Steelers ‘have one hell of a football player’ in former NFL OL States Malik Reed

Needing to address the outside linebacker depth chart behind TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith, especially after a confusing decision to cut perceived No. 3 OLB Genard Avery last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers and general manager Omar Khan have may have capitalized on a tighter roster in Denver to acquire a talented player, landing veteran outside linebacker Malik Reed on Tuesday in a trade with the Broncos.

Reed and a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft were acquired for a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Tuesday, hours before the 4 p.m. deadline for the roster to be whittled down to 53 players .

It turns out that Khan and the Steelers may have approached the depth chart behind Watt and Highsmith much better than they could have imagined.

In three seasons as an undrafted free agent from Nevada, Reed has been a revelation for the Broncos. Playing just under 2,000 career snaps defensively, Reed recorded 15 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, 51 quarterback rushes and 15 total tackles for loss, starting 34 career games while seeing action in 45 in total.

Replacing former first-round pick Bradley Chubb in 2020, Reed really took off for Denver, recording 8.0 sacks for the Broncos against Von Miller, before recording 5.0 sacks in 2021 in a reserve role. He showed his ability to rush the passer with a handful of intriguing moves, especially the ghost rush to get under bigger linemen.

Former NFL offensive lineman Mark Schlereth, who spent 12 seasons in the NFL with Washington and the Broncos, appeared on 93.7 The Fan’s PM Show with hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller on Tuesday and sang the praises of Reed, who was a guy he didn’t. want to see the Broncos move.

“Malik Reed is a very productive player and every chance he gets,” Schlereth told Fillipponi and Mueller, according to audio via 93.7 The Fan. “He just comes out and flat makes plays. I was on the radio today saying ‘they can’t move it, that would be a mistake’. Down and behold, they do.

The Broncos found themselves in a short roster at outside linebacker, especially after the emergence of second-year pro Baron Browning and the impressive growth of second-year pro Jonathon Cooper, not to mention the additions of rookie Nik Bonitto and by veteran Randy Gregory. in the offseason to partner with Chubb.

That left Reed as the odd man out, which allowed the Steelers to pounce. It turns out the Broncos ended up sending Reed where he wanted to go, which was Pittsburgh to play under Mike Tomlin, according to Broncos general manager George Paton.

In Pittsburgh, Reed will get to see important snaps as a No. 3 behind Watt and Highsmith, providing valuable depth as an off-the-edge passing thrower with the Steelers.

“You have one hell of a football player,” Schlereth added, according to audio via 93.7 The Fan. “A guy who will be productive every chance he gets.”

That’s what Reed has been throughout his career. Don’t expect that to change in a new location either.

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