The Steelers have made a flurry of moves to round out their roster already, however, that does not mean that the team is some sterling example of a roster. There are notable concerns, and perhaps the biggest one remains the depth at edge rusher behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.
So, when Albert Breer listed a few candidates that could be traded, he listed one name that jumped out to me as a young, reclamation project that pops off the page from a need and stylistic standpoint. Jaguars edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson is reportedly a guy that could be moved. Breer notes that it would ‘hardly be a shocker to see him moved during camp’ at some point in the next few months.
As such, I had to ask myself if this is someone that the Steelers could look to potentially add to their room. Chaisson is only 23 years old heading into his fourth season in the NFL after the Jaguars declined his fifth-year option. However, in three seasons, he only has three sacks to his name. Even from a pressure standpoint, he only has 35 career pressures, with only 3 last season in 65 pass rush snaps.
The Steelers need some help behind the guys they have, though. Nick Herbig stands to be a sub-package guy only. DeMarvin Leal is still a chess piece that might be an edge rusher or weird tweener that the team still does not fully know what to do with at this point. Outside of them, there are some names like David Perales, Quincy Roche, and others that are slotted in that room.
However, I am intrigued by Chaisson for a few reasons. For one, let’s put this out there right away. So far in his career, Chaission has not been a good football player. I am not arguing for a potential trade because of anything proven. It is all based on raw potential at this point in his career. But let’s play devil’s advocate and see why he could be intriguing.
He has a few things in his favor, though. For one, Chaisson is only 23 as aforementioned. That means there could still be something untapped here. Second, he is an elite athlete. Chaisson’s speed, explosiveness, and agility are all there from a physical standpoint. Lastly, he is simply not going to cost much. Chaisson is fighting for a roster spot, so this trade is probably costing any team a conditional pick at most.
In other words, the entire trade would be based on the perceived change in scenery allowing Chaisson to develop and hit as a player. If he doesn’t become anything, you cut bait and hold onto your pick as a conditional value. The one knock against Chaisson is that he still holds that first-round pick contract, so he has some significant money to carry with him. This is not a super cheap add as a result against the cap.
My argument at the end of this all is that the answer is probably no. He has a higher ceiling than anyone in that room from a physical tools standpoint. Chaisson is still young enough to become something. However, he seems more like a reclamation type of project that you would jump all over after he is cut at the end of the summer. His fit within the Steelers scheme is actually fun and letting his athleticism just roam free off the edge is a fascinating proposition. But there are a number of factors holding me back from making that move. I anticipate most NFL teams will probably feel similarly if he is truly on the trade block.