2023 NFL Draft

If Pittsburgh Trades The 32nd Pick, They Could Lose Out On A Bunch Of High-Caliber Prospects

As Alex Kozora previously wrote, the Pittsburgh Steelers are open for business when it comes to the top pick at the beginning of the second round.

GM Omar Khan committed highway robbery at the trade deadline last season, shipping WR Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears for their original second-round pick. Chicago finished with the top pick in the draft after the season, and after the Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round selection this year, that pick now sits at #32 overall, the first pick on the second day of the 2023 NFL Draft.

HC Mike Tomlin wasn’t bashful during the team’s pre-draft press conference when talking about the opportunities that come with owning that pick, basically letting every team in the league know that if they want a chance to acquire it, they better call since Pittsburgh expects a ton of calls to come their way.

Still, while Pittsburgh could net a good value by moving off the 32nd selection, it would likely come at some cost. Traditionally, there are plenty of great prospects that manage to just slip out of Round 1 and into the second day of the draft, presenting phenomenal value for the teams picking at the top of the second round. WR Tee Higgins fell to the second round just a couple years ago. Other NFL superstars, including RB Nick Chubb, LB Shaquille Leonard, OL Landon Dickerson, and WR Deebo Samuel also missed out on getting drafted in the first round but went early on Day Two of the draft.

There are several prospects who have received some first round buzz during the pre-draft process that could conceivably fall into Round Two this Friday night. Bleacher Report recently published an article that highlighted Georgia TE Darnell Washington, Clemson DL Bryan Bresee, USC WR Jordan Addison, TCU WR Quentin Johnston, and Alabama DB Brian Branch as prospects who could fall into Day Two for various reasons. Throw in other prospects often mocked to Pittsburgh at the top of Round Two like Ohio State OT Dawand Jones, Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison, and Minnesota C John Michael Schmitz, and you have a handful of prospects that Pittsburgh would be passing on adding to its roster to move the pick.

The Steelers will have to weigh the value they are getting back in return to the player that they would potentially move off by trading the pick. Should a team in the 30s want to move up a few spots to secure its guy, Pittsburgh would be in prime position to still draft one of the names listed above while adding more assets in the later rounds of the draft. However, should they decide to do business with a team picking in the later part of the second round, they would have to receive quite the haul as they could lose the opportunity to draft one of the premium names at the top of the second round.

I would expect the Steelers to hold onto the pick until they are on the clock to get teams clamoring for the pick to fidget in their seats and give their best offer in the heat of the moment. However, we shall see what players end up falling out of the first round and into Pittsburgh’s lap come Friday night, potentially presenting a value too good to pass up on. Either way, get ready to be on the edge of your seats come the start of Day Two of the 2023 NFL Draft.

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