What would it take for Steelers to land QB Trevor Lawrence in the NFL Draft?
The Steelers have no shot at grabbing Trevor Lawrence with their current draft slot. Here’s an unlikely trade scenario for the top QB prospect.
The Steelers are stuck at the 24th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are primed to take Trevor Lawrence with the number one pick this year. Theoretically, there is a way the Steelers could make a trade happen to get the best draft prospect at the quarterback position we have seen in quite some time; however, the odds of being able to pull this off and the likelihood that they would look to do so are marginally slim.
The Steelers aren’t known for draft day trades, yet just two years ago traded into the top 10 for stud linebacker in Michigan’s Devin Bush. Pittsburgh could make two trades involving the Jets and Jaguars to catapult themselves to the number one spot, but it would cost them an awful lot to do so:
Steelers and Jets trade
Pittsburgh could offer the Jets their 2021 first and second-round picks, their 2022 first and second-round pick, their 2023 first-round pick, and JuJu Smith-Schuster for the second overall pick of the draft. New York still needs another real target for Sam Darnold and who better to play opposite of Corey Davis than Sam Darnold’s college teammate? The Jets need a running back along with help on the offensive line and could find legitimate starters in both position groups with just the picks the Steelers provide.
JuJu has real value being just 24 years old, considering what he has accomplished at this point in his career. The Jets have the cap space to extend Smith-Schuster at the end of 2021 should they desire to, but this move finally puts a legitimate group of weapons around Sam Darnold. It also saves money as there will be a big difference between the size of the rookie contract for the 2nd overall pick and the 24th overall pick.
Steelers and Jaguars trade
This is where the Steelers part with some large assets. Pittsburgh would have to offer up Stephon Tuitt, the 2nd overall pick in the 2021 Draft acquired from the New York Jets, and two high future selections in order to move to the top spot for Lawrence. The Steelers could use the breathing room they would get by parting with Stephon Tuitt’s cap hit.
The Jaguars need help at cornerback, defensive line, and quarterback. This will give Jacksonville the draft rights to Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, or any other rookie QB they like. They also receive the best defensive lineman they have rostered since Calais Campbell and a starting-caliber cornerback.
Urban Meyer isn’t going to want to be stuck in a rebuild phase for very long. He is already a legendary college coach and if it takes him too long to turn Jacksonville around his legacy will be tarnished. He surely doesn’t want to be labeled as a guy who was great in college but couldn’t make it in the NFL.
Meyer gets the chance to improve his defense with proven players, while still being able to groom his own draft choice at quarterback. It sets him up to compete in his division from day one while adding another pair of high draft picks in the future.
Is the trade worth it?
Looking at the trades to make this happen, it would clear cap space for the Steelers over the next 2 seasons. It also gets them their future franchise quarterback. Yet, it is hard to trade JuJu Smith-Schuster who just turned down more from your division rival to stay in Pittsburgh.
It is also hard to make the extra trade going from 2nd to 1st. Zach Wilson and Trey Lance both have superstar potential. Ideally, Pittsburgh could land one of those prospects while holding on to their 1st round pick from 2023. With Cam Heyward’s age, it is hard to let go of Stephon Tuitt who, ignoring the constant injuries, has been one of the most underrated players in the NFL the last two seasons.
The Steelers could attempt to make this trade or something similar to it. However, it is hard to envision them trading up to the second overall spot, let alone the first overall pick for much more than this. Pittsburgh is giving Ben Roethlisberger one last chance to win it all, and I believe they have a decent chance at making a playoff run depending on how their 2021 draft plays out. I know the Steelers have probably put some feelers out, just to see what it would take to land Lawrence, Wilson, or Lance but I wouldn’t place money on this trade happening just yet.