Every offseason as the NFL Draft approaches and fans wonder what their teams are planning. Mock drafts are written projecting what players are to be selected, as well as what teams may pull off that draft day deal to move up and grab a coveted player, or trade back to gather more picks. In fact, teams like the New England Patriots make a living at manipulating the draft and usually corner the market on trading back for future draft picks .
Those deals were important in the development of the franchise as it is today; landing some solid players that played a large role in winning at least one or both of their Super Bowls in the decade. In the 2001 draft, the Steelers traded down from pick 16 to 19 to grab nose tackle Casey Hampton, in 2003, they traded up 11 spots to select safety Troy Polamalu, and finally in 2006 they traded up again to pick wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
As the pre-draft process heads into full swing with the annual event being pushed into May, fans wonder if this is the year that the franchise again decides to trade down and potentially grab more picks, and another impact player. From an outside perspective and quick glance, that answer should be yes.
The Steelers have multiple needs and limited picks (six) to retool their roster. While there will some selections added as compensation picks, that is still not enough. The Steelers used a 2014 third round selection to trade up in 2013 for safety Shamarko Thomas, complicating their chances to rebuild through the draft.
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