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Why The Steelers Should Strongly Consider Trading Back

Standing tall with the 17th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers have numerous needs. The offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, edge rush, secondary, and potentially wide receiver ring loudly. They possess three draft picks in the Top 50, and seven picks in total covering seven rounds.

It is a critical offseason for Pittsburgh as they have many holes to fill with Cameron Sutton, Larry Ogunjobi, Terrell Edmunds, Damontae Kazee, and Robert Spillane soon to be hitting unrestricted free agency. This year’s prospect pool is something to behold, with several key positions of need boasting plenty of depth and talent.

While I’m almost sure they could land players in Joey Porter Jr., Deonte Banks, Brian Branch, Lukas Van Ness, Devon Witherspoon, Emmanuel Forbes, Broderick Jones, or Myles Murphy at Pick 17, trading back would still solidify them with a top -tier player and immediate impact starter all while netting a couple more early round picks.

Suppose the Steelers trade down into the early or mid-20s. Collecting an extra 2nd, 3rd, and/or 4th could put this draft class over the top in Pittsburgh. Someone like Nolan Smith, O’Cyrus Torrence, Anton Harrison, Darnell Wright, Bryan Bresee, Zay Flowers, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jordan Addison, or Cam Smith will certainly move the needle as much as someone at 17.

Simply put, there’s just far too much value to pass up on, and it’s the perfect year prospect-wise to bite the bullet picking a little bit later than originally planned. This is a franchise historically known to build through the draft. A pivotal time in history for this current roster, as they have officially turned over a new leaf through Kenny Pickett and General Manager Omar Khan.

With that being said, there is no better time to start fresh apart from the old regime. We all know Kevin Colbert never wanted to trade back, but now that he’s no longer at the helm, anything goes at this point under a new boss in charge. This is a team that is not one or two pieces away from winning a Super Bowl, despite what some may think.

There’s no possible way all of these needs will be fulfilled with only 7 picks. The Steelers would be fooling themselves if they truly believed that what they have right now for picks is enough. Imagine what they could do if they nabbed up to four, five, or more picks in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.

That would mean the offensive line and the defensive line get another quality starter, further preventing a soon-to-be collapse due to age and lack of depth. A wide receiver to pair alongside George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, Calvin Austin III, and Pat Friermuth.

A linebacker to fill the void that only Shazier could fill best and not Devin Bush, despite his great first season in the league. And a need finally answered for the secondary in a true lockdown franchise cornerback, which has been desperate for ball-hawking and turnover prowess.

I can see Pittsburgh going in a multitude of directions, but this one should be of the highest priority. More picks equal more likely starters from the earlier rounds. Seattle, Los Angeles (Chargers), Minnesota, Baltimore, and New York (Giants) are potential teams who may just pick up the phone in hopes of trading up. One man’s trash could be another man’s treasure, and that very well could be the Steelers on draft night.


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