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Steelers, Jets Had Deal in Place so Pittsburgh Could Move Up for DeCastro in 1st

The Steelers might have been willing to give a lot more than the 24th pick of the first round to get David DeCastro
The Steelers might have been willing to give a lot more than the 24th pick of the first round to get David DeCastroJared Wickerham/Getty Images
Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterNovember 7, 2016

After the draft, Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert left the question of whether the team was trying to move up for Stanford OG David DeCastro to our imaginations. Last night, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora gave us a concrete picture to replace the speculation in our heads:

 

 

Interesting note on Bruce Irvin, the 1st 1st rounder to sign. Jets and Steelers had a draft-deal essentially done for NY to drop back ...

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 8, 2012

 

 

If we take this at face value, it confirms some of what we've heard from the Jets beat writers about their intentions in the draft and casts doubt on other insider information. 

Last week, Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News reported that DeCastro would have been the pick if Coples hadn't fallen to No. 16 and the Jets couldn't find a trade-down partner. According to La Canfora, the Jets found their trade-down partner, but they got spooked when only one of their targets fell to No. 16—the other being Seattle Seahawks No. 15 pick DE/OLB Bruce Irvin, not DeCastro. It certainly seems like DeCastro, not Irvin, would have been the other trade down target if Mehta's report was correct about DeCastro being the fallback pick at No. 16.

The other scenario is that the Jets never expected DeCastro to fall to a later pick they acquired in a trade down, but they did think Irvin could. So, by trading down, they would effectively lose their shot at DeCastro, but not Irvin. The problem with this theory is that Rex Ryan said the team had eventual second-round pick WR Stephen Hill ahead of Irvin on their board. 

One explanation for all of this conflicting information is that the Jets don't want it to look like the Seahawks stole Irvin from right under their nose, but that would then throw La Canfora's report into doubt, a report that's consistent with the Steelers' mood and innuendo after the draft.

Whatever the real truth is about the machinations of the Steelers and Jets on draft night, we can all agree that it looks like the Steelers were one of the luckiest teams in the first round, and they may owe an assist to the Seattle Seahawks.

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