The Pittsburgh Steelers made an uncharacteristic decision just before week three to make a trade that cost them a first-round pick. The trade was scrutinized but in the end, they made the right move.
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost Ben Roethlisberger week two of the season in 2019. The last thing anyone expected them to do was trade away their first-round pick.
The Steelers did just that when they packaged picks in a deal that landed them young stud safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. The NFL world was shocked that Pittsburgh would trade what everyone thought would surely be a top-10 pick come April 2020.
Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin did not view the season as a loss and wanted to get a defensive piece to help bolster the unit to carry an offense that would struggle without their franchise QB. They went and got their guy and it quickly paid dividends for the Steelers defense.
Minkah quickly made his name known to fans in his first game as a member of the Steelers. He finished his week three game against San Francisco with five total tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble.
The Steelers got a safety that finished with five interceptions, one forced fumble and two defensive touchdowns on the season. He was the play-maker in the secondary that the defense needed to take them to a new level.
The draft so far has served as a reminder that this move was the right one to make. They may not have had their first-rounder at 18th overall but they got a proven play-maker for their defense who is young and serves as their symbolic first-rounder for 2020.
The draft had a couple of safeties that were ranked high on boards and the Steelers would have a need for one had they not made the trade for Fitzpatrick. However, there were no safeties picked in the first round.
The Steelers could have picked another player with 18th overall but it will always be true that proven talent is greater than what could come of a draft pick. Minkah is a proven pro bowl talent in the secondary and that is well worth the 18th overall pick in the draft.
Pittsburgh has four more picks in the draft after taking Chase Claypool and Alex Highsmith on day two. They are in a great position to continue selecting the best player available to fill depth in their roster.