In need of improving their rushing attack, the Pittsburgh Steelers should be figuring out what it would take to acquire Leonard Fournette from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Since he entered the NFL in 2017, current Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has faced the Pittsburgh Steelers three times. In these three matchups against the Steelers, Fournette has averaged 128 rushing yards and scored a total of six touchdowns.
So it’s easy to assume that Pittsburgh is very familiar with the talent possessed by the Jaguars running back. Are Fournette’s skills impressive enough for the Steelers to make a trade for him though?
This might be something Pittsburgh will get to explore in the near future as Jacksonville has reportedly had discussions with teams around the league to ship the running back elsewhere according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
With their lack of selections in this year’s NFL Draft, it might be harder for the Steelers to acquire Fournette than some of the other interested teams. However, Pittsburgh should at least be calling the Jaguars to find out what it would take to land the talented running back.
Some may feel the Steelers are fine with James Conner as their starter in the backfield. But Fournette would be a much better option for Pittsburgh as their starting running back than Conner.
The Jacksonville running back is coming off an impressive 2019 campaign that saw him finish with 1,674 total yards. Fournette only scored three touchdowns last season, but he ended up with at least six scores in each of his first two years with the Jaguars.
The Steelers were down on Conner last season and injuries were a big reason why. He appears to be better suited for an offense where he isn’t the primary running back.
If Pittsburgh were able to figure out a way to use both Conner and Fournette in their offense, it could potentially be a lethal combo. Shifting Conner into more of a third-down role could be what he needs in order to last for an entire season.
It’s currently unknown what Jacksonville is looking for in exchange for Fournette, but one should imagine it has to at least be an early-round draft pick. With the Jaguars already having 12 selections in this year’s draft, however, they might be willing to complete a trade for the running back that involves picks from 2021.
If this is the case, then the Steelers could be a serious contender to land Fournette before the start of next season. If not, the best Pittsburgh might be willing to offer from this year’s current draft picks would be their third-rounder and possibly one of their two fourth-round selections as well.
The Steelers only have six draft picks right now (including none in the first round), so they might not feel like parting with one of their early-round selections is worth landing Fournette.
Whether or not they end up trading for the Jaguars running back, Pittsburgh has to do something to improve their rushing attack before next season. Returning with the same backfield from a 2019 roster that finished last year with the third-lowest average per carry doesn’t seem like the best decision to make.