Several more way-too-early 2023 mock drafts have surfaced since the 2022 NFL Draft concluded on Saturday and one of those comes courtesy of Ryan Wilson of CBS and it includes the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting a wide receiver in the first round.
Wilson has the Steelers selecting Pittsburgh wide receiver Jordan Addison at 11th overall in the first round of his way-too-early 2023 mock draft and below is the reason he gave for doing so.
“Addison played with Kenny Pickett at Pitt and why not reunite them with the Steelers? Addison is a home-run threat at all three levels and if Pittsburgh doesn’t want to pay Diontae Johnson, targeting a WR here makes sense.”
The connection to the Steelers obviously makes sense on several levels as Addison is a Pittsburgh product and a fine wide receiver at that. He might not play for Pittsburgh in 2022, however, as the 2021 Biletnikoff Award-winning wide receiver officially entered the transfer portal on Tuesday. While Addison has not made a decision regarding a destination, USC has been pegged as the likely landing spot because of a potential sizable NIL deal. Returning to Pittsburgh also remains on the table, according to multiple reports.
In his two seasons at Pittsburgh, Addison has recorded 160 receptions for 2,259 yards (14.1 average) and 21 touchdowns. Last year, Addison had 100 receptions for 1,593 yards (15.9 average) and 17 touchdowns.
The fact that Wilson has the steelers picking 11th overall in his early 2023 mock draft also shows what he thinks about the 2022 prospects for the Steelers. Picking 11th overall would likely be the result of the Steelers finishing under .500 in 2022, something that hasn’t happened since 2003. It’s worth noting that Wilson is huge Steelers fan as well.
Even if the Steelers do wind up losing wide receiver Diontae Johnson next offseason, which would be a result of them not franchise tagging him after not signing him to a contract extension later this offseason, it seems a bit of a reach to suggest that the Steelers would draft a wide receiver in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft on the heels of drafting two this year, George Pickens and Calvin Austin III, in their first four selections.
If the Steelers were to draft a wide receiver in 2023, odds are probably better that such a selection would come after the first round. The last time the Steelers drafted a wide receiver in the first round was in 2006 when Santonio Holmes was the team’s selection at 25th overall.
Let me close by reference Wilsons 2022 way-too-early mock draft from a year ago. In that offering, he had the Steelers selecting Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam at 15th overall. Elam, as it turned out, was picked in the first round by the Buffalo Bills this past Thursday night at 23rd overall.