The 2023 NFL draft is tomorrow, and the Pittsburgh Steelers make their first selection this Thursday. So, here is a full list of the Steelers 2023 NFL Draft.
Steelers Trade Up
Pittsburgh makes a move into the top 10, trading their 17th overall pick and the 32nd pick to the Chicago Bears. While the Bears send the 9th and 64th overall pick.
Round 1, P9: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
Trading up to secure a guaranteed Left Tackle ahead of the normally projected Jones at pick 17 is huge for the Steelers. Though either pick I feel suits the team needs. Johnson is one of the top Offensive Tackles in this year’s draft, but the Steelers will make a move securing him before he falls out of the Top 10. Playing over 1500 combined snaps for 2021 and 2022, allowing just 2 sacks over those two years. While also starting 26 consecutive games for the Buckeyes.
Round 2, P49: DJ Turner, CB, Michigan
With the trade to number 9, losing the 32nd pick means we miss out on Kelee Ringo out of Georgia. But be sure if he falls this low, that’s the pick. At 5’11” running a 4.26 40 time, the fastest player in the draft, he should be a perfect slot corner for Pittsburgh. 36 total tackles and 10 passes defended puts him amongst the best in CFB last year. Three interceptions is a little light in two years at Michigan but one being a 65 yard Pick Six, his speed should give him the ability to cover more gaps in a nickel defense. Turners speed also gives him opportunity as a returner even if he didn’t get a ton of experience in Michigan in that aspect,
Round 2, P64: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
Dexter gets picked up early here, the Steelers needing that help at DT this season. With the pick up of Allen Robinson II, Pittsburgh can put the WR need at least to a later pick. Allowing them to grab a DT in Gervon. Dexter had a 2 year tenure as a Gator, having 5 sacks, and two interceptions. As well as 105 tackles through the last two years. Is he the best DT in the draft, no. But he may be the best option towards the later portion of the second round.
Round 3, P80: Henry To’o To’o, LB, Alabama
It’s hard to go wrong with a linebacker out of Alabama. Henry drops to 80 and the Steelers make the move. To’o To’o was a strong playmaker for Alabama’s 3-4 defense with showings of adaptability. Nabbing 8 sacks in 4 collegiate years, with a pick six in 2020 as well. Should make a great 3rd round pick up for the Steel Curtain.
Round 4, P120: Nick Herbig, LB, Wisconsin
The Steelers picked up Nate Herbig in Free Agency this year, putting Nick on the map for them. Pittsburgh has always been “for the bloodline”. But also because he has a very similar skill set to T.J. Watt. Pairing him with Watt, his brother, and Alex Highsmith could be the perfect storm. With limited size, at a day three pick, he could easily become an off-ball back. Nick isn’t going to be a multi-gap covering elite Linebacker, but coming in as an off-ball sub rusher, he could become an every down player.
Round 7, P241: Jason Taylor II, Safety, Oklahoma State
Taylor coming in as a safety as a seventh-round pick, is a win for the Steelers. Having nearly 100 tackles in 2022, with 6 interceptions and essentially two full seasons in OSU. He is not ready to be an every down player, but will compete for snaps at camp. Jason will apply pressure to daily players and continue to provide aggression on special teams for Pittsburgh. Taylor is a big hitter, but had plenty of missed tackles in the open field in his time at OSU. Combined with low speed he will have to use his deep ball tracking skills to get his share of interceptions in the league.
Round 7, P251: Clayton Tune, QB, Houston
Steelers continuously have three QB’s at camp. This year will be no different, with only two on the roster right now, expect a late QB Pick. Tune was a 5 year player for the Houston Cougars. Coming into the draft with a collegiate line of almost 12,000 passing yards and 104 touchdowns. Showing discipline with throwing the ball, consistently getting better in college. Hitting 10 interceptions in each of his last three years in Houston. But going from 15 to 30 to 40 touchdowns is growth. While maintaining completion percentage. Not a bad last pick up for Pittsburgh to add competition to the QB room.