3 reasons Steelers no longer the winner of Fitzpatrick trade

Minkah Fitzpatrick #39 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Minkah Fitzpatrick #39 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Antoine Winfield Jr. #31 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

What could have happened in the draft

While signing a mid-level free agent would do for the short term, the Steelers likely would have turned to the draft to solve the issue long-term. Now, there wouldn’t have been a safety worth taking in the first, but the Steelers could have added a plethora of different weapons in the first. At the bare minimum, they could have drafted IOL Cesar Ruiz, WR Justin Jefferson, or ILB Patrick Queen in the first, further adding to the overall talent on this roster.

As said before though, the Steelers easily would have lost more games in 2020 had it not been for Fitzpatrick. Assuming the Steelers drop 2-3 more games, suddenly they have a top-10 pick. Had this happened, the Steelers could have had a shot at a top QB like Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. Considering Roethlisberger’s recent statements on playing longer though, the Steelers could opt for a more instant impact with their first pick.

While taking the high upside hybrid Isaiah Simmons could have worked, the Steelers could have targeted a future starting OT like Tristan Wirfs. Wirfs is a freaky athlete and could either play inside or outside. Ideally, he would be penciled in at LT for next year after starting off on the right side this year. While Wirfs would be a great addition both in the short term and long term, the Steelers second-round pick would be even better.

Now, the Steelers second-round pick would have been vaulted into the range of the late ’30s, and the team could have grabbed safety Antoine Winfield Jr. So far, Winfield has played all over the Buccaneers secondary and has recorded a pair of sacks and an interception. He along with a free agent safety would be able to man down the FS spot and assuming Winfield continues to develop, could become a more valuable player than Fitzpatrick.