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2011 NFL Draft: Could The Steelers Trade Up?

Behind The Steel Curtain has an interesting article on the possibility of the Steelers trading up in the draft to pick up a higher-rated talent other than Florida offensive lineman Mike Pouncey (who has pretty much been Steelers' fans go-to guy in draft discussions, for obvious reasons), such as Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, Wisconsin offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan or Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor.

As far as all of these prospects are concerned I wouldn’t mind if the Steelers front office made a play for any of them. They all have something to contribute to the team. Prince Amukamara is basically a pipe dream. The cost involved in trading into the top ten would be too much for the Steelers to consider no matter how good he is or how dire the need. Of all the offensive tackle prospects with a first-round grade, Gabe Carimi fits the style of lineman the Steelers seem to prefer.

I agree with the author regarding Amukamara. I don't see any way the Steelers will be willing to pay that price. Historically, the Steelers' evaluations of draft picks have been both iconoclastic and sound, so I doubt they would sacrifice a bunch of late-round picks - which they stand a pretty good chance of getting value from if they get to use them - in order to grab one player near the top ten. This is especially true given that, for a Super Bowl team, the Steelers have a fair number of holes.

Trading up to get someone like Carimi or Jordan (or Pouncey) might make a little more sense, because the cost to the Steelers in a trade would be a bit less. I'm still not sure they would actually do it, given that they're likely to have at least a few interesting cornerbacks and offensive linemen to choose from at pick No. 31. But it's an interesting idea.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.