Do the Steelers still need wide receiver help after the Allen Robinson trade?

Steelers, Allen Robinson
Steelers, Allen Robinson / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Since the end of the 2022 season, wide receiver is one of many positions fans believed would be on the radar of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the offseason. Apart from a promising rookie season from George Pickens, the supporting cast was unspectacular, and Diontae Johnson proved to be one of the least efficient receivers in the league last season.

Some fans chalked this up to injuries. Both rookie Calvin Austin III and veteran Anthony Miller missed the entire season on the injured reserve list. However, realists know that the talent issue runs deeper than the injured depth at the position.

Recently, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded with the Los Angeles Rams for veteran receiver, Allen Robinson. During his only season in LA, the former Pro Bowl receiver looked like anything but -- catching just 33 passes on 52 targets for 339 yards in 10 games, according to ESPN stats.

Robinson was really a non-factor on a bottom-dwelling team. However, injuries have prevented him from seeing the field for more than 12 games in a season since an impressive year in 2020. In that season with the Bears, Robinson earned 102 receptions on 151 targets for 1,250 yards and 6 touchdowns.

It was because of his outstanding seasons in 2019 and 2020 that the Rams were willing to fork up big for him last year in free agency. Obviously, offering him a three-year, $46.5 million contract proved to be a colossal mistake. But that doesn't necessarily mean he will be bad for the Steelers.

At 29 years old, Robinson is looking to get back to full health for a bounce-back year on a new team. The early word is that the Steelers will have him man duties from the slot during his 10th NFL season. While not necessarily known for his route-running, Robinson had just a 2.2 percent drop rate since 2020 -- making him one of the most shore-handed receivers in the league over the past three years.

With the decision to trade for the veteran receiver, has Pittsburgh done enough to fill the need at the position, or should they look to add a talented receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Steelers should pass on WR in the NFL Draft

There's no doubt that wide receiver is one of the most important positions in football. In fact, Pro Football Focus' WAR metric (wins above replacement) would suggest that they are second in terms of value only to quarterbacks.

After selecting Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick last year, the Steelers need to make sure that he's surrounded by weapons. Though I still think Pittsburgh's receiving corps has some work to do, I think they should pass on the position altogether in the upcoming NFL Draft.

For starters, this is a relatively poor receiver class -- both in terms of depth and top-end talent. For this reason, receivers are likely to be over-drafted in each round as teams are always desperate for offensive play-makers.

Taking one in the first two rounds should be out of the question at this point, and the lack of interest in the early-round receivers during the pre-draft process shows us that this probably isn't a realistic possibility. However, they should also pass on the position later on.

With at least some respectable depth on the roster at this point, the Steelers need at least one receiver who can excel on special teams. Taking one in the draft would force a player like Gunner Olszewski or Anthony Miller off the roster. This isn't necessarily a big deal, but with so many other pressing positions of need, it may not be worth taking a flyer to try to upgrade the position.

I also would like to at least see what Calvin Austin can do before giving up on him completely. With Robinson added to the fold, Austin just needs to be a serviceable number-four receiver who can play in the slot and likely handle punt return duties. If he can stay healthy, he may be able to add a spark to the offense.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers certainly still have work to do in this department, but I think they should take a harder look at receivers during the 2023 offseason when there won't be such slim pickings to choose from. I still think this is a very average WR room, but with continued improvement from George Pickens and with Robinson and Austin in the mix this year, perhaps they can take a step forward in 2023.