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2024 NFL Draft

Did Steelers End Up with Good Draft Value from Kenny Pickett, Kevin Dotson Trades?

Did the Pittsburgh Steelers end up with good value from the Kenny Pickett and Kevin Dotson trades by landing LB Payton Wilson?



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Steelers QB Kenny Pickett against the Green Bay Packers, Nov. 12, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

With the 2024 NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, the Pittsburgh Steelers can now come close to fully evaluating their trades of offensive lineman Kevin Dotson and quarterback Kenny Pickett in exchange for draft capital.

The Steelers traded Dotson on the verge of the 2023 season, sending the guard, who had become a backup to James Daniels and Isaac Seumalo, to the Los Angeles Rams. The trade involved two pick swaps, with the Steelers sending their 2024 fifth and 2025 sixth-round picks to L.A. for the Rams’ 2024 fourth and 2025 fifth.

That L.A. fourth-rounder turned into pick No. 120 this year, but before the 2024 NFL Draft even rolled around for the Steelers to use it, they sent it out in another trade this March involving quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Pittsburgh Steelers guard Kevin Dotson

Pittsburgh Steelers guard Kevin Dotson runs out of the tunnel before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Acrisure Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

With Pickett requesting a trade, general manager Omar Khan sent him and No. 120 to the Philadelphia Eagles for pick No. 98 in the third round and two 2025 seventh-round picks.

Coming into the the draft, that meant the Steelers sent out Pickett, Dotson and this year’s fifth-round pick for the Eagles’ third-round pick, plus a future swap of a sixth for a fifth and two sevenths.

In the draft, the Steelers used pick No. 98 on linebacker Payton Wilson out of NC State, a player that many had as one of the tops at his position and likely to be drafted far higher. The consensus big board at NFL Mock Draft Database had Wilson at No. 45 overall.

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Payton Wilson

Payton Wilson, NC State Athletics

Meanwhile, the pick that the Steelers sent out was also used by a linebacker, and also used on a player of sliding value. The Eagles used No. 120 to draft linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. out of Clemson, the son of Eagles great Jeremiah Trotter. Trotter was projected to be a third-round pick at N0. 95 on the big board, but was still available to the Eagles in the fourth.

Steelers traded: Steelers received:
Kevin Dotson, Kenny Pickett, No. 155 (Jeremiah Trotter Jr.), 2025 6th round pick No. 98 (Payton Wilson), 2025 5th round pick, two 2025 7th round picks

So did the Steelers get good value for the two players they sent out? Dotson had a stellar season with the Rams in 2023, earning a three-year $48 million contract extension, but would have been a spare part in Pittsburgh, as Seumalo and Daniels missed just one game between the two of them.

Pickett has yet to suit up for the Eagles, but the Steelers’ divorce with their former first-round pick was probably more about his request for a trade, and their ability to get Justin Fields cheaply from the Chicago Bears, than it was about the value they were getting in return.

What do you think? At the end of the day, did the Steelers get good value in trading Dotson and Pickett? Is Wilson that much of a better player than Trotter?