The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.
On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.
Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answered. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? How might they tackle the 2023 NFL Draft? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.
Question: Will the Steelers trade out of the top of the second round?
The Steelers have never had the first pick on any day of the draft since Mike Tomlin has been here as head coach. Of course it’s a lot easier to have the first pick in any round when you have the worst record—otherwise you have to acquire that pick via trade.
But the Steelers have it this week, with the first selection in round two. Why is this significant? Because teams have the night to think over what they want to do, and they get antsy. They make phone calls. They want to do a deal to get the guy they covet who slipped through the previous day.
That’s why, even if the pick doesn’t always actually change hands, those who hold those picks tend to be busy on the phone fielding calls. And I’m sure the Steelers’ phones will be ringing quite a bit, not just on Friday, but on Thursday night as teams who have already selected start watching prospects slip.
The thing is, they sounded unusually receptive to the idea of moving out of that 32nd overall pick during their pre-draft press conference yesterday, and I don’t think we should take that lightly. Historically under former general manager Kevin Colbert, the Steelers have been a team that has been very reluctant to trade out of a position to draft someone they really like.
Now Omar Khan is general manager, and while he was weaned at Colbert’s feet, he’s his own person with his own priorities. This is also a team with a lot of new scouts and evaluators, and we’ve seen what that means this offseason with how much the roster has already turned over. If they can get an extra pick from moving down and add another player to this roster that better reflects their current preferences, they may well just do it. if the right offer is there, of course.