Connect with us

2024 NFL Draft

Omar Khan Splashes Cold Water on Steelers Trade Down Scenarios

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan splashed some cold water on potential trade back scenarios that they could have.



Steelers GM Omar Khan Trade Deadline Salary Cap

PITTSBURGH — Hoping or expecting the Pittsburgh Steelers to trade down in the first round? Don’t expect it. The Steelers moved around the board at will last year. In the 2023 NFL Draft, Omar Khan executed a trade-up from the 17th pick to the 14th overall pick and then proceeded to trade down in the third round to maximize value, still landing Darnell Washington in the process. It seems that might be something he wants to do in these classes.

And in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, instead of trading up, the opposite looks far more appetizing for Khan and the team right now.

But Khan explained his philosophy of moving around the board on Monday and stated that the team simply would not pass up an excellent player to trade down. If the scenario comes up where they do not love the board, that is when trade downs could happen, but expect the Steelers to stick at 20th overall.

“In my opinion, you never trade away from a good player. But obviously, if there[‘s ever a scenario where it makes sense for both sides, it’s something we will look at,” Khan said. “We’ll listen.”

Multiple teams, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have thrown out the 20th overall pick as a possible trade point, leading to speculation that the Steelers could be moving back. But Mike Tomlin explained why that might be.

“It’s a historical sweet spot, to be honest with you,” Tomlin said. “That’s probably the area where people are having those discussions because there are good football teams that are picking, you know playoff football teams. And sometimes, trading back provides value for those teams that don’t have glaring needs.”

But the Steelers have a lot of needs. Wide receiver, offensive tackle, slot cornerback, center. Those four feel like the obvious top four needs and could be classified as positions they have to draft in some respects. But beyond that, another receiver, outside cornerback depth, inside linebacker depth, and defensive line depth are also wants. Pittsburgh still has targets at all of their top needs out there in free agency, really outside of center, but another day two pick would help sprinkle in more ammunition to fill all of those voids and allow for another luxury pick.

Pittsburgh can trade down and get a player at a premium position to fill a void. Just going through each position, Tyler Guyton, AD Mitchell, and Kool-Aid McKinstry would likely be there on a trade-down. That could allow the team to pick a center if they wanted to while maximizing value. It all makes sense from multiple angles. If the right offer comes, a trade-down has to be in play.

One positive aspect with four picks in the Top 100 and five in the Top 120 is that the Steelers can expect to fill a good deal of their voids, but not all of them. There will be one clear need that likely ends up underwhelming. And I think the post-free agency period will be huge for that. After last year’s draft, they signed Chandon Sullivan, Markus Golden, and Kwon Alexander to bolster their team. But if they want to try and maximize filling as many voids in the 2024 NFL Draft as possible, trading back and acquiring another day two pick looks appetizing.

That gives the team room to lake luxury picks when talented players are on the board, something they were allowed to do multiple times in the 2023 NFL Draft, which seems to have extremely positive early returns. For a general manager like Khan, that is a good process, but it is also good process to stick and take the talented player at your pick. So, it seems likely the Steelers will stick at 20th overall.

Alan Saunders provided reporting from Pittsburgh.