It’s not especially likely that the Steelers could trade their first-round pick in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft, but over at Behind The Steel Curtain, big_jay71 is doing a good job describing possible scenarios like that one, even though he acknowledges that they’re unlikely.
In my opinion the new draft format implemented last year, where the draft is broken down into three days, will aid the Steelers in getting more value in return for their draft pick. Teams looking to trade up because they are targeting someone specific will be too impatient to wait another day to get him. With the Patriots holding onto the first pick of the second day (pick 33), and knowing they’ll trade it to the highest bidder, some team will get nervous enough to offer the Steelers more than pick 31 is worth to jump ahead of the pick 33 auction for someone they are dying to have.
Jay thinks this is possible for quarterbacks in particular, and that the Steelers could trade their No. 31 overall first-round choice to get a pick around No. 40 overall (which they’d use to select someone like Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling, who doesn’t project as a first-rounder) and an additional pick or two later in the draft. It’s an interesting idea, and it could allow the Steelers to add additional picks late in the draft (where they do a pretty good job getting value) while sacrificing little in terms of the quality of their first selection. It probably won’t happen, but it’s worth thinking about.