Steelers Have Past Precedent, Worthy Candidates To Consider Early Trade-Up

The fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, but the Pittsburgh Steelers will have to wait before they get their first crack of the day at adding somebody to their roster after adding four players to the team over the course of the previous two days.

That is, if they intend to stay put in the fourth round. And recent draft history shows that this is the time period in which they are most flexible.

Most recently, the Steelers traded with the Browns in 2013 in order to acquire their 14th pick in the round. They gave up a 2014 third-round draft pick, anticipating that they would get a compensatory pick that year, using the Browns’ additional fourth-rounder to select safety Shamarko Thomas.

Just one year prior to that, in 2012, the Steelers flipped draft picks in the fourth round and gave up their sixth-round pick in order to move up, if I recall correctly, 10 spots to select nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu with the 109th-overall selection of the draft.

In 2009, the Steelers used their fourth-round pick in part of a trade that sent their fourth-rounder to the Broncos for two picks in the third round. The year before that, they slid back seven spots in the round to pick up an extra sixth-rounder.

Going back to 2007, they traded up seven spots and gave up a sixth-rounder for punter Daniel Sepulveda. The point I’m making here is that even though he hasn’t happened in the past few drafts, there’s obvious precedent for the Steelers to make a move in round four.

This year, due to the high volume of third-round compensatory picks, the fourth round is already beginning with the 108th-overall pick. The Steelers currently hold the 29th pick in the round at the 135th-overall pick of the draft. Are they willing to wait that long in risking not getting the player that they want?

I’m not about to suggest that I know their draft board, but if I were the Steelers, there are several players remaining that I would strongly consider trading up for if they fell into a range that they were comfortable with.

Tight end George Kittle is my chief target, and I do think that they are interested in finding a player at the position. Bucky Hodges, another tight end, could be another target if the positions started getting plucked.

A couple of cornerbacks, especially Corn Elder, could make sense as a target that might inspire a desire to trade up, as could the continuing slide of Carl Lawson as a pass rusher whose stock is sliding. Either selection would be a double-dip at their respective positions.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, we also have to consider the possibility that they may want to trade up for one of three quarterbacks still available, all of whom they have taken a gander at: Joshua Dobbs, Brad Kaaya, and Pittsburgh quarterback Nathan Peterman. Personally, trading up to draft a quarterback would be my worst-case scenario outcome for the fourth round, so I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • JNick

    Jake Butt?

  • Jon Crissinger

    Eddie Jackson is a name at safety to watch out for

  • TheGURU

    I was just thinking Butt would be a steal. Bucky Hodger is no joke tho….

    Love me some Corn Elder he’s such a good athlete

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    With the awful picks they made in the 2nd and 3rd, I’m fully convinced they’ll make another awful decision and pick a QB.

  • Steel City Slim

    I like the idea of taking Lawson. I also like Elijah Qualls or Jordan Leggett

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Trade up for Desmond King

  • deuce_seven

    Even money that Bengals or Browns grab him.

  • Gautama Om

    You’re the same know it all arm chair GM who would have taken Andrew Billings in the 1st round last year when he was past by most teams until late 4th round.

    FYI i was also one of those mentally challenged too last year.

    You or I know nothing about the value of a player or need by the team of specific types of players , period. I will avoid arguing against who they pick anymore but i do say that i think they reached on Conner which I think they misjudged his value by other teams. We could still get Conner, I think, in the 4th. No problem with any of the picks they made though, just the position of their 3b pick.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Considering the way this has gone… Eff it, I’d give up whatever I could the rest of this dog and pony show, to get King.

    You can’t tell me that a guy who was a consensus 1st round pick last year, who went back to college and played once again in 95% of his teams’ snaps. A guy who won the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award and was a unanimous Consensus All-American, who that year ranked second in the FBS with eight interceptions. And also was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as well. Who NEVER misses snaps, let alone games. And a Senior leader who started all 4 years. Had 14 interceptions in college and 29 in high school. And who is tough, a good tackler, great run-supporter, and has high character…..

    Should A, still be on this damn – insane board. Or B… shouldn’t have ALREADY been our pick. I’m so sick that we haven’t drafted this guy and here he still sits.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Just like you assert we don’t know anything about the value of a player, you don’t know anything about me. I was ecstatic about our draft last year. We needed help in the secondary, and we got it. This year? Juju will be a good player I’m sure. Same with Conner. But they’re not gonna help our secondary stop Tom Brady from completing passes at will. And I’m not convinced Sutton was the best CB we could’ve grabbed, but since we waited all the way until the 3rd, this is what we get.

  • Zach6432

    Idk if they trade up or not but I bet they take Peterman

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Exactly. Put Sutton on the outside where he’s used to playing and put King in the slot and he eventually moves to safety. Can definitely be that hybrid player. Great in run support, reliable tackler, 14 INTs in his career, high character, what’s not to like? I’d feel a whole lot better about this draft if we got him in round 4, but I have a feeling he won’t last long.

  • JNick

    Taking Peterman would be a Browns level move.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Totally agree.

    Murphy’s Law says he ends up in Cincinnati.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Desmond King

  • francesco

    My sources tell me the Steelers are wanting to trade up to snag a punter, a long snapper, and a water boy.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    They already took Kizer

  • Steel City Slim

    I can see that.


    Lawson should be our trade-up priority today. Also Nate Hairston for late round ‘flyer’ pick at CB.

  • JT

    Absolutely shocked at Lawson’s fall. At least with Billings their were position but issues that contributed. But this is a talented edge in a league desperate for them. Those medicals must be awful.

  • T3xassteelers

    Or Niners move taking Beathard hahaha

  • T3xassteelers

    Yup! I love King. Still some fantastic guys left. Just hope teams easier grab em… Or as you said trade up!!

  • Sam Clonch

    Haha! Savage!

  • Rob

    I just want to throw in Desmond King into this convo as well.

  • Brian Miller

    C’mon Leggett or Kittle, even Sprinkle…No QBS!! Kazee, Mathis, Lawson, Elder, Eddie Jackson (would be a great safety pick!), King, Qualls, Price…
    I could see any of these guys being picked! I would love Eddie JAckson, he could be the steal of the draft, which means the Cowboys will probably take him 2 picks ahead of us, just like they did with Lewis and Awuzie!

  • Brian Miller

    Yeah, that made NO sense IMO…

  • Brian Miller

    Can’t go wrong with Adam Sandler!

  • Brian Miller

    Oops, don’t forget CB from Utah, Allen is it? Javancy Jones, Embukah…

  • Brian Miller

    Matthew Marczi, who are you wanting the FO to target over the next couple of rounds?

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    If they haven’t done any wheeling and dealing by now, unlike it seems almost every other team, it’s hard to believe they’ll start now. They’ll passively sit back and pick the leftovers.

  • walter

    good article

  • LgFriess

    So why is Lawson falling SO far?

  • T3xassteelers

    That guy could’ve gone late day 3 and maybe even undrafted… and they traded up to take him!!!

  • Steel City Slim

    Nice call

  • gdeuce

    T-rex arms and injury history

  • Matthew Marczi

    Butt is great, obviously, but I don’t think I would have been comfortable trading *up* for an injured player. I would have been fine if they took him at their pick though…certainly much more enticing than another backup QB.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Like I pointed out at the start of the article, when they do move, it has been in the fourth round. Didn’t happen today, but I thought it was a pretty realistic possibility.