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Would Treylon Burks make sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

There is no mistaking the fact the Pittsburgh Steelers still have holes on their current roster. Anyone who follows the team knows the positions which lack the necessary depth for fans to feel comfortable heading into the 2024 regular season. One of those aforementioned positions would absolutely be wide receiver. The rumors of the Steelers making a trade at the position have been running rampant since before the 2024 NFL Draft, and those rumors continue to swirl.

At ESPN, Senior NFL Writer Bill Barnwell proposed a potential trade for several NFL teams heading into the regular season, and he proposed one regarding the Steelers and their ongoing search at wide receiver. The proposed trade? Sending a late round pick in 2025 to the Tennessee Titans for wide receiver Treylon Burks.

Here is what Barnwell had to say about it:

“Another player buried on a depth chart, Burks has been a victim of unrealistic expectations and bad timing. The Titans essentially drafted him as the replacement for A.J. Brown after trading the star wideout to the Eagles on draft day in 2022, setting the bar for Burks as an immediately impactful wideout. It hasn’t panned out, because of injuries to Burks and upheaval at quarterback. Five different players have thrown him passes over his first two seasons.

“There’s always a sense of hesitance from front offices to give up on a first-round pick so quickly, but the regime that drafted Burks is no longer in the building, as Jon Robinson was fired in 2022 before coach Mike Vrabel was dismissed after last season. New GM Ran Carthon hasn’t exactly hidden his feelings about Burks; he has signed three veteran wideouts in free agency over the past 12 months, bringing in DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine might be ahead of Burks at this point.

“Tennessee’s biggest hindrance in moving Burks is financial. He’s owed more than $8 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. That’s not much for a promising young wide receiver, but if it’s tied to a disappointing player with a meaningful injury history who doesn’t play much on special teams, that’s another story. The Titans will likely need to either eat money or attach a draft pick to get a deal done.

“One team that has been comfortable taking shots on talented receivers in the past? The Steelers, who usually mitigate that risk by drafting those wideouts in the middle rounds while trusting they can get the most out of them on the field. Pittsburgh didn’t seem to pursue Burks in 2022, when it was focused on Kenny Pickett in the draft, but had Burks been available in the second or third round, that might have been a different story.

“After trading away Diontae Johnson this offseason, the Steelers have an opening on the outside. They used a third-round pick on Roman Wilson, who might profile best as a slot receiver earlier in his career, while former Rams wideout Van Jefferson hasn’t been productive in much better offenses as a pro. If the Titans are willing to eat $6 million of what’s left on Burks’ deal, I could see the logic in Pittsburgh sending a 2026 sixth-round pick to Tennessee to give him a fresh start.”

Barnwell does a good job outlining why Burks could make sense from a financial standpoint, but there are still some flaws in his theory. For starters, the proposal of a 2026 NFL Draft pick might not be enough to tip the scales. But does Burks even fit the mold of what the Steelers are looking for at wide receiver?

Last season, in only his second season in the league, Burks played in just 11 games where he notched 16 catches for 221 yards and no touchdowns.

The ongoing factor in Burks young career have been injuries and a question regarding his overall want-to when it comes to the game of football. Here is a list of ailments Burks has suffered in just two years in the league:

  • Asthma/Conditioning
  • Turf Toe
  • Concussion/Neck
  • LCL Sprain
  • Patella Sprain

If Steelers fans recall, it was on Thursday Night Football last season when Burks caught a pass over Levi Wallace, shocker, along the sideline and hit his head hard on the ground after the catch. He would get carted off the field and would miss over a month with a concussion.

If Burks is motivated, and healthy, he could be a difference making player with his size and speed. But unfortunately that is not a guarantee, as his first two seasons have proven since he entered the league in 2022. A 2026 6th Round pick isn’t a huge investment, but I feel confident speaking for fans everywhere when I suggest the team might be looking for a more proven commodity if they are to pull the trigger on a trade this offseason.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2024 regular season.


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