Steelers Surprised To Get 3rd Rounder For Martavis Bryant

Trade Sends Receiver to Raiders

Eric Hagman
April 27, 2018 - 8:11 am
Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert

93.7 The Fan

Pittsburgh (93.7 The Fan) - Thursday's first round of the NFL draft was filled with Steelers surprises. 

Ryan Shazier's walk to the podium at AT&T Stadium to announce the team's selection was as unexpected as it was inspirational.  The name that Shazier announced  was equally surprising.  Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds was not projected to go in the first round.  NFL Network's Mike Mayock rated Edmunds the 73rd prospect, while  NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein put a third or fourth round grade on him.

Another surprise occurred prior to the Steelers making the 28th selection.  They traded receiver Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders for a third-round draft choice, the 79th overall pick. 

General manager Kevin Colbert said at the NFL Combine two months ago that the Steelers were not looking to move Bryant, who had asked to be traded last October.  

So what happened between February and Thursday?   The Raiders made an offer the Steelers couldn't refuse.

'As we've stated throughout the winter, we weren't interested in trading Martavis," Colbert said following the deal.  "We weren't making calls in that regard, teams were calling us, but weren't offering anything that would interest us in trading a player of his caliber.  When it got to the third round, we felt that was something very interesting to us and pulled the trigger on the deal."

Bryant is in the final year of his rookie contract and has a history of failed drug tests. Before the Raiders stepped forward, teams were reluctant to offer anything earlier than a fifth-round pick.

The trade would seem to leave the Steelers in the market to take a receiver on day two of the draft.  They will select 28th in the second round and will have the 15th and 28th picks in the third round.