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Steelers WR2 Chase Claypool Has Become Popular Trade Bait For Some Fans But Steelers Insider Calls Talk “Premature”

Jordan Schofield/Steeler Nation (Twitter: JSKO_Photo)

Steelers WR2 Chase Claypool Has Become Popular Trade Bait For Some Fans But Steelers Insider Calls Talk “Premature”

The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to square off against the Cincinnati Bengals a week from Sunday to open the 2022 NFL regular season. The Steelers are still working to patch together the best possible combination of offensive linemen to adequately protect the black and gold’s signal caller and open holes for Najee Harris.  The talk of upgrading the offensive line is quickly becoming the hottest topic amongst Steelers fans.

Steelers Green

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive linemen Kevin Dotson (69) and Kendrick Green (53) warm up during OTAs at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Credit: ED THOMPSON

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s veteran reporter, Ed Dulac held his weekly Steelers chat on Thursday and fans did not take long to broach the subject. One fan suggested the idea of dangling the Steelers third year wide receiver Chase Claypool as trade bait for a significant upgrade along the line of scrimmage. The point was raised that the emergence of George Pickens made Claypool expendable.

Steelers Claypool

Credit: Jordan Schofield/Steeler Nation (Twitter @JSKO_Photos)

“I don’t think they want to make a decision on Claypool,” Dulac responded. “I think they will wisely wait to see what (George) Pickens does in the regular season when defenses will scheme against them and him. That doesn’t mean Pickens won’t continue to do some really good things. But now is a bit premature to get rid of Claypool.”

Claypool is an enigmatic figure for Pittsburgh fans. He has tantalizing ball skills and is big and fast. A top three receiving corps of Diontae Johnson, Pickens and Claypool is going to be a nightmare matchup for any secondary. The Steelers are deep at wide receiver but with Calvin Austin III hurt, the drop off from Claypool to the other wide receivers on the roster is steep.

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Later in the chat another fan suggested a Minkah Fitzpatrick type move like in 2019. That move was made to shake up the offensive line. Teven Jenkins’ name has been mentioned a lot recently when the idea of trading for offensive line help comes up. He did not address Jenkins directly but Dulac did not rule out the possibility when he responded.

“You mean give up a number one pick to change your O-line right before the season? After they invested all that money in the Oline,” Dulac questioned. “I’m not sure that’s going to happened, though it sounds nice. But, as we have seen, you never know.”

Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick

Pittsburgh Steelers safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick (#39) participates during the 2022 training camp at the team’s South Side facility. | Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

The idea of giving up a first-round pick for a player like Jenkins who was drafted in the second round in 2021 is a little farfetched. If the Steelers are going to give up a premium draft pick like they did for Fitzpatrick, it will only be for top notch proven talent. Fitzpatrick wasn’t happy playing for the Miami Dolphins, and they were in the midst of trying to tank the season. He was a phenomenal young talent and instantly solidified the 2019 defense. Jenkins is not that player.

Steelers O Line vs Jaguars

Pittsburgh Steelers Guard James Daniels (78) and Mason Cole (61) pass blocking during the Aug. 20 preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers)

If the Steelers can find a bona fide Pro Bowl-caliber offensive lineman who is not a rental, then trading a first and third like they did in 2019 makes sense. Project players or expiring contracts are not usually Pittsburgh trade targets and it is doubtful Omar Khan would make that kind of move. The organization had a lot of holes to fill and they have found skill players and solid defensive depth this offseason. They did attempt to fix the offensive line with James Daniels and Mason Cole but it is too late to drastically overhaul the offensive line further for 2022.

Finally, Dulac was asked if he thought that the Steelers’ offensive line could be better this season than in 2021 and if they had made the right moves.

“Can’t be much worse, even though what we have seen in the preseason hasn’t exactly been encouraging,” Dulac said. “That’s what we are going to find out starting September 11th in Cincy.”

The coaching staff and Khan are almost out of time and Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett and Matt Canada will have to use every ounce of the moxie Ben Roethlisberger mustered last season to get the Steelers to the playoffs. Luckily, the defense appears to be much better than last season and if they stay healthy, whoever is under center won’t have to match Roethlisberger’s seven fourth quarter come from behind victories in 2021.

What do you think Steeler Nation? Should the organization make a bold move? If so, which lineman do you think they should target? Comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.

#SteelerNation

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.

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