PITTSBURGH, PA — The NFL trade deadline (Oct. 31) is a little more than two weeks away. Here are three players the Steelers should consider acquiring for their roster.
1. Patrick Surtain II, Broncos Cornerback
Patrick Surtain II is certainly the most expensive of the bunch, but he would instantly make Pittsburgh’s secondary feared for the foreseeable future. Veteran cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Levi Wallace have underwhelmed to start the season and Surtain II paired with impressive rookie CB Joey Porter Jr. would create one of the best tandems in the league.
The former No. 9 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has quickly established himself as one of the best corners in the NFL with 143 tackles, seven interceptions and 30 passes defensed in his first two and a half years. The 23-year-old would likely cost at least a first-round pick as the Broncos (1-5) seem to be nearing a fire sale, but general manager Omar Khan has shown he isn’t afraid to make a big move.
2. Jaylon Johnson, Bears Cornerback
Johnson is the cheaper version of Surtain II if the Steelers are looking for an upgrade at the position. The 24-year-old is in the final year of his rookie deal and has already been named as a free agent target for Pittsburgh. If the Steelers are interested in Johnson, why not go get him now and test him out before free agency?
The former 2020 second-round pick has 134 tackles, three forced fumbles, one interception and 32 passes defensed in his career. There are still some questions surrounding him but that will bring down his price tag. Johnson would be a low risk, high reward that could set up Pittsburgh’s secondary for years to come.
3. Mecole Hardman, Jets Wide Receiver
Hardman is more of a short-term fix rather than a long-term one, but the Jets are open to trading the 25-year-old and the move would help solve a problem for the Steelers. Pittsburgh must consider moving on from WR Gunner Olszewski, who has four fumbles on just 28 total touches since signing a two-year deal with the team in 2022.
The two-time Super Bowl champion has found success as a wide receiver and special teams returner with 152 catches for 2,094 yards and 16 touchdowns and 1,482 yards and two touchdowns as a returner. It wouldn’t cost much compensation to acquire Hardman and it would give Pittsburgh the ability to move on from Olszewski, who has become more of a liability than anything.