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Expert Floats Why Steelers Must Trade for Treylon Burks

The Pittsburgh Steelers should trade for Treylon Burks, Bill Barnwell of ESPN believes, in order to help their wide receiver void.



Pittsburgh Steelers Treylon Burks
Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks against the Pittsburgh Steelers, November 2, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers want to land a wide receiver via trade, which has been reported for a while now. Obviously, the name thrown around the most has been Brandon Aiyuk from the 49ers, and that rumor was largely sparked out of Aiyuk’s own doing a month ago. But with Tyler Boyd signing with the Titans, someone else could become a clear target — Treylon Burks.

Aiyuk sparked speculation last month when he sent a message to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on X, stating “@CoachTomlin they saying we twins. What you think?”

But 49ers general manager John Lynch, who ran into Tomlin at Michigan pro day, threw cold water on the trade rumors, stating nothing is happening there.

“I promise you, nothing’s going on there,” Lynch said of the trade rumors at the NFL owner’s meetings in late March. “We’re actually talking to Brandon to try and figure something out. You know, we have a good history of working with the guys that we want to get done to get something done. So, can we do that? We’ll see. There’s a number of different directions that could go. But we appreciate the heck out of Brandon and what he is as a player. We want him to be a part of the Niners, so we’re going to work towards making that a reality.”

It seems unlikely, for now, that would happen. But there could be other players that the team looks to take an upside swing on. For example, Burks continues to make sense. Burks could win the slot wide receiver job, but he has failed to make the strides the team has wanted in the first two seasons in the NFL.

Mike Clay believes that the Titans could be looking to move on from Burks. They are welcoming Zay Jones for a visit, and Boyd has now signed with the team. Could that mean Burks is on the move soon?

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell believes the team is a great spot for Burks and could pull off the trade if they wanted to make a deal for a reclamation project.

“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,” Barnwell wrote. Pittsburgh didn’t seem to pursue Burks in 2022, when it was focused on Kenny Picket in the draft, but had Burks been available in the second or third round, that might have been a different story.”

A highly-touted prospect who was supposed to replace A.J. Brown, Burks has not clicked yet with the Titans. But his dense frame, and noted yards after the catch ability all are reminiscent of what Smith likes in his wide receivers, so it would be no surprise if the team checked in on Burks, who might be on the outs after Calvin Ridley slotted into the lineup next to DeAndre Hopkins.

Burks would not cost much, but he is also not proven and does not fully check off the boxes to get a true upgrade in the building. But it does seem like Tennessee at least has him on the outs unless he can step up and prove to the new staff that he is worthy of being the No. 3 wide receiver. So, realistic, yes, but it does not check off a ton of boxes for the Steelers. But for a low-cost upside swing, it might be something to watch.

Burks could fit the type of big, outside wide receiver that the Steelers are looking for after drafting Roman Wilson, who profiles as a slot receiver in his first season. But Burks would be far down the list since he is not someone who profiles as plugging a hole as a proven receiver. Still, with the trade market seemingly coming to a halt for now, Burks at least has to be considered a possible option for the team given his rocky situation in Tennessee.

There is no certain plan for the Steelers trade market with these wide receivers. The range is anywhere from Aiyuk to the low-end range, that being someone like Burks. But free agent options are few and far between at this point. So, if the Steelers trade for a wide receiver is coming before the season, Burks has to be an option when all of this is considered. Tennessee is putting up a clear target that reads like Burks could be open for inquiries on the open market.

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