One last match to throw onto the fire that is Pittsburgh Steelers’ trade rumors. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein is the latest to issue a report suggesting the Steelers want to trade up, including them in a Thursday tweet of teams on the phones trying to make a deal.
The Steelers’ “right guy” is the million dollar question. The PPG’s Gerry Dulac believes it’ll be for a cornerback, ostensibly Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon (who the team has shown little public interest in) or Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez, while tackle seems a possibility too for Georgia’s Broderick Jones or even Tennessee’s Darnell Wright.
This year’s draft is not regarded as particularly strong at the top and it may compel teams to trade down and out of the top ten. That’ll create the chance for Pittsburgh to go up if they want to.
So where could the Steelers go? The Chicago Bears at #9 is an often-reported spot. Doing so could likely require Pittsburgh to trade 17 and 49 for 9. Other options include Houston at #12 and New England at #14, Bill Belichick trading back as much as anyone in the league. A smaller jump up only a couple of spots would probably only cost pick #80, the team’s third rounder.
Throughout the offseason, GM Omar Khan has discussed a desire to be aggressive and he’s had an extremely busy offseason, signing a slew of free agents. Perhaps plugging those holes there will help him justify a move up to get his guy. In the Mike Tomlin era, the Steelers have only moved up once in the first round, going up ten spots from #20 to #10 in 2019 to select LB Devin Bush, making a deal with the Denver Broncos.
Other teams on Zierlein’s list include the Philadelphia Eagles, who may want to move closer to the Top 5 and the Tennessee Titans at #11, potentially making a move for a quarterback. All the teams Zierlein lists pick ahead of the Steelers.
We’ll get our answers tonight. The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off at 8 PM/EST.