By Jeremy Hritz
The NFL Draft is almost here, and the buzz and enthusiasm is reaching a deafening peak. For NFL and Steelers nerds like myself, draft season is the equivalent to Christmas for a toddler, and there are lots of goodies that will be delivered over 3 days of magic and wonder, starting April 29th.
While the Steelers have a nice draft stockpile in place right now with 8 picks, there is a part of me that believes trading down in round 1, possibly even out of it, to acquire more selections, is a logical and practical move. To me, not much value is lost trading down from a 24 to say a 30, 31, or 32, especially when considering the depth at positions of need for the Steelers, especially in the second and third rounds.
The greatest challenge to this type of semi-bold move is the shaky ground it would put the team on in terms of landing Najee Harris, Travis Etienne, or Javonte Williams. Not that their running back has to be one of these 3 men, but their pedigree indicates one of them should be the selection. Whether or not you can wait until pick 55 in round 2 and successfully land one remains to be seen.
Trading up on the other hand, seems very much like an impossibility considering how much would have to be relinquished in order to jump up 10 spots. And with the commitment to Big Ben and the seeming commitment to Mason Rudolph and the gamble on Dwayne Haskins, a move up would only be for a QB, and that doesn’t seem the case for this year.
If they do trade down and go guard, tackle, linebacker, or corner with their first selection, their running back selection could very well be Trey Sermon. While many scouts have Sermon as a 3rd or 4th rounder, I would not be surprised to see him eventually creep into the late second round. Should the Steelers not have their runner in place by rounds 1 or 2, Sermon could be that guys.
Most likely, the team will stay put and nab their guy at 24, a player they probably already know is their guy, and would not even take the risk to see if he would fall to the later rounds.
That’s quite alright with me. I won’t have to wait as long to learn about the newest member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And it seems like a safe bet, that newbie will be a ball carrier.