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Kevin Colbert’s Best Trades: Chris Wormley

We’re continuing our look at the best and worst trades of Kevin Colbert’s tenure as Steelers general manager with one that still has the potential to pay dividends for Pittsburgh. In a rare trade between the Steelers and Ravens, Pittsburgh sent a 2021 fifth-round pick to Baltimore for Wormley and a 2021 seventh-round pick in March 2020. At that point in his career, Wormley, a former third-round pick, had only recorded 35 tackles and 2.5 sacks through three years in the league. 

Wormley’s ability to play both inside and outside was intriguing to Pittsburgh though, especially with the departure of defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in free agency. Wormley helped add depth to the Steelers’ front seven, and while the trade didn’t immediately look to be all that beneficial in 2020, as Wormley just had eight tackles and one sack, it paid off in a big way in 2021.

With Stephon Tuitt out for the year and Tyson Alualu going down for the year in Week 2, the Steelers had to rely on Wormley. He started 14 games and rewarded Pittsburgh with 51 tackles and seven sacks, with 2.5 of those sacks coming against his former team in a 20-19 win over Baltimore on December 5th. If Pittsburgh didn’t have Wormley last year, the team would’ve had to rely more heavily on players like Isaiahh Loudermilk, Taco Charlton and Henry Mondeaux. 

The Wormley trade was a great example of Colbert’s savviness as a general manager. By getting Wormley from a team chockful of depth in the Baltimore Ravens, who also needed cap savings, he was able to get the former third-round pick at a bit of a discount. While Wormley wasn’t great his first few years in the league, the pedigree was there, and Pittsburgh took a low-risk flier. If Wormley turned into nothing more than depth that occasionally played a few snaps a game, it still wouldn’t be an awful trade, and going forward, that may end up being his role going forward. However, his importance to the 2021 Steelers helps push this trade into the good category.

Baltimore traded the 5th-round pick from Pittsburgh to Minnesota, and the Vikings selected tight end Zach Davidson, who never played a down in the NFL. Pittsburgh selected punter Pressley Harvin III with the seventh-round pick from Baltimore. Harvin III had a shaky rookie year and will likely be playing for his job in 2022. 

Pittsburgh strengthened their defensive line depth this season with the signing of Larry Ogunjobi, re-signing Montravius Adams and drafting DeMarvin Leal, but Wormley will likely still have some sort of role on the team. If he can play the way he did in 2021 for the next few seasons, this trade will go down as one of Colbert’s savviest.

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