Predicted Steelers trade upgrades WR corps with an all-upside gamble

ESPN's Bill Barnwell predicts the Pittsburgh Steelers will take a flier on former first-round pick Treylon Burks in a trade with the Tennessee Titans to bolster their receiving corps.
Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers / Michael Owens/GettyImages

There has been plenty of chatter and speculation about the Pittsburgh Steelers and their desire to add a veteran wide receiver via the trade market. But nothing has materialized yet, and there aren't many realistic choices at their disposal, putting general manager Omar Khan in a position where he must get creative and think outside the box this offseason.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN sees a path forward for the Steelers, predicting Pittsburgh will take an all-upside gamble on 2022 first-round pick Treylon Burks to bolster their receiving corps in a trade with the Tennessee Titans in his post-NFL draft analysis, listing this as one of the 10 deals that should happen in light of the annual multi-day event.

Steelers take all-upside gamble on WR Treylon Burks in predicted trade with Titans

Barnwell cites the multitude of veteran pass-catching options the Titans have signed over the past calendar year (DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd) and the guaranteed money owed to Burks over the next two seasons (north of $8 million) as reasons why the Titans should make Burks expendable, investing a lot into the position for players who have or will instantly slot ahead of him on the depth chart. Barnwell labeled the Steelers as a team that has proven to be "comfortable taking shots on talented receivers" based on their track record.

Burks caught 16 passes for 221 scoreless receiving yards in 2023, nearly halving his already uninspiring production as a rookie in 2022. But availability has been as much of an issue as his effectiveness (or lack thereof), missing six games in consecutive seasons with various ailments.

But considering he is only 24 years old and was a first-round selection two years ago, Burks could benefit from a change of scenery, and a team like the Steelers could unlock any untapped potential he may have. However, Barnwell points out that it will likely come down to how willing Tennessee is to "either eat money or attach a draft pick to get a deal done."

Assuming the Titans are ready to cut their losses, he envisions Pittsburgh sending a 2026 sixth-round pick being enough to satisfy both sides and give the former Arkansas Razorback a "fresh start."