Steelers missed an opportunity to trade for Rams WR Ben Skowronek

Size, blocking, and special teams ability would have made Ben Skowronek worth a late-round pick swap from the Steelers.
Los Angeles Rams v New York Giants
Los Angeles Rams v New York Giants / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

After adding a trio of free-agent wide receivers and selecting Roman Wilson in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers still find themselves with a need at wide receiver. This is largely because they haven't been able to find the type of receiver they need.

Shortly after drafting Wilson, the Steelers added veteran WR Scotty Miller to the mix. Now Wilson and Miller will compete with players like Quez Watkins, Van Jefferson, and Calvin Austin III. What Pittsburgh is missing is a big-bodied outside receiver who can block and play special teams.

A player who fits this description perfectly just became available... for a few hours anyway.

Shortly after reports surfaced that Ben Skowronek was being released, the Rams were able to trade him to the Houston Texans, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported. The former Notre Dame product played a limited role as a rookie in 2021 but saw his usage increase in 2022 when he started 11 games and caught 39 passes for 376 yards.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network confirms that the Texans and Rams will swap sixth and seventh-round picks in the 2026 NFL Draft.

With the emergence of Puka Nacua, Skowronek became expendable and he is now a free agent. His skillset would have had both offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and special teams coordinator Danny Smith salivating. Unfortunately, the receiver they thought was getting released is no longer an option after his trade to the Texans.

Steelers should have traded for WR Ben Skowronek

As a wide receiver, Ben Skowronek doesn't offer a skill set you can't find elsewhere. He has never been efficient on a per-target basis, and he's not a player who you are going to funnel your offense through. Having said that, Skowronek could be just what the Pittsburgh Steelers need.

At nearly 6'3'' and 220 pounds with 33 1/4'' arms, Skowronek uses his size to his advantage as a blocker and is willing to throw his body in the mix. This makes him an ideal receiver to have on the field in Pittsburgh's projected run-heavy offense.

However, it's his special teams ability that will have Steelers coaches pounding the table to sign Skowronek. In three seasons, the former seventh-round pick has logged a whopping 569 snaps on special teams -- 327 of these came in 2023, per Pro Football Reference.

Skowronek fits a very similar role that Mack Hollins had with Arthur Smith in Atlanta. he's a big-bodied receiver who can block and play special teams. On an offense that intends to run frequently, this is a player who could see the field quite often.

In a lot of ways, Skowronek would be like adding a younger, fresher Miles Boykin back on the team. He won't play a huge role as a receiver, but Pittsburgh desperately needs to add a player of his skill set to the mix.

Even after the Steelers added three free-agent receivers and a wide receiver in the NFL Draft, Ben Skowronek would have been the perfect receiver to swap future late-round picks for in a trade. His special teams ability, size, and willingness as a blocker make him a great fit in Pittsburgh.