The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Will the Steelers trade into (either back or up) the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft?
There are two things that we know about the Steelers with regards to their approach about draft picks. For one thing, they like to have all their picks. For another, they rarely trade, even if they want to. When they do trade, however, it’s often on day three of the draft, and fairly early on day three.
Thanks to last year’s trade for tight end Vance McDonald, which saw them swap their late fourth-round pick for the San Francisco 49ers’ early fifth-round pick, Pittsburgh is currently not slated to draft from the 92nd overall spot in the third round all the way to the 148th spot in the fifth round, more than 50 picks in between their third and fourth picks of the draft.
I think we can probably say with some assurance that the Steelers will want to move into the fourth round, whether they pursue that by trading back, trading up, trading a future pick, or even trading a player. Though I can’t recall the last time they’ve made a trade on draft day in which they’ve given up a player (though they’ve gotten one, most recently Bryant McFadden in 2010. They also acquired Byron Leftwich that year for a seventh-round pick, though it came prior to the draft).
We only have to look back a couple of years ago when the Steelers gave up a fifth-round pick for Brandon Boykin. When the draft was over, they talked about how they would have liked to have been able to trade back up into the fifth round, but were unable to find a partner they could work with.
I am extremely confident that they will have the desire to get that fourth-round pick back and will actually make calls and try to work something out. Whether or not they are actually successful in doing so is another matter.