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Three NFL Trades That Must Get Done Before The 2023 Season

The NFL season is getting close.

As training camp begins, multiple teams start to feel their lack of depth in certain positions or competitions that can be fixed by trading away a player for a future draft asset. The NFL is built so heavily on roster construction, and teams must be savvy and continually look to build on strengths and address weaknesses.

Some teams are looking to rebuild; some are gearing up for a deep playoff run. We look at possible trades to allow these teams to develop and reconstruct their rosters.

Jonathan Taylor Gets His Wish.

Indianapolis Colts receive 2024 3rd round pick, 2024 7th round pick.

Washington Commanders receive Jonathan Taylor RB.

Jonathan Taylor has officially requested a trade.

The superstar running back became disgruntled due to not receiving a contract extension in the 2023 NFL Offseason. Moreover, to add insult to injury, Irsay emphatically assured the media that the Colts' would not extend him in 2023. As a result, Taylor has officially requested a trade, which has also received pushback. What a mess.

Taylor is an absolute superstar ball carrier. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his 2022 season, but the Colts' running back was the best in the NFL in 2021. He led the league in both rushing yards (1,811) and touchdowns (18), all while catapulting Indianapolis to a winning record.

If Irsay does eventually realize that he must trade Taylor, the Washington Commanders will likely be first in line. For the Colts, it ships their running back out of the conference. For the Commanders, Taylor presents a fantastic option as a workhorse back in front of promising youngster Brian Robinson Jr. Between the two; they can make a fierce running back tandem that will be terrifying for opposing defensive coordinators.

The Steelers Reinforce The Pickett Fence.

Pittsburgh Steelers receive Braden Smith OT, 2024 6th round pick.

Indianapolis Colts receive 2024 3rd round pick, 2024 5th round pick.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have long ignored their offensive line.

The 2023 NFL Offseason saw a philosophy change. Pittsburgh addressed the left side of the line, drafting Georgia superstar left tackle Broderick Jones and signing Eagles' stalwart guard Isaac Seumalo. The Steelers return solid pieces Mason Cole and James Daniels at center and right guard.

Unfortunately, the right tackle position, manned by Chukwuma Okorafor, had mediocre play in 2022. He surrendered 41 total pressures last season while earning an average overall PFF grade of 61.2. While that is not poor, it does not present much ceiling for a soon-to-be 26-year-old tackle entering his sixth professional season.

As a result, this move would allow the Steelers to support Kenny Pickett's development further for the low price of essentially a third-round selection. Braden Smith is an excellent offensive tackle that has consistently graded above a 75 PFF overall grade in the past four years. He is 27, which may incentivize the Colts to gain draft capital for him while he is still at his peak. The move also frees up snaps for the development of 2023 fourth-round selection Blake Freeland from BYU, alongside emerging offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann who was acquired in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Eagles Continue To Build Their Roster.

Philadelphia Eagles receive E.J. Speed LB, 2025 6th round pick.

Indianapolis Colts receive 2024 4th round pick.

Howie Roseman typically does not value linebacker play highly.

That is evidenced by the allocation of resources in the offseason. While the Eagles were forced to decide on some players from their elite defense due to cap restrictions, Philadelphia's front office allowed T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White to depart. While they had prepared for one replacement with Georgia Bulldog superstar Nakobe Dean, acquired in the 2022 NFL Draft, there was still a lack of depth at the other linebacker spot.

According to ESPN's depth chart projections, Philadelphia will start Nicholas Morrow. Unless Roseman plans to use 2023 NFL Draft pick Nolan Smith as an off-ball linebacker, the Eagles would likely need better play behind their elite defensive line. Roseman opting to acquire a solid linebacker that can do the job at a low price seems to be the most likely scenario.

E.J. Speed and the Indianapolis Colts seem to be the perfect candidate. The 2019 fifth-round selection had a breakout campaign in the 2022 season, logging 63 total tackles, seven TFLs, a sack, two forced fumbles, and two passes defended. PFF credited him with a 78.4 overall defensive grade.

Like offensive tackle Braden Smith, the Colts would potentially like to get value for the 28-year-old Speed. The Eagles receive an opportunity to expand their linebacker depth at an inexpensive cost, further galvanizing their defense as one of the best in the NFL.

Which Trade Is Most Likely To Happen?

  • JT

  • Braden Smith

  • EJ Speed


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