Steelers Projected to Target Rival’s Former First-Round Pick in NFL Free Agency

Mike Tomlin

Getty Head coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers are being predicted to target one of their rival's former top draft picks in NFL free agency.

The Pittsburgh Steelers just experienced one of their best seasons along their offensive line in years. But that doesn’t mean the organization won’t be adding to the unit this offseason.

NFL writer Brad Spielberger predicted the Steelers to consider doing just that in NFL free agency. In an article naming one offensive free agent each NFL team should target, Spielberger projected the Steelers to pursue offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn.

“Pittsburgh’s young offensive line got better as the season went on, but it can never hurt to have quality depth at the tackle spots, especially as the Steelers bring along 2022 rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett,” wrote Spielberger.

Wynn started seven games for the New England Patriots during the 2022 season. He finished the season on injured reserve because of a foot injury.


Steelers to Pursue Former First-Round Pick in Wynn?

Wynn is a former first-round talent. The Patriots drafted Wynn at No. 23 overall, which was a selection New England acquired from the Los Angeles Rams in a trade involving wide receiver Brandin Cooks, in the 2018 NFL Draft.

He has mostly showcased his first-round talent when on the field. But the problem for Wynn throughout his Patriots tenure was injuries.

Wynn has had a laundry list of ailments over the last five years. He missed his rookie season after suffering a torn Achilles during the 2018 preseason. Wynn then missed eight games because of a toe injury in his second season.

The lower-body injuries continued for Wynn in 2020 when he sat out the final six contests because of a knee ailment.

Wynn dressed for 16 of 17 games in 2021, but he again ended this past season on injured reserve because of his foot.

The team that signs Wynn this offseason will have to accept some type of risk because of his injury past. But as an injury-prone player, Wynn should come cheaply in free agency.

“The Steelers almost never spend in free agency, so a reclamation project on a former first-round pick who can provide depth at both tackle spots seems right up their alley,” wrote Spielberger.


How Wynn Potentially Fits With the Steelers

In addition to likely being cheap, Wynn could fit with the Steelers because of his versatility.

Wynn started at left tackle, left guard and right tackle while with the Patriots. He will probably sign as a swing tackle in free agency.

The Steelers started the same five players along their offensive line all season in 2022. In fact, all five starters in the unit played at least 96% of the team’s offensive snaps.

Starting tackles for the Steelers, left tackle Dan Moore and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, combined to only miss 1 snap the entire season.

That doesn’t leave a lot of playing time for a backup tackle such as Wynn, but the likelihood that the Steelers go through a second straight season without any injuries up front on offense is very low. And while Moore, Okorafor and the Pittsburgh offensive line is improving, the Steelers could use depth in the unit.

Wynn could be a great fit with the Steelers because of his potential when healthy, versatility and cost.

“Left tackle Dan Moore Jr. has progressed nicely after being selected in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and Pittsburgh extended right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor last offseason, but Wynn is a nice insurance policy at both spots,” wrote Spielberger.

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