3 Steelers who must be on the trade block during the 2023 NFL Draft

Steelers, Kevin Dotson
Steelers, Kevin Dotson / Eakin Howard/GettyImages
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1. Diontae Johnson should be on the Steelers trade block

By no means am I suggesting that the Steelers must trade Diontae Johnson. However, it doesn't hurt to gauge the interest of teams and see what a possible trade might fetch for the productive receiver. Johnson hit a career low in terms of efficiency in 2022 -- averaging a dismal 6.0 yards per target and dropping 7 passes. This equated to quarterbacks having just a 58.8 passer rating when targeting their top receiver.

While Johnson does offer an innate ability to create separation at will, he still wasn't worth peppering with targets last season, and he may not fit the long-term plan. Meanwhile, the Steelers were able to get a second-round pick out of a worse player in Chase Claypool, so it's hard to tell how desperate teams could get early on draft day.

If a team makes an offer the Steelers can't refuse, they could throw that pick back into a younger, much cheaper receiver who could fill a similar role on offense. Obviously, this scenario is a stretch, but I'm not a believer that Johnson will become the player fans keep hoping he will be as he is not entering his fifth NFL season.

With the capital the Steelers already possess early in the second round, it wouldn't be hard to go from a player like Diontae Johnson to Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Jordan Addison. It just comes down to whether or not Pittsburgh would be willing to take a risk on an unknown commodity.

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