Should the Steelers trade back in the first round of the draft?
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Steelers could find themselves in a position in this year's draft where it would make sense to trade back and get some draft capital. The Steelers have a lot of holes in their roster, so they could use as many picks as they can get.
I don't think there's that much of a gap between the top three running backs in the draft in Najee Harris, Travis Etienne and Javonte Williams, so if the Steelers could trade back to later in the first round or early second round and still get one of the top running backs it wouldn't be a bad move. I'd have no problem with a running back like Williams early in the second round. Depending on how the draft goes, they could still get Harris or Etienne late in the first or early second, as well. The Steelers would probably prefer to trade back in the first round instead of going into the second, so they would still have the fifth-year option on a player.
In addition, they also need an offensive tackle and center in the draft, so getting extra picks could help them address those positions also. And this year's offensive tackle class is really deep and there will be some solid centers to be had in the second or third round.
During Kevin Colbert's tenure with the Steelers since 2000, they have traded down just once in the first round and that was in 2001 when they traded three spots back with the Jets to select nose tackle Casey Hampton at 19th overall out of Texas. The Jets ended up selecting wide receiver Santana Moss at 16th overall out of Miami. The Steelers also received a fourth- and six-round pick in the trade with the Jets.
I think trading back could realistically be an option for the Steelers in this year's draft if they feel like they can get a player of the same caliber later in the draft while stocking some extra picks to fill other needs on the roster. Of course, it all depends on how Colbert and the Steelers have their board set up. If they're really high on Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins, they'll select him at 24th overall over a running back and then try to address the running back position in the second round. The problem is the big three in Harris, Etienne and Williams most likely won't be available at 55 overall in the second round when the Steelers pick next.