The Pittsburgh Steelers could unload a key starter if the trade deadline hadn’t already passed.
As the NFL season enters the month of December, trades are not possible considering the deadline passed on November 1. However, according to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, a “hypothetical” trade scenario would see the Steelers unloading veteran defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi for a fifth-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Chargers.
Knox argues that the Steelers’ rebuilding season would be the perfect opportunity to trade Ogunjobi for draft capital.
“With the Steelers eying a lost season, they could benefit from moving impending 2023 free agent and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi,” says Knox. “The 28-year-old came to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal and has been a solid contributor. Ogunjobi has logged 23 tackles, 10 solo stops, a half-sack, eight quarterback hits and just one missed tackle.”
Why the Steelers Would Consider Trading Ogunjobi
The Bleacher Report analyst also explains how the Chargers’ need at the position combined with their injury woes would lead them to giving up a Day 3 draft pick for Ogunjobi.
“The Los Angeles Chargers could desperately use a defensive tackle of Ogunjobi’s caliber,” says Knox. “Los Angeles has been gashed on the ground this season—5.5 yards per carry allowed coming into Sunday—and has lost several players at the position. Otito Ogbonnia (knee) and Christian Covington (pectoral) are both out for the year, and L.A. also parted with 2019 first-round pick Jerry Tillery after the trade deadline.”
An extra draft pick could give the Steelers an opportunity to fill some voids they currently have. On the offensive side of things, Pittsburgh could use an extra receiver after trading former starting receiver Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears at the trade deadline. Outside of depth at the receiver position, the Steelers could target an upgrade at offensive tackle, where their current starters, Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor both rank no higher than 57th of 76 qualifying tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.
According to PFF, the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Ogunjobi has produced a respectable 64.3 defensive grade this season. That number ranks 45th among 125 qualifying defensive linemen.
Pickett Called Game-Winning Touchdown Play
It looks like Kenny Pickett continues to grow more with each passing week as the franchise quarterback.
After leading the Steelers to a come-from-behind fourth quarter comeback in their 24-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, November 28, starting center Mason Cole revealed how Pickett played a key role on the team’s last touchdown play.
According to Cole, the 24-year-old rookie is the one who called the game-winning play on Benny Snell’s rushing touchdown.
“That run we scored on, Kenny called it. We were in the timeout, and Kenny said, ‘I want to run this,’” Cole said after the game. “To see that confidence, on third-and-2 on the goal line, is big. It’s good to see, it’s exciting to see. It really showed who he is as a leader, the command he has on the field.”
Pickett revealed that coaches are always willing to hear his input on play calling.
“We have a great open communication,” Pickett said. “That was the play I brought up, I felt really confident about it, they felt good about it too so we rolled with it.”
After going 1-3 during Pickett’s first four starts, the Steelers have gone 2-1 in his last three starts. During Pickett’s last three games, Pittsburgh is averaging 24.6 points per game, which would rank 10th in the NFL stretched over a full season.