By: Michael Stiffler, @Stiffeezy_ on Twitter
If recent history is any indication, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager, Kevin Colbert and head coach, Mike Tomlin are not afraid to trade draft picks for players they feel can make an instant impact. In 2019, the Steelers traded their 2019 1st and 2nd round picks, and a 2020 3rd round pick to move up 10 spots to draft Devin Bush. Then when the season began, the Steelers traded their 2020 1st and 5th round picks and a 2021 6th round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick and a 2020 4th round pick, and 2021 7th round pick. Why did Colbert and company feel comfortable doing so? It is simple, they had the ammo to do it. They had room to work with the Le’Veon Bell compensatory pick and Antonio Brown trade. The next two drafts are primed to put the Steelers in a comfortable position once again. This offseason, they should receive significant picks in 2022 due to the likely departures of Bud Dupree and JuJu Smith-Schuster. If other players leave like Mike Hilton, Cam Sutton, Alejandro Villanueva, and James Conner, the Steelers could yield even more. The Steelers are projected to come into the 2021 NFL Draft with 9 draft picks, in thanks to two additional compensatory picks awarded because of the losses of Javon Hargrave and Sean Davis during free agency.
- Round 1, Pick 24:
- Round 2, Pick 55:
- Round 3, Pick 87:
- Round 4, Pick 118:
- Round 4, Comp Pick (Projected)
- Round 6, Pick 188:
- Round 6, Comp Pick (Projected)
- Round 7, Pick 209
- Round 7, Pick 218
No matter the scenario the Steelers have whether it is with Ben Roethlisberger or not, there are plenty of players who could be worthy to jump up and snag. One option would be Kyle Pitts, tight end from the University of Florida, who could replace the slot work left by Smith-Schuster. Also, it is never a bad thing to get your quarterback a player who could be the next Travis Kelce. Another would be Trey Lance, quarterback from North Dakota State University. Lance could be the heir apparent to Roethlisberger and step in to challenge Mason Rudolph if Roethlisberger retires. He has all the tools of a modern NFL quarterback. Big with a strong arm and great mobility that allowed him to rush for over a thousand yards in 2019. The final option could be a defensive player like Micah Parsons or Patrick Surtain II. Both players are world class talents are their respective positions of linebacker and cornerback. Parsons is as big as he is fast, which would make him and Bush one of the best young duos in the NFL. It wouldn’t be a far fetched idea with Vince Williams aging and the Steelers had issues this year keeping the position healthy. Surtain would be a great young talent to replace the spot left by Sutton or Hilton. In the future he would serve as the next man up to the eventual Joe Haden departure. Surtain was a unanimous All-American for the Nation Champion Alabama Crimson Tide and won SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Any of these players could instantly step into the Steelers 2021 lineup and help they possibility of a Super Bowl title.
Do you think Colbert and Tomlin will continue their ambitious offseason of change? Drop a comment below.