A recent report came out that the Steelers may be in talks with the Patriots to take three third-round picks to move out of the second round.
On an episode of his recent Scouts Honor podcast, NFL draft analyst Dave-Te’ Thomas mentioned that the Patriots are looking to trade up into the second, and supposedly have been in talks with the Steelers to make such a trade. According to Tomas, the Patriots are offering all three of their third-round selections as well as their fifth to move into the second round of the draft. Assuming this rumor is true, the Steelers should pounce on this deal.
To his credit, Thomas has been scouting football professionally since the late ’60s, and a lot of what he says holds merit in the scouting world. While he does have his fair share of misses (the draft isn’t an exact science), he delivers consistent data and has good insight for the feelings of NFL teams. For example, Thomas was big on the idea of Kansas City looking to trade up for Mecole Hardman, and as it turns out that exact scenario happens.
All that means is that Thomas is a valid figure in the scouting community, and when he makes mention of such a scenario like he has brought up above, fans should listen. Does this mean it’s a guarantee to happen? No, but more than likely the Patriots are exploring options to get into the second and are offering a nice package to get there.
Why would this be? Speculation would have to be it would be for a QB. More than likely, the Patriots will be out of the running for one of the top four QBs in the first round. While moving up in the first is a possibility, without a second-round pick it would be hard to make such a move. When the Steelers are on the board at pick 49, the next wave of QBs will likely be set to be drafted.
The Patriots need a QB that makes smart and safe decisions, and the perfect prospect for that would likely be Jake Fromm. Assuming he falls to 49, he would represent an instant starter for the Patriots, and a player that may never become the top player at his position, he should be an average game manager. If the Patriots are intrigued by him (or frankly any player), that package they are rumored to be willing to trade becomes more realistic.
Even more so, Thomas specifically mentioned the Steelers as a team that has had talks with the Patriots for this deal. While it is uncommon to see the Steelers trade with a rival team, such a generous offer would be too hard to pass up. Making such a trade would mean the Steelers would now have four picks in the 3rd round, those being 87th, 98th, 100th, and 102nd overall.
Using Gil Brandt’s Hot 150 prospects, there are some notable names at and after 87th overall that would fit the Steeler’s needs. Robert Hunt, K’Von Wallace, Terrell Lewis, Darrell Taylor, Lloyd Cushenberry III, Ben Bartch, Cam Akers, Tyler Biadasz, and Adam Trautman to name a few. That isn’t to say all of these options would be available (they won’t), but having four selections to land some of these names would be immense.
As well, the Steelers don’t have an instant need like they’ve had in previous years. The only 08position without a true starter is NT, and that position only sees 200-300 snaps a year typically. The real issues on this roster stem from depth issues and long-term starting issues. By adding a multitude of picks in the third, the Steelers would be in a prime position to address more of their depth and long-term needs.
Finally, with all of this ammunition, the Steelers could easily move up in the third if a prospect they like falls. While it isn’t a guarantee obviously, having all of those picks would make moving up a realistic scenario. A trade up wouldn’t require all of the acquired picks either, meaning that even if the Steelers moved up for a player, they would still have more picks than before.
While draft trades are a hard thing to predict, hearing reports from someone as respected as Thomas leads some legitimacy behind these rumors. Based on this report, people should be expecting the Patriots to move up into the second round. Assuming the Patriots offer a fair deal, the Steelers should be ready to trade back and acquire more picks overall in the draft.