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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Tried to Trade up with Seahawks in NFL Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers apparently tried to trade up to the 16th overall pick with the Seahawks to potentially select Troy Fautanu.



Pittsburgh Steelers OT Troy Fautanu
Steelers first-round pick offensive tackle Troy Fautanu during his introductory press conference on April 27, 2024. -- Ed Thompson/ Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers sat on pins and needles, waiting for Troy Fautanu to fall to them at 20th overall. But Omar Khan almost did not wait. He called the Seattle Seahawks for the 16th overall pick, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN. There were many other teams trying to move up into that slot, but Seattle ended up picking Byron Murphy.

“In the meantime, the Seahawks were discussing trade-back scenarios with the Pittsburgh Steelers (who picked 20th), Philadelphia Eagles (22nd), Minnesota Vikings (23rd), Green Bay Packers (25th) and Atlanta Falcons (43rd), according to sources,” Henderson wrote.

This is not that surprising. Khan noted that the team was ‘working the phones’ to try and get up for Fautanu. But they never had to, as he fell right into their laps at the 20th overall selection.

“We were working the phones hoping the opportunity was there to draft Troy,” Khan said on the Pat McAfee Show. “Fortunately, he was still there at 20 when we weren’t able to get a deal done. But we got him at 20 and I can’t tell you how excited we are to have him. He’s a Steeler.”

What was the cause of Fautanu’s slide? It was the same reason that the Seahawks reportedly removed him from their board, the knee issue that was red-flagged by teams before the NFL Draft.

“Washington OT Troy Fautanu’s knee was flagged. That one was described to me as the sort of issue that shouldn’t be a problem in the short term, but could wind up impacting his longevity in the pros (though his high football character is a factor in making teams feel like he’ll do all he can to take care of it, and give himself the best chance),” Albert Breer wrote.

Fautanu said the injury that was flagged was an older one that hasn’t bothered him in some time.

“That knee thing hasn’t bothered me in years,” he told reporters after being drafted. “If you come out playing football for years and years and you don’t get injured, you’re like a pony. I understand the physicality that I do play with. Sometimes, things are going to happen like that. But that doesn’t stop me from showing up to work every day and playing the way that I do play.”

Fautanu didn’t miss a game once he worked his way into the starting lineup at Washington, playing all 13 games in 2022 and 15 games in 2023.

Fautanu was the No. 7 player on our Top 100 big board and Steelers Now projected him to go No. 16 to the Seattle Seahawks. His NFL Mock Draft Database average also had him going to Seattle.