It feels unlikely, but here’s how the Pittsburgh Steelers could trade all the way up to No. 4 in the draft.
As the Pittsburgh Steelers went from 11-0 to 12-4 to a Wild Card Round loss, Ben Roethlisberger was exposed as a shell of what he was when defenses adjusted. He’ll be back in 2021, for better or worse, with an adjusted contract.
The Steelers have had Mason Rudolph behind Roethlisberger, and they took a flier on former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. So it’s safe to say who will succeed Roethlisberger, almost certainly in 2022, is up in the air.
With the No. 24 pick right now, the Steelers are not in position to take one of the top-five quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class. Depending on what they think of who will be available there (Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond, Davis Mills), they could be compelled to try to trade up.
Picks 1-3 look sure to go Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars), Zach Wilson (Jets) and either Mac Jones or Justin Fields (49ers). The Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 could take their eventual successor for Matt Ryan, they could take someone else at another position, or they could trade down and stockpile some much-needed draft capital.
How the Steelers could trade up to No. 4, get Roethlisberger’s ideal successor
The Washington Football Team currently sits with the No. 19 pick, and there’s talk they’d go all-in to move up to No. 4 and get the quarterback they like (Trey Lance). Would the Steelers, sitting five picks later, try to do the same for a quarterback they really like?
Here’s how the Steelers could make their all-in move to trade up all the way to No. 4 overall.
If it takes three first-rounders to usurp other offers Atlanta will field and get up to No. 4, then so be it for the Steelers. The inclusion of James Washington speaks to how he has been usurped on the depth chart, and Pittsburgh’s great ability to find wide receivers later in drafts. If the Steelers take a downturn in 2021, that 2022 first-rounder could be a pretty high pick.