The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: The Steelers will succeed in pulling off a trade that allows them to move down in the second round and acquire additional draft capital.
Explanation: The only time in recent years that Pittsburgh has made fewer than seven selections was in 2003 when they gave up three picks to move up and draft Troy Polamalu. With no first-rounder, only one pick in the top 100, and just six picks in total, many feel it’s a perfect storm for the team to move down in what is a pretty deep draft at some of their biggest need positions.
It just makes too much sense to trade down this year for it not to happen. The Steelers don’t trade down a lot, but they’ve never been so taxed for draft resources the way they are now. Just six picks in total, no first-rounder, and only one pick in the first 100 selections? That’s about as bad a situation as any team has.
What the Steelers do have is a strong starting 22. They just need to insulate their depth. So they need more picks, and preferably to have those picks in the third-fifth rounds, while preserving one second-round selection, in order to rebuild some of what was lost and that they were not able to replace in free agency.
If there’s one thing the first round of the draft has shown us, it’s going to be that more teams will be reluctant to move, to try to negotiate trades. Both because of fears of there being some type of malfunction under unusual circumstances, and because they are more eager to stick to their draft board than usual.
And while this is a deep draft at certain positions, like tackle and wide receiver, and running back, it’s likely that there will be a run on these positions in the first two thirds of the second round. If they want to get one of their top-rated players after the initial wave, then they can’t afford to move back, and will choose not to. They’ll make the phone call, as they always do, but won’t bite.