dritards.

  • SilverSteel

    Yeah Sproles is a guy I would love to have on the team. He has everything you could want from a smaller guy.

  • WreckIess

    So you wanted to get into a Dri Archer debate?

  • Spencer Krick

    So you’re saying they’re going to draft a QB with the comp pick?

    I like Kaaya, but I don’t 3rd round like him >.>

  • Jaybird

    The thought of Dri Archer tackling or supporting the run makes me cringe!

  • William Weaver

    I agree that would definitely be his down side. Little shifty fast guy though in the slot in obvious pass situations couldn’t have turned out worse then his offense? Maybe it could. Lol

  • Gautama Om

    Um if you haven’t noticed, many players these days (because of fear of concussion disease called CTE) are either in “playing it safe mode” (Archer) or playing normally but retiring early (Chris Borland).

    I will guarantee you there’s a lot more players in the “playing it safe mode” like Dri Archer than Borland in the NFL. There is also a 3rd type of player like Ladarius Green who fakes some of his concussions to on the bench and still collect a check.

    I’m sure there will be some naysayers because I don’t have definitive proof but just because I dont have definitive proof does not mean it is not possible.

  • John

    A lot of what happens with drafted players comes down to who they are mentally and what the circumstances are for them with the team. Many guys coming out of college are those that got a ton of touches, were treated like stars and cannot handle or adjust to a few touches a game and total pressure on each of those.

  • popsiclesticks

    I think he just didn’t really want to play in the NFL.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I’d just use Archer as a slot receiver nothing more or nothing less.

  • Michael James

    I just hope they don’t get cute/stupid again. No gadget players and please no QB. Just look at the team needs and then go BPA.

  • Hypo Cycloid

    Because he was obviously afraid of contact. Also the reason he played slow. Scared

  • Hypo Cycloid

    Not everyone can be thickly built. Sproles is thick and built for punishment. They should’ve known what they were drafting. He played scared.

  • Jeremy McClurg

    Please not Kaaya. He’s Landry Jones with a smaller arm

  • RickM

    I will never understand why teams trade up in Rounds 4-7. There is a far better chance the player will still be available to you in these rounds, as these players are less scouted. And you’re trading up to a draft slot that historically has a low percentage of starting in the NFL. It makes more sense to accumulate extra picks whenever possible to increase the odds of success in these rounds. Or to maybe move up in Rounds 1-3 of the next draft.

  • Sam Clonch

    Now let’s actually look at players taken by the Steelers with comp picks: Kelvin Beachum, Dan McCullers, William Gay, Willie Colon, Stevenson Sylvester, Vince Williams, Mike Vrabel, Amos Zereoue, and MY personal favorite, Hines FREAKING Ward. You’re statement is false.

  • Jaybird

    Absolutely disagree with you 100%. On every thing you said in fact. Players who play in “safe mode ” don’t play long in the NFL . They probably don’t play at all. In fact I challenge you to name three players who play “safe” ( what ever that means).
    And how can you say Green fakes his injuries. It’s an absurd statement.
    And finally – yes anything is possible if you don’t have proof that satisfies you. Like the earth very well may be flat. I’ve heard a lot about that lately.
    I’m just shaking my head in disbelief right now at what you commented.

  • Sam Clonch

    I’ll take a Dri Archer every now and then for the chance at a Hines Ward (also a 3rd round comp pick).

  • Jaybird

    Things can always get worse! Lol

  • walter

    he wasnt shifty. that was part of the problem.

  • William Weaver

    He was in college. I think it was fear of Vince Williams types

  • walter

    In all due respect Jaybird, I usually agree with you but I dont think is too absurd and Im not saying Green is doing this, but my research leads me to believe that a player can easily fail the concussion protocol test on purpose and then act like its the doctors or coaches that are holding him back.. I actually read that a third of perfectly healthy players failed the test in a study and I copy and pasted it here on the Depot. So yes its possible. Its possible that a perfectly healthy player will have trouble passing the protocol test. I have no idea if Green is milking his injuries but in my opinion, its only a matter of time that someone does, the way its set up. But the NFL had to do something. I agree with the other, you cant play safe in the NFL, whatever that is. You also cant be tentative or play scared.

