3 Steelers players who could be traded before the season starts

  • Could the Steelers end an experiment on the defensive line?
  • Veterans sliding on the depth chart could make them expendable

Steelers, Levi Wallace
Steelers, Levi Wallace / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Omar Khan has shown very early in his tenure as general manager that he's not afraid of pulling the trigger on a trade -- even if that means parting ways with a starting player for draft capital. This happened just before the trade deadline last year when the Pittsburgh Steelers shipped former second-round receiver, Chase Claypool, to the Chicago Bears.

Since then, Khan has made other trades including trading both up and back in the NFL Draft and trading for veteran receiver, Allen Robinson. The aggressiveness to move around is all there, and if Khan thinks he has a chance to improve his roster or add draft capital for next year, he might not hesitate to make it happen.

In the past, it hasn't come as a surprise to see Pittsburgh trade for players in the summer or during the preseason. They did this just two years back for LB Joe Schobert. Though it might be less likely that the Steelers would be willing to part with talent on their team, here are three players who at least have a chance to be traded before the season starts.

Steelers could trade DL DeMarvin Leal

It's highly unlikely that you see a franchise like the Pittsburgh Steelers give up on a former mid-round draft pick during just his second NFL training camp, and it's not likely to happen this year either. However, you don't have to search very far to find the reason why DeMarvin Leal could be a potential trade asset.

Once thought of as a future top-5 draft choice, the Texas A&M product slipped in the 2022 NFL Draft after a down season and underwhelming athletic testing at the NFL Combine. At the time, Leal was still considered one of the best players on the board when the Steelers snatched him up with the 84th overall pick in the third round of the draft.

However, we said from the start that Leal is an odd scheme fit. The oversized edge defender in college plays like a base defensive end in an even front, but for the Steelers, what is he? Some worry that Leal is caught between a 3-4 base outside linebacker and a 5-technique. These two positions couldn't be more different.

If the Steelers get through the first few weeks of camp and decide that they don't know where to play him, Leal could be dealt to a team that is a better scheme fit. He's still young and talented and should draw trade interest. Considering that Pittsburgh doesn't have the depth to give away on the defensive line, this is very unlikely to happen, but the reasoning for a potential parting makes sense. The Steelers could try to recoup an early Day 3 draft pick that they could throw back into the defensive line in 2024.