In recent weeks the Pittsburgh Steelers have completely turned over the bottom of the roster on the offensive line, signing the likes of Adrian Ealy and William Dunkle to replace recently-waived undrafted free agents Jordan Tucker, Chris Owens and Jake Dixon. But with the cutdown to 53-man rosters just around the corner, there might soon be an opportunity to add a higher-pedigree offensive tackle, either by trade or roster cut.
Appearing on w/ The PM Team on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Eric Edholm of NFL.com named three former 1st-round offensive linemen as possible trade candidates for the Steelers.
Andre Dillard (Eagles)
The first player mentioned was Andre Dillard, 26, who was the No. 22 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and has played in 31 games (with nine starts) for the Eagles during his first three years in the league.
Dillard “hasn’t fulfilled his potential (and) obviously hasn’t won the (left tackle) job,” said Edholm, before going on to note that Jordan Mailata is now firmly entrenched as the franchise left tackle in Philly.
Edholm isn’t the first analyst to say that the Steelers could look to Philadelphia for help on the offensive line.
“The Eagles are stacked in the trenches, and (the Bears) and Steelers should pay close attention to Philly’s transaction list,” said Mike Kaye of Pro Football Network on Friday.
Certainly, the Steelers ought to have an especially good sense of Philadelphia’s offensive line talent.
Isaiah Wynn (Patriots)
But Dillard isn’t the only option; there’s also Isaiah Wynn, who was selected No. 23 overall by the New England Patriots in 2018.
“Wynn has been a starter when he has been healthy. He has missed a lot of time, but that’s the concern with him,” offered Edholm, without noting that Wynn has made just 33 starts since he was selected out of Georgia.
Wynn could be had for a fourth- or fifth-round pick, says Edholm, having considered his injury history and the fact that he’s on his fifth-year option.
Alex Leatherwood (Raiders)
Last but not least, there have been rumors that Alex Leatherwood (the No. 17 overall pick in the 2021 draft), is a prime cut or trade candidate in Las Vegas, despite having started all 17 games during his rookie year.
Edholm describes Leatherwood, 23, as “a possibility” for the Steelers.
“It is, yeah, I would think so. It depends on what you thought of him coming out and whether you think you could fix him. There was a lot of debate with Leatherwood — Guard? Tackle? Right? Left? What was his best spot? He played a few different spots at Alabama,” notes Edholm, who recalls predicting that the Steelers would take Leatherwood in his final 2021 mock draft, even as he acknowledged that Mike Tomlin & Co. were more likely to select Najee Harris, which is in fact what happened.
As for Leatherwood — who is 6-foot-5 and 312 pounds — Edholm calls him a “mixed bag of potential,” saying, “he’s got the physical traits (and) you see the temperament show up at times,” though he appears to have been over-drafted, making it a challenge for him to live up to expectations.
That said, it’s also going to be a challenge for Pittsburgh to upgrade its offensive line talent via the waiver wire, which is why they might need to part with an early- to mid-day 3 pick to acquire one of the aforementioned offensive linemen.
“Obviously, it’s a position of need,” concluded Edholm. “It’s a position that most teams are kinda looking at.”