In a previous article I went over the logic and possibility of the Pittsburgh Steelers trading down in the 2016 draft. Knowing that there are some of you out there who will feel the need to work out the mathematical probability of such a trade and being fully aware that others will jump in with some long and painful discourse on the Steelers history in regards to trades…I still thought it would be worth the time to look at what such a trade could look like and the benefits it would produce.
I fully expect the Steelers will pick up a free agent defensive back, so let’s use cornerback Patrick Robinson as the example in this scenario.
Robinson was a first round draft choice in 2010. He is 5’11” 192 pounds and runs the forty in the 4.4 range. Though he struggled in New Orleans due to injuries and changing scheme, he was more than solid in San Diego. He is not a big name acquisition like Josh Norman or Janoris Jenkins, but his under the radar play for the Chargers would work to the Steelers advantage.
Signing such a free agent would change our immediate draft needs. By trading down and out of the first round, Pittsburgh could not only shore up their roster with immediate talent but could also add much needed depth at key positions.
Let’s once again think about the Los Angeles Rams as a potential trading partner. They own two 2nd round picks and have the means and desire to trade up. Allowing them to trade back into the first round should garner us a 2nd, 3rd, and 6th round pick, according to the widely accepted draft value chart. I would also add the anticipated 7th round compensatory pick for the loss of Brice McCain. This would give us a draft that would look like this:
2nd: #45 overall
2nd: #58 overall
3rd: #76 overall
3rd: #89 overall
4th: #120 overall (pending compensatory picks)
6th: #181 overall (pending compensatory picks)
7th: #206 overall (pending compensatory picks)
7th: #223 overall (pending compensatory picks)
7th: #231 overall (pending compensatory picks)
Based on team needs and the scenario of picking up a cornerback free agent into consideration, here is a mock draft with these picks in mind.
2016 Mock Draft/With trades
2nd: SS Vonn Bell of Ohio State. 6’1 212 pounds.
If the Steelers pick up a FA cornerback, Bell makes sense at this pick. Tough and savvy player with 22 passes defended and 9 interception over 28 games. Plays man and zone equally well.
2nd: CB Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech. 6’0 197 pounds.
Underrated prospect due to knee injury. Can stop and change directions on a dime. Reads receivers well and diagnoses quickly. 35 passes defended with 8 interceptions over 28 games.
3rd: TE Nick Vannett of Ohio State. 6’6 256 pounds. One of the better run blocking tight ends that I have seen over the last couple of years. Underutilized at Ohio State. I will be very interested to see how he runs at the combine, but regardless, seems to be able to run crisp routes and get separation from defenders.
3rd: DE Matt Ioannidis of Temple. 6’4 303 pounds. Much better prospect than currently projected. High effort player with solid base. Can play DE or DT. Would be a solid rotational DE in our scheme. If a coach can get him to lower his pads and utilize leverage more effectively, he could be a starter on many teams.
4th: OG Denver Kirkland of Arkansas. 6’4 335 pounds.
Mammoth prospect with versatility. Kirkland has experience at offensive guard and left tackle. He projects better as an inside blocker at the pro level, but could swing to the outside if needed. Needs coached up but has a very high ceiling.
6th: OLB Yannick Ngakoue of Maryland. 6’2 250. Quick and powerful edge rusher. Racked up 13.5 sacks, 150 tackles for loss and 7 quarterback hurries last year. Aggressive thumper who could be an asset as a pass rusher and defender. Energetic contributor with strong work effort.
7th: NT Antwaun Woods of Southern California. 6’0 329 pounds. Defensive tackle that demands two blockers. As of now he may not have the base necessary to completely collapse the pocket and seems to get winded when used extensively. A year in a NFL weight training program could make him a variable in the Steelers defense
7th: RB Leon Allen of Western Kentucky. 5’11 235 pounds. Finished last season with a knee injury but in 2014 he had 2,018 yards from scrimmage and 1,542 yards rushing. After two years of going into the playoffs with inadequate depth at the running back position, the Steelers could take a late round gamble on a player who is low risk but could pay high dividends.
7th: KR/WR Chris Moore of Cincinnati. 6’1 203 pounds. Productive receiver with good height and quick twitch athleticism. Could line up in the slot or on the outside as a deep threat. Will need to polish up his route running, but could contribute immediately as a kick returner.
It’s obvious that the Steelers need to address the secondary this year both through free agency and the draft. They will also have to make tight end a priority even if it’s just for depth. So much of the rest of the draft is going to be based on who we can retain and who we may have to let go.
Next week I’ll post a straight up Steelers draft without trades, so either tweet me or post a message about what prospect you would like to see in the first round or for an underrated late round prospect that you would like to see in the black and gold.