The 2023 NFL draft is just three weeks away and anticipation is building as the pre-draft process is about to come to a close. On April 27, we will know exactly which college prospects will be wearing the Black and Gold as a part of GM Omar Khan and assistant GM Andy Weidl’s inaugural draft class.
However, there is still time for moves to be made prior to the draft and Pittsburgh has certainly been busy doing just that over the last month, re-signing some of its own while bringing in the likes of Patrick Peterson, Isaac Seumalo, and Keanu Neal from the outside. One possibility that Pittsburgh could explore is trading away draft capital for proven veterans. That is the scenario Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report proposes in his recent piece, suggesting that Pittsburgh should consider trading a seventh-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024 the Miami Dolphins for WR Cedrick Wilson Jr.
“The Steelers appear to have their top two receivers for the foreseeable future in Diontae Johnson and second-year man George Pickens,” Knox said. “However, Pittsburgh could use a reliable third option in the lineup. The Steelers traded Chase Claypool to the Bears at last year’s trade deadline, and 2022 fourth-round pick Calvin Austin III missed his rookie season with a foot injury. Bringing in a slot specialist like Cedrick Wilson Jr. could be a tremendous move for the Steelers and the development of quarterback Kenny Pickett. Wilson only logged 136 receiving yards with the Dolphins last season. In 2021 with the Cowboys, though, he caught 45 passes for 602 yards and six touchdowns.”
Wilson didn’t get much run in 2022 with Miami, taking a backseat behind Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and even Trent Sherfield. However, he made a name for himself with the Cowboys playing as the WR3 with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb in the lineup, displaying his abilities as a deep threat as well as a receiver that can play in the slot and on the outside. A proven punt returner, Wilson also showcased the skill set to be used on misdirection passes at the receiver position, completing multiple passes in Dallas.
A sixth-round pick out of Boise State in 2019, Cedrick Wilson Jr. is the son of former Steelers WR Cedrick Wilson, who played with the Steelers from 2005-2007 and was part of the Super Bowl XL team. Pittsburgh is a team that delights in bloodlines and family ties and needs a capable WR3 that can play in the slot as well as stretch the field. Wilson matches all these categories and would be worth parting with a late Day Three pick for. However, Wilson has a base salary of $7 million in 2023 with a cap number of $8 million, meaning that Miami would have to be willing to eat a decent amount of that number to facilitate a deal with Pittsburgh.
While the chances of Pittsburgh and Miami pulling of this trade is probably unlikely given the financial implications, acquiring Wilson would help Pittsburgh solidify the WR position, allowing Calvin Austin III to ease back into a potential starting role with Wilson being inside/outside versatile while also adding a veteran to the room.