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Steelers fans are way too impressed by a 2025 sixth-round draft pick

You know how infants act totally surprised when you play peekaboo with them? It doesn’t matter how many times you cover your face with your hands before quickly removing them and then saying, “Peekaboo!” the infants just never stop acting surprised.

Now, substitute infants with Steelers fans and the game peekaboo with the trade Omar Khan made last week when he sent Kendrick Green, a guard/center who was a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, to the Texans in exchange for Houston’s sixth-round selection in the 2025 NFL Draft.

Much like those infants, Steelers fans just can’t seem to stop acting impressed by the fact that Khan conned a team into giving him something, anything, for Green; we’re talking about a player who likely wasn’t even going to make Pittsburgh’s final 53-man roster following an underwhelming preseason that was preceded by two regular seasons from Green that he wish could have been described as underwhelming.

“How did The Khan Artist do it?”

Omar Khan is a wizard. What else could you call him?” That was how writer Chris Mueller began an article that was published in the Beaver County Times regarding Khan and the ongoing love affair the public has with him and his many moves–including the extraction of a future sixth-round draft pick for a player who Pittsburgh currently has no use for.

How could the Texans, those lowly, silly Texans, be so dumb? How could they be so easily duped into giving up something, anything, for Green?

Maybe it’s because Houston needed help along its offensive line and didn’t want to risk Green being signed by another club. Perhaps, it’s because the Texans and most other NFL teams don’t value sixth-round draft picks like the media and fans do.

Seriously, do you think Khan was practicing some form of mind control when you got the Texans to agree to his terms for Green?

This is what happens when the public puts way too much stock in all levels of draft picks. This is what happens when we refer to unused draft choices as “capital.”

I can say the same thing about Khan trading guard Kevin Dotson to the Rams and acquiring a 2024 fourth-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick while parting with a 2024 fifth-round pick and 2025 sixth-round pick.

How could Los Angeles, a team that just won the Super Bowl two years ago, be so gullible?

Again, maybe because the Rams were looking for someone, anyone, to come in and play along the offensive line, and Dotson is actually an experienced player with 30 career starts on his resume. Also, at 27 (on September 18), he is still young enough to become a consistent and highly-performing NFL guard.

I don’t know about you, but I’d say a couple of future mid-round picks are a reasonable price to pay for someone with Dotson’s experience, age, and, perhaps, yet-to-be-realized potential.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Khan has done a tremendous job since taking over as the Steelers general manager following the 2022 NFL Draft. I give kudos to him for his forward thinking, his knack for signing solid free agents to reasonable deals, and his ability to reach long-term extensions with his own players.

If you want me to be amazed on a peekaboo level, talk to me about Khan somehow managing to con the Bears into forking over a 2023 second-round pick last November for the services of receiver Chase Claypool.

In my opinion, that was the kind of move that Kevin Colbert may not have made during his reign as the team’s general manager. Claypool was once a player Colbert and Co. valued enough to use their own second-round pick to draft in 2020. They may have wanted another year to see if their investment could have paid off.

Khan obviously wasn’t as emotionally involved when it came to Claypool, so it may have been easier to shop his services; his negotiating skills should be commended for what he was able to get back in return. It may have also been a stroke of luck that Chicago tanked the rest of the season, which, along with some prior shenanigans by the Dolphins, allowed Pittsburgh to parlay the trade into the 32nd-overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.

But to get a second-round pick at all was amazing.

Second-round picks are expected to start, sooner rather than later. They’re supposed to be a major part of a football team’s future. They’re expected to be bona fide building blocks.

A sixth-round pick, on the other hand? Not so much.

I can’t be certain of this, but the player the Steelers select with that just-acquired 2025 sixth-round pick will probably be more Quincy Roche than Connor Heyward. Sure, fans will react to and have intense debates over the selection, while X’s and O’s types will go all the way back to his high school days to find ways to convince us and themselves that this player could be the “perfect fit for Pittsburgh’s offense/defense.”

But he’ll probably wind up on the practice squad.

So, when asking how Omar Khan was able to get the Texans to give him a 2025 sixth-round pick for the services of Kendrick Green, maybe you should paraphrase Leo from The Departed: “Because it was a sixth-round pick, and Houston’s general manager didn’t give a bleep.”

It’s not supernatural.

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