(WHTM) — The Steelers are gearing up for the 2023 NFL Draft with seven total picks, highlighted by the 17th overall selection. In last year’s draft, Pittsburgh decided to select their franchise quarterback, Kenny Pickett, in the first round. But this time around, the Steelers may be a little less flashy in the draft and focus on the supporting cast to really elevate a team that was right on the verge of a playoff birth last season.
This is perhaps the biggest need for the Steelers heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. They used last year’s draft to select a franchise quarterback, now it’s time to protect him. Pittsburgh has started to reinforce the offense line, signing guard Isaac Seumalo, who has started 60 games in his career with Philadelphia.
Their two current tackles started every game last season, but its a position group where the talent level is just enough to get by for the Steelers. This draft class is loaded with first-round offensive tackle talent, and if Pittsburgh wants to sure up trenches and protect Pickett, they will take one with their top selection.
The Steelers made a splash in free agency when they signed eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson. But at 33-years-old, Peterson won’t be a long-term solution for the Black and Gold. Plus, the Steelers secondary got a lot thinner this offseason, losing Cameron Sutton (CB) to the Lions and Terrell Edmunds (S) to the Eagles, so they need to start bolstering their secondary for the future.
The most interesting scenario would be taking Penn State’s Joey Porter Junior at 17th overall. His father is a Steeler great and Porter Jr. is a a top cornerback in this upcoming draft.
You can’t just win one side of the line battle. Pittsburgh is going to need to address their defensive line, especially their depth at the position. They have some solid starters, headlined by Cameron Heyward, but even Heyward said on his podcast in March that the Steelers need to continue add to the position group. Pittsburgh probably won’t go after a plug-in starter this draft, but they definitely need to get some talent in to help the second unit.