Few teams in the National Football League are as straight-forward and ‘by the book’ as the Pittsburgh Steelers are. They don’t do anything overly “crazy” when it comes to the draft other than perhaps trading a mid round pick here or there to move up or move down. There have been some notable moments however on draft day and in the days leading up to the annual selection of college players.
In 1996 the Steelers traded a second round pick for that year and a fourth round pick for the following year for Jerome Bettis and a third round selection. That turned out to be pretty decent huh? The Steelers also made a move to slide up in the 2003 NFL Draft to get USC safety Troy Polamalu. Again, I’d say that worked out…
In 2015, the Steelers find themselves in a rare position. They need help along each level of the defense and they also know that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger only has so many more great years ahead of him. With this in mind, the Steelers’ have numerous needs and a plethora of possibilities as the draft begins on Thursday. Because I’m feeling extra prophetic after I predicted Heath Miller would retire in my offseason prognostications I figure it’s time to warm up the crystal ball with the draft on deck.
Point One: Look for the Steelers to be really active in this draft. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the Steelers not only make a trade in this draft I wouldn’t be shocked if they made more than just one. With no fifth round pick, they may look to get that one back with a trade down on the second or third day. The first trade could be a big one. I’m told the Steelers really like two or three guys and if they are in striking distance they could move up to secure one of them.
Point Two: The Steelers will draft a wide receiver in the first four rounds. The Steelers have been let down by Martavis Bryant twice now. What reason do they truly have to think he won’t do it again? Markus Wheaton is headed into a contract year and Sammie Coates appears to be on track to do some good things but I don’t think it will stop the Steelers from drafting a wideout fairly early in the draft.
Point Three: A quarterback will be chosen by the Steelers in this draft. While personally I think it’s a mistake, the Steelers will select a QB. Not necessarily as the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger but to develop as a back-up first. Two names to keep an eye on? Cody Kessler of USC and Brandon Allen of Arkansas.
Point Four: The Steelers will attempt to trade for a cornerback prior to the trade or even after. If you think about it, the Steelers have one cornerback with any legitimate experience and that’s William Gay. Ross Cockrell has some experience but how much do you trust him? Senquez Golson is talented but he hasn’t played a single snap in the NFL and Doran Grant is totally unproven as well. The Steelers just don’t go into a season without high confidence in their defensive backs so I predict an acquisition is coming.
Enjoy the draft everyone and feel free to tell me just how wrong I am!
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