If not, take someone else....
Yes, it depends on who is left after the first 16 picks and who the Steelers deem 1st round worthy. With more needs than usual the position might not be at the forefront as much as the player in how he helps the team now and into the future. As mentioned here we have some aging players on defense that will need replaced in the next few years, like Troy,Clark,Kiesel and Ike. Then we have to consider ILB in that group with Foote.
OLB, seems to be a popular pick in many mocks, but do we really need an OLB as much as these other positions above? Woodley and Worlids are younger players so I don't know if OLB is a priority unless the Steelers want some insurance in case we lose one of them next season and have a quality backup in place. Worlids might have a great year and his contract will be up next season so that could be part of the reasoning in drafting an OLB in case Worlids wants more than the Steelers are willing to pay.
On the offensive front we'll need RB, WR, and it wouldn't hurt to get a tackle or TE either, but as stated the Steelers have their board and it might be different from what fans think. I think all of can agree on positions that need filled, the issue with fans is who should be selected @ 17 thats where the difference of opinions come in.
Tyler Eifert might not be the white knight, but looks to be NFL prepared to help the team like the Steelers, no off field issues, injuries, and a good character player something I believe the Steelers value. I have my doubts if the Steelers would pick him @ 17 considering all the other needs but for me personally I would love the pick.
What I said above is that the 1st round is weak. There is a big talent drop off. You can argue there are less than 20 players that are true 1st round talents in this class. They wouldn't be considered in the 1st in other drafts with talent added to their positions. There is true value for some players to be selected at #17. Meaning, That is where they grade out in this draft and they would still stack up there if top talent was added to their position. They aren't there because lack of prospects...They are there because the deserve to be. In my list of Patterson, Rhodes, & Austin...They are players who grade out at the end of the drop off they may be available. Then my trade down line exists because the next group excluding Cooper represents lower grades. Cooper is on that side of the line because the Steelers really don't need to spend a 1st on a OG this year. They do need depth. Foster's contract is very cap friendly and back-up numbers. Cooper would be a signficant upgrade over Foster. The whole "1st round OL" in future contracts could be an issue. But if the Steelers have to pick at #17 and Cooper is there...There is just too much drop off to not select him. He is ligit 1st round talent. I don't want an OL in the 1st but if you stick to your board for BPA...He would be it.
That is a dilemma that teams face in some drafts 1st round in a negative way. But it goes both ways in a positive draft where there is alot of talent at the top and 1st round talents gets pushed to the 2nd. This isn't one of those drafts early. This draft is rich through the middle...Rounds 2-4. You are going to get talent pushed into a later round because of it. That is where the value is if you could get there. In my list above...Eifert, Vacarro, Trufant, & Jones are not #17 talent IMO. However, I would take any of them in the 1st if you add a 3rd round pick to their value. Of course you need a trade partner & that is a given anytime someone mentions it. If they don't have a partner...They are the next best players available. They aren't great value at #17....But the Steelers have no choice if they can't get out.
This isn't a unique situation to this draft. It has happened before. I will explain the thought process. Usually the target becomes a "premium" position when the grades are close and a team is stuck or the Top guy at a position. Many teams also consider "depth" of the position in following rounds. I will start on the offensive side. Since it seems high for (WR) Woods, Hopkins, & Allen they aren't there. WR is deep and after the TOP tier is gone, there is a large group graded together. This could be the time where a LT needy team reaches a bit for a Watson but the Steelers aren't in that catergory. That would be the same scenario for a QB when it comes to the Steelers. Those 2 positions are "premium" so you see reaches there. No RB worthy as 1st round consideration IMO. So the highest rated TE is still on the board. Now, Like I said, Eifert IMO is border line 1st-2nd round talent if I peg 1st round TEs in from prvious drafts or other TEs drafted in the 2nd. In a weak draft at the top, he gets pushed up higher than he should be. In this draft, he could be BPA at that time. HE wouldn't be a great value pick at #17 but he may be BPA so that has to be the pick if stuck.
On the defenside side, the #1 S and highest rated defensive prospect would be Vacarro. Again, not great value IMO if you have to take him at #17 but if they are stuck...He may be the pick. I would rather have Elam if they could trade down or Cyprien in the 2nd. CB is one of those "premium" positions. Not a 2013 immediate need at CB but next year is in question. Trufant would be the next best value. DTs & 4-3 DEs are a premium. Since the Steelers seem to be set at DL I eliminated them. ILBs seem to be graded lower that Vacarro & Trufant IMO so none listed. OLBs are great value to a 3-4 team but seem to be "project" players in the DL system. I am tempted to List Arthur Brown ahead of Jones on that list. The more and more tape I watch on Jones he falls & the more and more tape I watch on Brown & Collins they rise. It is all about the "transition" to the next level. So I will change it here. I would remove Jones from that list in favor of Arthur Brown. I would much rather have Collins than Jones. Jones's floor might be set higher but Collins ceiling far surpasses Jones's.
If the first round is "weak" then why would any team want to give up picks to move up in a "weak" draft?
Every year we have these brilliant tradedown scenarios. Expect we will be picking at #17.