Should the Steelers trade for Browns TE David Njoku?

David Njoku Cleveland Browns (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
David Njoku Cleveland Browns (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Steelers were rumored to be interested in taking David Njoku in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Should Pittsburgh look to trade for the Browns tight end?

After the 2017 NFL Draft was complete, there were rumors that the Steelers were interested in taking Miami tight end, David Njoku, with the 30th overall pick in the draft. Fortunately, he wound up going one pick earlier to the Cleveland Browns (I say this because Pittsburgh ended up taking T.J. Watt with their pick). Though we can’t say for sure if Njoku would have been the pick over Watt, it’s not hard to see why he was on their radar.

The Steelers tight end situation was a mess coming out of the 2016 season. Jesse James was in just his second NFL season, while Ladarius Green – who was signed to be a vertical threat from the slot and a reliable option over the field – played in just 6 games before concussion scares forced him to retire early.

Pittsburgh was without a true number one tight end, and Njoku checked every box the Steelers typically look for at the position. Recently, the Cleveland Browns tight end has requested to be traded. With Austin Hooper added to an already impressive list of skill players, apparently the former first-round pick wants out.

Should the Steelers be interested in a trade for Njoku?

Before Pittsburgh landed Eric Ebron in free agency, I would have said Pittsburgh’s interest level would have been very high. Njoku is a long, young and athletic, and fits the mold of what they have been searching for at the position.

However, it’s highly unlikely this deal would get done for a number of reasons.

For starters, trading inside the division is rare. The Steelers did so this offseason with the Baltimore Ravens for Chris Wormley, but he doesn’t present a threat near the level that Njoku could if paired with Ben Roethlisberger.

It’s also unlikely because of the arsenal of weapons the Steelers already have. After spending two second-round picks and a third-round pick on receivers from 2017 to 2019, Pittsburgh spent another second-rounder on Chase Claypool this offseason and signed former Pro Bowl tight end, Eric Ebron in free agency.

In addition, David Njoku is entering the last year of his rookie deal. While the fifth-year option could be on the table, the talented tight end will no doubt be searching for a lucrative new extension – one the Steelers will not be able to afford to give him.

Next. Ben Roethlisberger could set records in his 17th NFL season. dark

I’m certainly intrigued by the thought of adding a player as talented as Njoku to an offense that should already be on the rise. But if the former first-round tight end does indeed get traded before the season, I can almost assure you that it won’t be to the Pittsburgh Steelers.