NFL Draft

Steelers Projected To Land A Top-15 Pick In 2023 NFL Draft Three Weeks Into 2022 Season

We’re three weeks into the 2022 regular season and the Pittsburgh Steelers currently sit at 1-2 on the year, winning the regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, but dropping two straight to the Patriots and Browns. While there is still plenty of season yet to be played with 14 games remaining on the schedule, Pittsburgh’s outlook at pursuing a spot in the playoffs appears to be in question after yet another dismal performance by the offense and the defense looking like a shell of itself after losing OLB T.J. Watt for the next several games.

Currently, Pittsburgh is projected to pick 11th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft according to Tankathon, sitting just behind the Titans at tenth overall and right in front of the division rival Bengals at 12th overall.

The Steelers have been projected to pick inside the top 15 many times in various mock drafts thus far in 2022, with plenty of them projecting them to pick at the 11th spot. Bleacher Report has published several updates to their 2023 NFL Mock Draft, having Pittsburgh select Oregon LB Noah Sewell in one mock draft at the 11th pick. The Draft Network has had Pittsburgh at the 11th spot in one of their mock draft exercises as well, pegging them to select Maryland OT Jaelyn Duncan. OTs Peter Skoronski from Northwestern, Paris Johnson Jr. from Ohio State, and Anton Harrison from Oklahoma also have been paired with the Steelers at the 11th pick in recent mock drafts.

When looking at the positions being paired with Pittsburgh at the top of the draft, OT, ILB, and occasionally CB have most often been associated with the Steelers’ draft choice. OT makes plenty of sense given the fact that Pittsburgh’s O-Line remains mediocre at best, and while RT Chukwuma Okorafor has showed notable improvement three games into 2022, the jury is still out on LT Dan Moore Jr. and if he can be Pittsburgh’s franchise LT for the future. We have done individual scouting spotlights on Skoronski and Duncan thus far on the site, as both have showcased the traits you look for in an NFL-caliber blind side protector.

ILB is another logical choice given the face that Devin Bush is in the final year of his deal and the team desperately needs to improve the front seven to shore up its run defense. Noah Sewell from Oregon appears to be one of the best run-stuffing ILBs in this draft class, having the pedigree and bloodlines that should interest Pittsburgh should he be available.

CB is another position that doesn’t garner as much attention as OT and ILB, but still is a pressing need since Pittsburgh lacks a true #1 cover cornerback on the roster. Ahkello Witherspoon has been the one filling that role this season, but is off to a slow start, struggling against the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Amari Cooper. Players like Kelee Ringo from Georgia have been tied to Pittsburgh as long, athletic CBs that have the skills to run with receivers in man-to-man coverage, providing Pittsburgh with a true CB1 now that Joe Haden has retired.

It remains to be seen whether Pittsburgh will indeed pick in the top 15, let alone 11th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Should they finish that high in the draft order, it likely means the 2022 season got away from them and that they will have some glaring holes to fill on the roster. However, having a draft selection that high will allow Pittsburgh to have its choice of several of the names listed above as well as others that will gain steam in the pre-draft process, having the opportunity to select a quality player at a position of need like offensive tackle or inside linebacker.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the Pittsburgh Steelers? Do you see them finishing the season with a top 15 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft? What position do you think the team should put the most emphasis on improving at the end of the season? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!

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