We’re just 75 minutes away from the start of the 2011 NFL Draft from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. A record number of draft hopefuls will be in attendance this year, hoping to hear their name called early by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Will the Pittsburgh Steelers draft one of those guys? We’ll see, but likely only if they trade up from their current position at No. 31 to somewhere in the late teens or early 20s.
As speculation has heated up the last few days about the Steelers potentially trading up to land Florida OG/C Mike Pouncey, the reaction from most fans and pundits has been that the price would be too high for the Steelers, especially when Pouncey is projected to play guard at the next level. Well, that’s a matter for good, honest debate. But for example, in this mock draft that projected the Steelers moving up to No. 20 to land Pouncey, the price was losing their second round pick.
Let’s rewind the clock to 2003. In the final few days before that year’s draft, rumors surfaced of the Steelers’ interest in trading up to get Troy Polamalu. They did just that, moving up 11 spots. How much did it cost? Just a third and sixth round pick in that year’s draft. Hardly too much to give up in return to get the guy you really want.
Now, I’m not saying that there’s anybody at No. 20 that the Steelers will absolutely be adamant about trying to acquire, but just remember that ‘03 draft when considering what they’d have to surrender in order to make a similar jump of 11 spots — not too much. So, if there’s a guy you want Kevin Colbert and you’re very confident he’ll turn into a long term starter for the six-time Super Bowl champs, pull the trigger and get it done!