2023 NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Tomlin just refuses to field a sub-.500 football team. Despite starting a combination of quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett, and despite T.J. Watt only playing 10 games due to injury, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers found a way to win. In the first season without mainstay starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh finished the season at 9-8.
In the back half of the season, Kenny Pickett gave Steelers fans much to be excited about. The rookie showed some flashes in leading his team to three straight wins to close the season. Pittsburgh is in good shape in the backfield with bell-cow Najee Harris and change-of-pace rookie Jaylen Warren. At the receiver position, George Pickens was a revelation in his rookie season, delivering highlight-reel grabs on a routine basis. Second-year tight end Pat Freiermuth continues to grow and has a chance to be among the league’s elite at the position.
Top Draft Needs: OL, IDL, CB
On offense, Pittsburgh should focus its attention to the offensive line. If Kenny Pickett is the franchise quarterback, the Steelers cannot afford to be content with left tackle Dan Moore Jr. While the line did play better in the second half of the season, upgrading that position must remain top-of-mind. Pittsburgh could consider adding a guard in the mid-to-late rounds as well.
On the other side of the ball, the interior defensive line needs to be upgraded. While still performing at a high level, Cam Heyward isn’t getting any younger. Larry Ogunjobi, Chris Wormley, and Tyson Alualu are each set to be free agents in the offseason. Targeting a cornerback is also likely for similar reasons. Cameron Sutton is set to be an unrestricted free agent, while James Pierre will be a restricted free agent.
This is a great year to need a cornerback, as the class has many top-end options at the position. Keep an eye on the safety position as well. With box safety Terrell Edmunds and free safety Damontae Kazee set to hit free agency, the Steelers will likely leverage the draft if they are unable to agree on an extension with either.