Steelers Urged to Trade for Former Top 5 Overall Pick Amid Recent Developments

Clelin Ferrell Raiders

Ethan Miller/Getty Images Quarterback Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers throws under pressure from Clelin Ferrell of the Las Vegas Raiders on January 9, 2022.

In the days since Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro T.J. Watt suffered a torn pectoral against the Cincinnati Bengals, the team has taken several steps to add to the depth at his position. That includes inking former Commanders outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, as well as signing David Anenih off Tennessee’s practice squad. Pittsburgh has also elevated Delontae Scott from its own practice squad for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, giving Scott the opportunity to appear in his 2nd career regular-season game.

But some NFL observers believe that the Steelers ought to trade for more experienced, higher-pedigreed talent. That includes David Kenyon of Bleacher Report, who believes that edge rusher Clelin Ferrell of the Las Vegas Raiders would be a good fit — for the remainder of this year, and perhaps beyond.

Raiders’ Clelin Ferrell ‘Could Use a Fresh Start’

Recall that Ferrell, 25, was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Clemson, yet he has settled into a backup role with the Raiders after starting 26 games during his first two seasons in the league. That’s part of the reason many NFL observers — like Kenyon — believe that Ferrell “could use a fresh start.”

To be sure, a trade for the Norfolk, Va. native — who stands 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds — has been suggested for the Steelers before. He wouldn’t cost much in terms of assets; the main hitch is that the Steelers would likely want the Raiders to pick up a portion of the salary on this last year of his rookie deal.

Kenyon regards Ferrell as “a low-risk addition who could both assist in filling Watt’s snaps and potentially be a low-cost extension candidate.”

All that said, if the Steelers did acquire Ferrell, they would be getting a player with 43 games of regular-season experience, one who has recorded a total of 80 tackles (50 solo), including 12 tackles for loss, eight sacks, 24 quarterback hits, nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, as per Pro Football Reference.

In Las Vegas’ season-opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, Ferrell played 19 snaps on defense and 13 more on special teams, recording one tackle. That’s similar to the amount he was used during the 16 games he played for the Raiders in 2021.

Steelers’ Gunner Olszewski Looking Forward to Going Against ‘Ex’

Meanwhile, there’s probably no Steelers player more looking forward to going against the Patriots on Sept. 18 than fourth-year kick returner/wide receiver Gunner Olszewski.

On Friday Olszewski admitted he was bothered by the fact that the Patriots made no effort to bring him back for the 2022 season.

That allowed the Steelers to sign him to a two-year, $4.2 million contract on March 18, 2022, after the Pats decided not to tender him as a restricted free agent, despite Olszewski being named first-team All-Pro kick returner in 2020.

“Sure, it stings a little bit,” Olszewski said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever been let go from a job, or someone doesn’t want you back, but it hurts. But I am very fortunate to be where I am now.”

The Bemidji State product also confirmed that this contest means more to him than the typical regular-season game.

Anytime you play the ‘ex’ you wanna show out,” he concluded, flashing a big smile.

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