The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to a trade for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Allen Robinson pending a physical, and it has the NFL media praising Pittsburgh for it. Yesterday on ESPN’s NFL Live, Marcus Spears spoke about how surrounding young quarterback Kenny Pickett with weapons is essential.
“I think this is a phenomenal pickup,” said Spears. “One, you’re ushering in an opportunity for a young quarterback to continue to progress. You look at this offense with George Pickens, a big-body receiver, you add Allen Robinson to this mix, who is 6’2″, George Pickens, the receiver that I alluded to, at 6’3″. And you think about both of these guys working in unison in a division where you have to be physical, not only physical in catching the football, but physical in blocking because they still are going to want to run the ball in Pittsburgh as well. This is what you have the ability to do when you have confidence and some assurances in your young quarterback.”
While Robinson did not have a great year with the Rams last year, with only 33 catches for 339 yards and three touchdowns, he has talent and the ability to return to his earlier career form with consistent quarterback play. And even if he does not, he still provides depth that was badly needed and is a threat that can possibly free up Pickens or Diontae Johnson.
Robinson can also play in the slot. While Calvin Austin III is projected to play slot this year, he hasn’t played a single down in the NFL because of injury so there is any unknown there. Plus Robinson is 6’2″ and gives a different look than the 5’9″ Austin III.
As Spears mentioned, the Steelers are going to run the ball a lot, and bringing in a physical receiver like Robinson is ideal for that. Pittsburgh isn’t going to overload Pickett and make him beat teams with his arm. They are going to the lean on Najee Harris and the run game and let Pickett complement that. Down the stretch last season Pickett showed he was more than capable of doing this. By trading for Robinson it helps the run game by getting a physical receiver who can block but also helps Pickett by giving him another big target.
After trading Chase Claypool, the Steelers only had Pickens as their big target, bringing in Robinson adds another. Not one will mistake Robinson for a top-20 receiver right now, but he is still talented, provides depth, and can be used in a variety of ways.
This offseason the Steelers have shown they believe in Pickett. They’ve beefed up their offensive line and have given him more weapons. It is now up to him to make the next step to being a top quarterback in the NFL.