3 players Steelers should put on the trade block during the 2024 NFL Draft

These players no longer fit with the program and could land on the trade block on draft day.
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

After ushering in a new regime in 2023, it could be 'out with the old' for some players added at the tail-end of Kevin Colbert's tenure as general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers. New GM Omar Khan, along with assistant GM Andy Weidl, are going to want to build the roster their own way, and that could involve trading some players the team spent good money or draft capital to acquire.

Khan is early in his tenure as general manager, but this wouldn't be the first time he has done something like this. Last year, Pittsburgh traded Kevin Dotson and fellow offensive lineman Kendrick Green before the 2023 season kicked off. Not long after the season, he sent Kenny Pickett and Diontae Johnson packing.

This year, he could be open to shopping players during the NFL Draft who don't fit the new direction of their team. Khan made two trades during the draft last season (moving up in the first round and trading back to recoup a fourth-round pick).

Pittsburgh isn't going to get their investment back out of these trades, but sometimes it's better to move on from a player and get something rather than sitting on your hands and getting nothing out of them. Here are three Steelers players who could be traded during the 2024 NFL Draft.

DeMarvin Leal, DL

I'll take the loss on this one. I was a fan of DeMarvin Leal during the pre-draft process. His youth and production in the SEC were enough to lead me to believe that he could be a better player at the next level and a quality Day 2 pick. This hasn't been the case.

There were questions about where Leal would fit on the team. Sadly, he has proven to be a 'tweener' in a bad way. The young defensive lineman is too slow to play on the edge, and he lacks the power and core strength to hold up consistently at the point of attack on the interior.

At 6'3 7/8'' and 283 pounds coming into the league, Leal wasn't able to make the transition to an interior defensive lineman like the Steelers hoped he would. As a result, he is set to be buried on the depth chart -- especially if Pittsburgh looks to take another interior defender on Day 2 of the draft this year.

This doesn't mean that there won't be a team willing to give him a shot. Leal is a quality athlete, and the former five-star recruit was one of the youngest players to enter the NFL in the 2022 NFL Draft. Leal just turned 23 years old and has two years remaining on his rookie contract. The Steelers could trade him for a late-round pick swap to climb a bit higher in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Pat Freiermuth, TE

Pat Freiermuth had a very promising start to his NFL career, as he became the first tight end to ever record at least 60 receptions in each of his first two seasons. Unfortunately, injuries set in and he has been dealing with lingering hamstring issues, concussions, and knee sprains.

Freiermuth was a complete non-factor on Pittsburgh's offense when healthy in his third season, and his production took a major dip. Matt Canada is gone, and Arthur Smith is known for utilizing tight ends in his offense, but he needs tight ends who can block well (which isn't Freiermuth's forte).

Entering a contract year, the Steelers may not be willing to offer an extension to a player who can't stay on the field and who might not mesh with their new offense in 2024. However, on the right team, Freiermuth could be a weapon.

The MyCole Pruitt signing just weeks before the 2024 NFL Draft could mean the Steelers are leaving no stone unturned. As we saw with Diontae Johnson, sometimes the scheme fit is more important to the offensive coordinator than the overall talent.

This would be Omar Khan's opportunity to hit the reset button and pick up a mid-to-late-round draft pick he could throw back into a healthier tight end who fits their scheme. It's better to get something out of Freiermuth rather than let him walk in free agency next year and get nothing at all -- especially if there are no plans to increase his minimal role in the passing game.

Larry Ogunjobi, DL

The Larry Ogunjobi signing was originally a Kevin Colbert decision that took place during the 2022 free agency period. However, Omar Khan has nobody to blame but himself when he gift-wrapped Ogunjobi a three-year, $28.75 million extension during the 2023 offseason (his first full offseason as GM).

Ogunjobi hasn't earned a fraction of that money so far, and last season, he looked like a replacement-level starter on Pittsburgh's defensive line. If the Steelers were to make him a post-June 1st trade, they could save $9.75 million towards their salary cap for the upcoming season.

Ogunjobi isn't a great player at this stage of his career, but his $5 million base salary in 2024 and $4 million base salary in 2025 is enticing enough to get another NFL team to bite on a trade. The Pittsburgh Steelers could ditch a bad contract for an average player while picking up a future late-round pick and saving money to throw back into the DL before training camp.