As the 2023 NFL Draft approaches, mock draft experts are offering their opinions on who the Pittsburgh Steelers may select in the first round on Thursday, April 27 and beyond. Here, we’ll analyze those picks and provide insights on the consensus mock selections for the Steelers in the upcoming draft.
First round consensus
Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Peter King: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Matt Miller: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Ryan Wilson: Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
PFF: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia (trade up)
Adam Caplan: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
Chad Reuter: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
The Steelers have pick No. 17 in the first round. Offensive tackle, wide receiver, defensive line, and secondary represent needs on Pittsburgh’s current roster.
Because of that, we have Darnell Wright (OT - Tennessee) and a trade up for Broderick Jones (OT - Georgia) to fill the need at tackle. Dawand Jones (OT - Ohio State) is another first round lineman for the Steelers to beef up their pass protectors.
It makes sense if the Steelers take the best available player from their positions of need. On top of offensive tackle, wide receiver and cornerback have openings on the roster. It feels optimistic to believe Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR - Ohio State) would fall to pick No. 17, but the Steelers would likely scoop him up if that’s the case. Zay Flowers (WR - Boston College) will probably be available in this spot, but Pittsburgh will need to make a decision whether to draft him or take a receiver in the later rounds.
Deonte Banks (CB - Maryland) makes sense in this spot, but it’s somewhat surprising to not see Joey Porter Jr. (CB - Penn State) listed due the draft order and his ties to the franchise. I’m not sure Julius Brents (CB - Kansas State) will go this high in the draft.
Second round consensus
Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Brian Branch, S, Alabama; Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Matt Miller: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia; Joe Tippman, C, Wisconsin
Ryan Wilson: Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech; Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
Chad Reuter: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma; Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
The Steelers have two second round picks. The No. 32 overall pick came in the Chase Claypool trade with the Chicago Bears last season. Then, Pittsburgh still has its own second round pick, which is No. 49 overall.
Almost all of these mock picks involve an offensive linemen or a member of the defensive secondary. As mentioned above, those are the biggest needs for Pittsburgh heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. Whichever position didn’t get drafted in the first round, you better believe the Steelers will consider filling those needs with either second round pick.
It feels like a stretch to have Brian Branch (S - Alabama) fall to No. 32 overall, but it’s not completely out of the picture. That would be a very exciting pick for Pittsburgh in the second round.
Keion White (EDGE - Georgia Tech) is the wild card here. If he’s available at No. 49, then there’s a chance the Steelers take him after already addressing their needs on the offensive line and secondary.