Sitting at 2-5 on the season and staring at arguably the toughest game of the season Sunday in Philadelphia against the undefeated Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves watching the 2022 season slipping away — and quickly.
That’s led to some draft talk and speculation in recent weeks as the Steelers find themselves with one of the worst records in football, currently putting them in the top 10 of the projected 2023 NFL Draft selection order, a spot the Steelers have not been in since former GM Kevin Colbert took over as the President of Football Operations in 2000, selecting wide receiver Plaxico Burress out of Michigan State at No. 8 overall.
Chances are, they won’t be selecting a wide receiver that high in 2023 NFL Draft, should they remain in the top 10 throughout the season was rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett goes through some growing pains adjusting to the NFL.
For now though, it’s a bit fun to speculate on who the pick could be in the top 10, and what direction the team could go in, as far as areas of talent they might add to.
In the latest first-round mock draft from CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards, the Steelers dip their toes back into the waters on the defensive side of the football, adding to the defensive line with the selection of Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter at No. 5 overall.
“With all of the top quarterbacks off the board, it removes the uncomfortable discussion that might have happened should one be available. It is really early and there has not been enough time to fairly evaluate Kenny Pickett but the conversation has to at least take place,” Edwards writes regarding the Steelers selection of Carter at No. 5 overall. “Carter is the best player available and the Steelers would be wise to turn in the card rather than considering a potentially more important position like offensive tackle.”
Carter is widely considered arguably the top player in the draft, right there with Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr. Adding him to the Steelers’ defense would be a huge win for the black and gold after a rough season, especially with captain Cameron Heyward getting up there in age, Larry Ogunjobi and Chris Wormley set to be free agents, and Tyson Alualu likely heading off into retirement.
Of course, the Steelers could address the defensive line in free agency, potentially chasing Javon Hargrave in an effort to bring him back to the Steel City, but it would be hard to pass up a talent like Carter or even Clemson’s Bryan Bresee in the top 10 of the 2023 NFL Draft, should the Steelers be picking that high and have a shot at selecting one of the two.
Offensive line makes a ton of sense as well in the first round, but as we sit right now, not many offensive linemen can challenge Carter in the top half of the draft from a talent standpoint.