  • Brian Miller

    There is no reason they shouldn’t be able to draft a very good OLB, CB, TE, WR, RB and/or some variation of this in the first 3 rounds. These first 3 rounds are loaded with offensive and defensive talent, now they don’t have to “wait” on a CB or OLB just because they think it is extremely deep, just pick the player you want when you want them. This year’s draft should really help solidify our depth at several key areas, which is also why I do not thing they will take a DL in the draft until maybe the 6th or 7th round.

  • AndyR34

    Preach to me, Rick! Unlike most of the folks here, I think we should trade up in the first round to get one of The FO’s ‘special players’, if possible. And the last part is key. In order to be an elite team, we need more elite players…not better ‘depth’ or players with that ever elusive ‘upside’. It is a given that there are more elite players available in the first 20 picks than anywhere later in the draft. I know I will be killed by those pointing out the exceptions…Brady and AB in the 6th come easily to mind, but statistically speaking, they are outliers. But the facts say that more elite players come early, not late. Not that this is possible, but I would give up our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to get Myles Garrett for instance. JMHO.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Considering the number of players who willingly admit to have successfully cheated the concussion protocol in order to *return to play*, I highly doubt that there is much of an epidemic of players intentionally bombing the test.

  • Matthew Marczi

    They are always considering trading.

  • RickM

    I don’t see them ever making a Julio Jones like trade, or going from 30 to 1. That’s far removed from Colbert’s DNA as we both know. But I agree that getting to about 20 would be great. They moved up 11 spots from 27 to 16 in 2003 and got a legend in Troy.

    It won’t happen, but if they see an edge rusher they love and feel he’ll likely go 5-7 picks before 30, maybe they could get aggressive and go get him. Won’t happen, but we can dream.

  • Jaybird

    Everything is susceptible to fraud. But without evidence I can’t make a statement that someone is faking an injury. Especially head trauma which may take a while to show actual symptoms. The majority of players who get hurt , are actually hurt. I don’t doubt that there are players who have faked it, but I can’t point a finger at a guy without proof.

  • H.K. northern cali

    Won’t be surprised if one of the 3rd picks is a wr.

  • Rocksolid20

    Kiper gets one pick in twenty right and cries he is a draft expert . If I was wrong on my job as much as he is on his , I would be fired long ago .

  • capehouse

    Of course, but Colbert knew the whole time about the value of his comp pick, and that’s why he was trying to trade into Rd 5 last year to grab one of the RBs. He just couldn’t find a team wanting to trade out. You’re saying the comp pick was unexpected. I’m saying it wasn’t although I thought Beachum would get us a 4th rd pick as I’m sure Colbert was thinking too, but the NFL awarded an unprecedented 11 picks in the 3rd round and we hung on to the tail end of that. An extra 4th this year would mean we could use one of those 4ths to jump into rd 5 last year.

  • Matthew Marczi

    One of the beat writers (it may have been Bouchette) said that the team was expected a 6th-round pick. I am going to take somebody’s word who actually speaks with members of the organization over your word.

  • capehouse

    Well I’m going by Colbert’s word. I’ll take what he said over what some beat writer said. He tried to trade into round 5 because he expected multiple comp picks this year. You don’t trade away picks because you have an extra 6th rounder lol. That’s not a great fallback option.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Lots of teams trade picks without knowing they’re getting another. The Steelers traded a 5th that could have become a 4th for Boykin. Your entire argument is facetious, sorry.

  • capehouse

    “When I was talking about trying to get another pick in this draft, we would’ve traded a pick from next year’s draft because we anticipate getting two or three comp picks. So if you’re pretty sure you’re going to get those, why not trade one to help us this year?”

    His exact words. Not sure how it’s facetious to think Colbert knew he was getting a good comp pick from those comments. When asked later why he couldn’t get into the 5th round he said because all the teams were hesitant to get out because of the quality of players still left on the board.

  • francesco

    I’m sure you omitted to name the obvious busts.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Your absolutely right just like when they send our special teams in with Boswell you pretty much know they are going to kick a fg

  • Matthew Marczi

    You were implying that they knew they were getting a third-round pick.

