3 players Steelers could trade during draft season

Pittsburgh could be headed in a new direction, and these three players could be traded during draft season.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, and hundreds of new players will be on NFL rosters soon. the Pittsburgh Steelers have seven selections in the upcoming draft, and many of these players will take the place of those currently on the roster.

Obviously, not every player on the team is in jeopardy of losing their roster spot. But with a new front office and several coaching changes in place, Pittsburgh could be looking to move in a direction that doesn't include some of the players from their old regime.

We have already gotten a great taste of how aggressive Omar Khan can be when it comes to trades. Last year, he traded for Allen Robinson just days before the 2023 draft and he went on to make two trades during the draft.

Khan could get aggressive once more. This time, he could look to flip some Kevin Colbert draft picks and roster decisions for extra late-round draft capital. Here are three Steelers players who could be traded during draft season.

1. Larry Ogunjobi, DL

One of the biggest mistakes that Omar Khan made early in his tenure was offering up a new three-year, $28.75 million contract to Larry Ogunjobi. This was a player that Colbert originally signed to a one-year deal just months before he would have his final send-off following the 2022 draft.

Unfortunately, Ogunjobi hasn't come close to living up to his pay grade. The good news is that his extremely manageable base salary makes him a candidate to be traded, as he will cost his new team just $5 million in 2024 and $4 million in 2025, per Over the Cap.

If the Steelers designate Ogunjobi as a post-June 1st trade, it would save Pittsburgh $9.75 million in 2024 with just a $3.53 million dead money hit. The Steelers have had their eyes on big, long defensive linemen in the early-to-mid rounds of the NFL Draft, and Ogunjobi doesn't fit the profile they are looking for.

Omar Khan could wash his hands of this poor financial decision and start over by adding a talented defensive lineman to pair with Keeanu Benton for the foreseeable future.

2. DeMarvin Leal, DL

Larry Ogunjobi isn't the only interior defender who doesn't fit with the program in Pittsburgh. DeMarvin Leal's fit with the team was questioned the moment he was drafted. Most Steelers fans were able to look past this, as the value of landing the former five-star recruit in the third round seemed too good to pass up.

Sadly, Leal proved to be a tweener in a negative way, as he was too slow to play on the edge and too weak to hold up inside. Leal has added some mass to his frame since measuring in at 6 3 7/8'' and 283 pounds at the NFL Combine, but his usage in Pittsburgh went down in his second season, and he was a healthy scratch late in the year.

His youth (23 years old) and reputation as a former third-round pick could be enticing enough for another team to take a shot on him in a trade -- not to mention he has two years remaining on his rookie contract.

If he lands with the right system, Leal could revitalize his NFL career. If he stays in Pittsburgh, he's not guaranteed to make the final roster in 2024. It's better to try to swap him for a late-round pick now than potentially get from him at all this season.

3. Calvin Austin, WR

Like DeMarvin Leal, Calvin Austin III was one of Kevin Colbert's final draft choices. However, Colbert isn't running the show anymore, and after two seasons of making a minimal impact on offense, Austin could be on his way out.

After trading Diontae Johnson, Austin's chances of carving out a role went up. Not long after, however, the Steelers signed a pair of receivers in Van Jefferson and Quez Watkins.

Something we know about Arthur Smith's offense is that he likes big receivers who can block in space for his zone system to work effectively. This does not fit the description of Calvin Austin. If Khan doesn't believe he will be used often on offense or special teams, he could cut his losses and trade Austin for a late-round pick swap ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.