A lot of Pittsburgh Steelers fans were hoping, even expecting, the team to move back in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. With only six draft choices in total, the thinking was that this would set up ideally for them to move back and acquire some additional draft capital.
Of course, they chose to stand pat, not budging from their 49 slot despite knowing that they would not pick again until 102, in order to take the big-bodied wide receiver out of Notre Dame, Chase Claypool. It will be debated whether or not that was a reach, but these conversations have a short shelf-life in the grand scheme of things. I doubt the Dallas Cowboys ever cared that taking Travis Frederick was viewed as a reach at the time, and certainly didn’t afterward.
While the Steelers didn’t trade back yesterday, however, they still could today, and the fact that they have two selections in the fourth round, but none in the fifth, would seem to suggest another tempting opportunity to do so.
Flipping one of their fourths, plus a seventh, for example, should be able to yield them fifth- and sixth-round picks. I’m not consulting any trade value chart—the Steelers themselves acknowledge that they don’t really ascribe to such ideas—but that is the general outline of what one potential trade might look like. Especially if it’s their late fourth-round pick, 29th in the round, it could definitely be tempting. There are scenarios where they could yield two picks for one, as well, or to include a future pick.
Pittsburgh addressed depth at wide receiver and outside linebacker with their first two selections, which is great. But they still need to acquire a starting-caliber nose tackle, a third safety, and depth along the offensive line, plus an inside linebacker.
Anything they could do to put themselves in a better position to acquire a solid prospect at each of these spot is something that they should and will explore, but when it comes to pulling the trigger, that’s a different story.
Over the course of his history, especially with Mike Tomlin, the bulk of the draft-day trades that Kevin Colbert makes is to either move up in the draft or to acquire or trade a player, as they did with Martavis Bryant, or in re-acquiring Bryant McFadden in 2010.
There isn’t a long history of trading back, to be sure. The trade involving McFadden is in fact the last time they traded back, and that was to acquire a player. The year before, in 2009, they traded their second- and fourth-round picks for two third-round picks. They also traded back seven spots in round four in 2008.