  • steelmann58

    hey thanks for bringing up Archaer lol but i think your correct think colbert will target WR and or RB

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  • William Weaver

    You will be gone in 3.. 2.. 1..

  • Aj Gentile

    Seems like they got stupid good!!

  • Steve

    What speed? I remember him being in the clear, just needing to turn on the Jets and was caught from behind. Dri may have had speed in a strait line, but it did not translate to the field of play.

  • Steve

    College and the Pros are two different leagues.

  • William Weaver

    True dat!

  • Gautama Om

    You’re gullible. Actually most Americans are gullible to be honest. No insult intended. More like a wake up call…not just this topic but in life.

    This is FACT by all the gullibles that defend “their” political party like they really care about their constituents and with FERVOR i might add.

    PS I never said Green faked all of his injuries. I’m certain he actually had concussions before. I just think Green had a “light bulb moment” where he figured out that he can use his history of concussion to fake future concussions so that he’s off the field…AND still collect a paycheck.

  • capehouse

    Like I said I don’t think anyone knew the NFL would hand out 11 comp picks in the 3rd round. I do think the Steelers knew they were getting the 9th slotted comp pick based on salary and that salary was Beachum’s and included the option money. In most years that would be a 4th round comp pick, and I think it’s obvious Colbert knew that all the way back in April when he commented about moving into round 5.

  • Jaybird

    Listen pal , you don’t know me so don’t go trying to analyze me. Don’t bring politics into a Steelers discussion either. I don’t need your “wake up ” call. I take pride in the fact that I’m an very intelligent and I’m an independent thinker. Your out of line calling all Americans gullible also.
    And you have no proof that Green has faked concussions. That’s your opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. And you Sir , have no facts.
    Don’t bother responding back- I’m done with you Guatemala O.

  • WreckIess

    Yeah that’s a pretty good analogy for it. The personnel pretty much gives away the play.

  • walter

    I dont believe for a minute that he is faking the injury but the thought has crossed my mind that he has been ready to play but keeps failing the test.

  • walter

    I never, ever suggested an epidemic lol. And I also seriously doubt there are many, but there may be one. And if not, its only a matter of time that there will be someone taking advantage. Its human nature and its common sense. Matthew this testing is all new in the NFL. Do you really think a player would willingly admit to committing fraud at this point in time?

  • walter

    Ok I misunderstand. Yes I agree most players will try to come back and play while injured but not Green. Remember he said that he wont argue with the doctors. I think we need to keep an open mind here as this plays out.

  • Matthew Marczi

    A smart person doesn’t argue with his doctors about his cognitive health.

  • walter

    You never argued with your doctor? Especially in this case, because its a test of questions that a third of healthy players fail. If a doctor says I am failing an experimental test, such as this, and i feel fine, I will argue.. Its not an xray, MRI or brain scan of any sort. Its a memory test that healthy players fail on a regular basis. Doctors make mistakes because medicine is not an exact science and much of what i read about the ImPACT concussion test is suspect. Conveniently, after the AFC championship loss, Green announced he was ready to play. He had never said this before. This didnt bother you? Listen to what the man says. The clues are there. Something is not right..

  • walter

    Before the championship game, its up to the doctors… or the coaches…he doesnt argue…doesnt want to jinx it… etc etc. After the loss, he announces that he is ready to play. He said nothing about the doctors. That doesnt sound suspicious to you or do I just have a suspicious mind? Normally, he is extremely careful what he says.

  • MC

    Everyone knew that Archer pick stunk when they took him. What a waste. You’re absolutely right, just because it’s been gifted to us they shouldn’t get cute with it. I would use it for another Edge like Mathis if he’s there or a CB.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Rooney said well after the season was over that he was still working through physical issues. He wasn’t ready to play. He may not still be ready to play to this day. Don’t really care what he might have said.

  • walter

    Thanks i missed that. just adds to the confusion.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Confusion is probably the only safe word to describe the entire Ladarius Green situation from his signing to today.

  • walter

    we agree