The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Could the Steelers use their third-round compensatory pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to make a move?
The Steelers got some pleasantly surprising news yesterday when it was announced that they were being awarded a third-round pick in the compensatory stages of the 2017 NFL Draft. Reports are that the organization was only anticipating a sixth-round draft pick, so this was a boon far greater than seemed to be in the cards from the team’s perspective.
It’s almost as though they are playing a bit with house money. And when people are playing with house money, they tend to feel less risk-averse in how they expend that resource. The last time that the Steelers had an extra third-round compensatory pick, after all, they traded it away for a fourth-round pick the year prior in order to target a specific player.
The rules have changed since then and now the team can actually trade that compensatory pick if they wanted to. The smart money is probably still on them standing pat, as they usually do. The Steelers do make some moves from time to time in the draft, and are always weighing their options, but they are far from the most trigger-happy organization in that regard.
Still, the extra third greatly increases their flexibility, and their options, lending them more firepower to move up or down in the draft depending on how their board is breaking. One might be inclined to say that they are not likely to deal one of their top four picks, but I think it would be foolish to dismiss the possibility out of hand.
The fact of the matter is that the Steelers are always weighing trade options. They were reportedly even considering trading up for Justin Gilbert a few years ago if he came in range. It’s just a matter of finding the right team at the right place willing to do a deal. And now they have a bit more in the way of quality resources with which to make a deal.