5 potential trades Steelers must consider before deadline
4. NT Austin Johnson (Tennessee Titans)
Analysis: Unlike Phillips, Johnson doesn’t possess the arm-length that scouts covet. However, he more than makes up for it with his instincts, non-stop motor, and ability to push the pocket on passing downs. A true nose tackle who shows fight on every play despite being double-teamed, Johnson can be seen making plays or wreaking havoc along the line of scrimmage on almost every snap. He’s very sound in maintaining his gap integrity, something that is a must under a 3-4 base, allowing linebackers behind him to make the play. A very underrated 3-4 nose tackle, Johnson will likely not be retained by the Titans, making him a likely trading candidate.
5. DE Quinton Jefferson (Seattle Seahawks)
Analysis: Jefferson may not get the hype along the defensive line, or be a household name, like his teammates DE Jadeveon Clowney, DE Ziggy Ansah, and DT Jarran Reed, but make no mistake, Jefferson is just as important. At 6-4, 291, Jefferson would be a nice rotational player for the Steelers defense, especially in goal-line situations. He’s strong enough to swim-move his way into the backfield and quick enough with his lateral agility to make offensive lineman screw up their pass-sets. Simply put, Jefferson would add another dimension while providing depth and a fountain of youth, for a Steelers defense in need of both.
The Steelers will need to make some adjustments to make up for the significant losses they have suffered early this season. I believe these players would sufficiently fill the needed role.