Steelers are ideal draft-day trade partners with Bills following Stefon Diggs trade

A draft-day trade between the Steelers and Bills makes too much sense to ignore.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

Weeks after the Pittsburgh Steelers traded Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers, the Buffalo Bills sent four-time Pro Bowl receiver Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans. This instantly becomes one of the biggest moves of the 2024 offseason, and the trade could prove to have a ripple effect on the Steelers in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Both the Steelers and Bills now have glaring needs at wide receiver. Pittsburgh has no quality number two option outside of budding star, George Pickens, while a trio of Curtis Samuel, Khalil Shakir, and Mack Hollins are currently slated as Buffalo's starting receivers after waving goodbye to both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis this offseason.

The Bills can't afford to go into the season without a top option in the passing game for QB Josh Allen, so Buffalo could look to jump ahead of Pittsburgh in the NFL Draft.

But I've got an ideal that makes more sense for both parties.

Instead of leapfrogging the Steelers, Pittsburgh suddenly becomes the ideal trade partner with the Buffalo Bills in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.

Steelers-Bills draft-day trade makes perfect sense for both parties

The Pittsburgh Steelers have no shortage of needs to fill during the NFL Draft. Despite adding a compensatory third-round pick to their arsenal of draft capital, Pittsburgh needs to find starters at offensive tackle, center, and slot cornerback (among other positions that must be upgraded).

Unfortunately, the Steelers can't expect to find starting talent in the third round and beyond. Late on Day 2 is when you typically get role players who can develop into starters.

That's where the Bills come in.

Buffalo suddenly has a desperate need for a No. 1 wide receiver and the Steelers could be the perfect team to trade with. Because the Bills are picking so late in the first round (28th overall), it's highly unlikely that they will be able to make a big enough jump up in the draft for one of the top three receivers. This means that landing Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze is likely out of the question.

However, there's nothing to prevent the Bills from trading up for the next best receiver of the group. Most draft analysts believe the next receiver off the board will be LSU's Brian Thomas Jr. or Texas' Adonai Mitchell. Both receivers are big and athletic and would give Josh Allen a go-to target in the passing game.

In recent mock drafts, Thomas and Mitchell have been available to the Steelers at pick 20. While the Steelers could be tempted to take one of these receivers (if they don't go the OL route), trading back would be the best-case scenario for Omar Khan and company.

Steelers-Bills trade

If the Steelers moved back from pick 20 to pick 28, they could pick up an extra second-round pick in exchange for their compensatory third-rounder. With the 28th overall pick, Pittsburgh would have the chance to snag an offensive tackle or center, then nab a receiver with one of their two second-round picks.

According to Calculator Soup, this equates to a trade value of 958 for the Steelers and 960 for the Bills -- nearly a perfect value match.

Meanwhile, the Bills would have the assurance of getting Thomas or Mitchell -- one of the last remaining receivers that profile as a potential WR1 at the next level.

This is a trade scenario that could work out beautifully for both parties. It's possible that the Bills look to jump ahead of the Steelers in the 2024 NFL Draft, but these two teams should be on the phone as things unfold in the first round for a potential draft-day trade.