3 Steelers Trade Targets After Week 2

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2021

3 Steelers Trade Targets After Week 2

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have been hurt the most on the defensive interior. 

    Mike Tomlin's team had to place two defensive lineman on the injured reserve already, and star pass-rusher T.J. Watt picked up a groin injury in Week 2. 

    Even prior to Watt's small problem, the Steelers should have been looking at potential defensive line upgrades because of the injuries suffered by Stephon Tuitt and Tyson Alualu. 

    The offensive interior could also be viewed as one of Pittsburgh's flaws. It reworked its offensive line in the offseason, but the unit has not been perfect through two weeks. 

    If Pittsburgh wants to compete with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North, it can't have many lapses on either side of the trenches, which is why they should explore those positions in the trade market.

Clelin Ferrell

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    Jeff Bottari/Associated Press

    Clelin Ferrell's relegation to a reserve role with the Las Vegas Raiders could suggest the AFC West side is willing to move on from the 2019 first-round pick.

    Ferrell was inactive for the Week 1 clash with the Ravens, and he played in limited snaps against the Steelers in Week 2. 

    The Clemson product earned 18 quarterback hits and 6.5 sacks in his first two seasons, but he was unable to crack the top of the depth chart this season. 

    With Maxx Crosby playing at a high level and Yannick Ngakoue occupying the other defensive end spot, the Raiders may not have room for Ferrell to play a ton of snaps. 

    Pittsburgh got a brief firsthand look at Ferrell on Sunday, but it should do a deeper dive into the player to see if he can make an impact with a new team. 

    Ferrell would not be a starter in Pittsburgh, but he could be a valuable depth piece who helps contain the dangerous rushing attacks that reside in the AFC North. 

Whitney Mercilus

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    Sam Craft/Associated Press

    The Houston Texans' impressive start could evaporate fast if Davis Mills does not perform well at quarterback. 

    If that is the case, Houston could turn into one of the top sellers in a few weeks. 

    Whitney Mercilus has the ideal pass-rushing skill set off the edge that could help the Steelers deal with some of their injuries and spell Watt in some instances. 

    Mercilus started his 2021 campaign with five tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and a quarterback hit. 

    The Houston linebacker has 113 quarterback hits and 55 sacks in his career. He did not produce at a high volume in 2020, but he did have 16 quarterback hits and 7.5 sacks in 2019. 

    If the Texans struggle, Mercilus could be one of the most valuable players on their roster because he could fetch a draft pick or two in return. 

    Even if Watt does not miss any games, the Steelers should look to add insurance behind him so that he does not have to be the standout star in each of the 17 contests. 

Andre Dillard

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    Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

    The Steelers have their offensive line starters established now, but it never hurts to always be looking for upgrades. 

    Andre Dillard is still a raw and unknown prospect because he missed most of his first two seasons because of injuries. 

    He is healthy now, but he lost out on the left tackle job in Philadelphia to Jordan Mailata. He could be viewed as a surplus player by the Eagles front office. 

    Pittsburgh conceded four sacks of Ben Roethlisberger in the first two games, and its schedule will only get tougher with Green Bay and Denver ahead in Weeks 4 and 5. 

    If the offensive line struggles to protect Roethlisberger again, the Steelers could make a call across the state to see if they can land Dillard from the second tier of Philadelphia's depth chart.

    Although he is unproven, Dillard is still 25 and may need a change of scenery to kickstart his NFL career. 

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