Armchair GM

Armchair GM: Should Steelers Trade Bell for Future QB? – Here’s How it Might Work

November 10, 2017
9 minutes read
Armchair GM: Should Steelers Trade Bell for Future QB? – Here’s How it Might Work

This is the Year to Draft a Quarterback

Now, hold on to your socks and don’t let your hair catch on fire when I tell you what the Steelers need to do get their Quarterback of the future. This is a great Draft for Quarterbacks BUT there’s about eight teams in need of an upgrade at that position in 2018. If the Steelers hold on their present course they will be making their first selection somewhere in the late 20’s at the highest. There are about three prime prospects and about another five good prospects who could be available this year. The Steelers will have to trade up if they want to get what I and others consider the cream of the crop.

Those quarterbacks are. Josh Rosen UCLA, Mason Rudolph Oklahoma St. and Sam Darnold of USC. All three of these players will definitely be gone within the first ten picks, probably within the first seven. Josh Allen gets a lot of hype but it’s difficult to tell how good he is with the lousy Wyoming team he’s playing with.

Find a Trade Partner

The teams with the most loses and less likely to turn it around before the season is over is:

1 Cleveland Browns – 0-8 – High QB need – but they’ll screw it up
2 San Francisco 49ers – 0-8 – Low need due to Garoppolo trade
3 New York Giants – 1-6 – Moderate QB need to get Manning’s successor
4 Tamp Bay Bucs – 2-5 – Low need – they still believe in Winston
5 Indianapolis Colts – 2-5 – Need dependent on Luck’s shoulder
6 New York Jets – 3-5 – High QB need – may be too stupid to realize it
7 Chicago Bears – 3-5 – Low need they’ve got Trubisky
8 Oakland Raiders – 3-5 – Low need they just paid Carr
9 San Diego Chargers – 3-5 – Moderate need to get Rivers’ successor

I think it’s clear to see San Francisco is the Steelers most likely trade partner, followed by the Colts if Luck’s shoulder is okay and Giants if they still believe in Eli. No matter what, the Steelers don’t want to trade within the division so the Browns are out.

Let’s go with San Francisco. The Steelers will never be able to pay LeVeon Bell what he thinks he’s worth. They can afford to franchise him for one more year but that’s about it. Bell has shown he’s a mercenary. His hold out was probably responsible for the Steelers slow start and despite Todd Haley’s ridiculous over reliance on him he is still averaging under four yards a carry. Yes, he’s a great player but he’s not as important as the Steelers’ future.

LeVeon Bell is expendable.

Bell won’t be enough to get the #1 or 2 overall pick from the 49ers but if we add malcontent WR Martavis Bryant to the equation? Now we’ve given the Niners two big offensive weapons to go with their nice shiny Garoppolo. If that’s still not enough start with mid-round draft picks and stop when they’ve said, ‘enough’. Sending Bell far away will keep his chances of being a spoiler to a minimum.

So What Happens in the Draft?

Rd 1 – Steelers may have the pick of Rosen, Darnold or Rudolph. I personally like Rudolph the best but any one of these players should have very good NFL careers.

Analytics tell us they are all in the top 5 prospects for 2018… if you believe in analytics.. A lot of people are high on Josh Allen and I think he’s good, just not as good as these three.

I’m breaking down the top 5 QB prospects starting with Baker Mayfield at #6 … yeah, I know… Look for those articles on the Pittsburgh-Blitz!!!

Rd 2 – Running Back – Steelers have to fill Bell’s roster spot. Ronald Jones II USC, Akrum Wadley, Iowa and Royce Freeman, Oregon are all good prospects of equal value. Wadley is the best receiver out of the bunch and has experience returning kicks. The Steelers return teams currently suck so that’s a big plus

Rd 3 – Tight End – As much as I hate to admit it, Jesse James just isn’t getting it done. Vance McDonald has as many catches as he has drops and Xavier Grimble has been MIA.

Mark Andrews of Oklahoma is a big blocking TE with excellent hands and some moves after the catch. Troy Fumagali of Wisconsin and Dallas Goedert of S Dakota St are of a similar mode. Goedert is probably the best receiver out of the group but they’re all good in that regard. This pick is to find a new starter and have James and McDonald move down the depth chart accordingly.

Rd 3 (Comp pick for Timmons) – Safety – Steelers are pretty well stacked at Cornerback but Safety could use some competition. Quinn Blanding of Virginia is a very good Free Safety prospect with the flexibility to play Strong Safety, as well. Jordan Whitehead, Pitt and Damon Webb of OSU are other options.

Rd 4 – Traded away for Butterfingers McDonald.

Rd 5 – I’ve really only got one guy here and I like him so much I’m tempted to use a 3rd Rd pick on him. Martez Carter of Grambling is a very exiting runner in the vein of the Bears Tarik Cohen but built more solidly. Carter is also a crack return specialist doing both punts and kick.

The Steelers have been looking for this player for years. The Stefan Logans, Barron Batchs and Dri Archers have come and gone, maybe Martez will be the one to stick. The Steelers have fallen out of love with WR Eli Rogers so this pick is to fill his spot.

Rd 5 – Defensive Line or ILB – T.J. Watt’s old teammate Jack Cichy may be available here. He had a season ending injury this year which should effect his draft stock. Cichy has been team captain and a very good interior linebacker for the Badgers. He will have had a whole year to recover from an ACL tear. Cichy would give L.J. Fort competition for a roster spot. If DT/DE B.J. Hill of N.C. State falls this far the Steelers have to take him.

Rd 6 – Got traded for Safety, J.J. Wilcox (nice value addition)

Rd 7 – Go for ILB or Defensive line depth depending on how Rd 5 went.

Rd 7 – Add another Safety depth candidate.

So, that’s the way I see it. What do you think? Am I crazy for wanting to trade Bell or should the Steelers dump him while they can still get high value for him? What do you think of the rest of the Draft strategy? Speak out in the comment section below!

Go Stillers!!!

Jeffrey Burton

106 posts


  1. mm Jack Huber

    The best qb in the draft is Princeton’s Kanoff. I’m serious! Check him out. A Brady clone, super smart, with gray arm and leadership skills. Probably get him round 4 or lower. Real sleeper. 6’4″ and 210, easily 220.

    Love to know your evaluation.

  2. mm Mr. McBlitzface

    I think Riley Ferguson is way underrated but if the Steelers want a sure thing they’re going to have to move up in the Draft. I think it depends on how things go in the off-season with Bell.