Proposed Trade Ships Steelers Former 1st-Rounder With ‘Some Untapped Potential’

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

Getty Bleacher Report's Alex Ballentine argued that the Pittsburgh Steelers could be an ideal place for edge rusher Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to receive a fresh start.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could use further secondary upgrades if their defense is going to be Super Bowl caliber in 2024. But for years, the franchise’s bread and butter has been edge rusher. On May 24, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine argued the Steelers could find edge rushing depth and a player with potential in former first-rounder Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.

Ballentine proposed the Steelers land the 25-year-old edge rusher along with a 2025 seventh-round pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a 2025 fifth-rounder.

“Tryon-Shoyinka’s early success and pressure rates would hint at some untapped potential that just might not be reached in Todd Bowles’ defense,” wrote Ballentine.

“T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith obviously do the heavy lifting, and Nick Herbig will eat up some snaps, but the Steelers don’t necessarily have a replacement for what Markus Golden gave them last season.”

“Tryon-Shoyinka would have the opportunity to learn under a coaching staff that has helped Highsmith become a productive starter alongside a superstar in Watt.”

The Buccaneers drafted Tryon-Shoyinka at No. 32 overall in the 2021 NFL draft. But despite being a first-rounder, Tryon-Shoyinka has largely been a disappointment over three seasons with Tampa Bay.

In 51 games, Tryon-Shoyinka has posted 13 sacks with 114 combined tackles, including 18 tackles for loss. He has also recorded 31 quarterback hits, 6 pass defenses and 1 forced fumble.

His playing time on Tampa Bay’s defense decreased from his second to third season. Then on May 1, the Buccaneers declined to pick up Tryon-Shoyinka’s fifth-year option.

How Edge Joe Tryon-Shoyinka Could Fit With the Steelers

The Steelers don’t need a starting edge rusher and even have depth at the position. T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith and Nick Herbig are all signed through the 2025 season.

But Pittsburgh didn’t replace departed veteran edge rusher Markus Golden, who played a little less than a quarter of the team’s defensive snaps last season. The Steelers are also a franchise usually on the look out for the next great edge rusher.

Therefore, it may be worth it to general manager Omar Khan to take a flier on Tryon-Shoyinka.

In Pittsburgh, the 25-year-old doesn’t even have to be the first edge rusher off the bench in the defense’s rotation. He can relax and work on developing as a professional behind two of the current best in the league — Watt and Highsmith.

Tryon-Shoyinka could be worth the risk for Khan because he could only cost a mid-Day 3 draft choice. At the very least, Tryon-Shoyinka will be able to provide depth for the Steelers in 2024.

Should he exceed his expectations, he could be a candidate for the Steelers to re-sign next spring.

In 2019 at Washington, Tryon-Shoyinka posted 8 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. Like a lot of edge rushers before him, perhaps he could fulfill his potential in Pittsburgh.

Other Potential Steelers Trade Targets

It would not be shocking to see the Steelers exercise a trade or two this summer. But it would probably be a little surprising if the team only traded for an edge rusher.

While Tryon-Shoyinka is an intriguing potential target, the Steelers still have needs at wide receiver and cornerback. There are also rumors the team could trade running back Najee Harris since the Steelers declined his fifth-year option.

Receivers Brandon Aiyuk, Courtland Sutton and Treylon Burks are three possible wideout trade targets for the Steelers. However, Sutton and Burks are much likely due to the lower expectations their teams have for the 2024 season.

If the Steelers are serious about acquiring a receiver, they will probably retain as much 2025 draft capital as possible to make that trade more likely. But that shouldn’t rule out Tryon-Shoyinka as a target.

Pittsburgh could pursue him after or instead of a receiver if the team’s possible wideout trade plans fall through.

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