The 2017 draft may be the strangest one there has been in quite some time. There is no franchise quarterback in this draft. There aren’t any franchise tackles in this draft either. This draft is loaded with corners, safeties, and tight ends which traditionally are not positions drafted in the top ten. The result of all this is after Myles Garrett at number one (and now there are even rumors the Browns may pass on him), the rest of the draft is a complete mystery. Players 2 through 50 on any draft board could go anywhere in the draft and not be surprising. Not having any true elite quarterbacks really makes this draft unpredictable. It will be the biggest factor in how much movement occurs during the draft. Clubs at the top who pass on a quarterback in the first round, may be itching to trade back in later to get a player at a better value. Teams like the 49ers, Bears, Jets, Chargers, and Bills likely won’t take a quarterback the first time around, but may be looking to jump ahead of each other later on in the draft. That’s where the Steelers and pick 30 come into play.
Pittsburgh’s biggest needs are at positions with the greatest depth as it happens. Edge rushers, corners, and safeties are among the positions that are loaded with talent. So why not drop back 10 to 15 spots and grab another pick among the glut of top 75 talent? With so many needs, particularly on defense, extra picks would be a welcome addition. Pittsburgh found themselves in a similar position last year when the Broncos were looking to move up to take a quarterback. In the end, Seattle ended up trading with Denver and got an extra third round pick. It’s impossible to determine if Artie Burns would have lasted five more spots had the Steelers made that trade, but it may have been worth the risk for the extra pick. There’s no question that several quality edge rushers will be available well into the second round. Many draft experts have players like Tim Williams, Derek Rivers, and Carl Lawson making it as far down as when the Steelers select at 62. The Steelers under Kevin Colbert never seem to trade down on draft day, so it’s probably an unlikely scenario. If ever there were a year for Pittsburgh to do it, conditions in this year’s draft are perfect for that kind of move.