NFL Draft

Steelers Currently Projected To Pick 7th Overall In 2023 NFL Draft Entering Week 8

At the conclusion of Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season with the Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Monday night, Chicago moved to 3-4 on the year, jumping the Pittsburgh Steelers in the W/L column, thus having Pittsburgh move up the current 2023 NFL Draft order.

According to Tankathon, the Pittsburgh Steelers are currently projected to hold the seventh overall pick in the first-round next spring. Pittsburgh has six draft picks in 2023, owning their own first, second, third, fourth, sixth, and seventh round picks after trading their fifth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks last season for CB Ahkello Witherspoon. With those picks, Pittsburgh is projected to pick a 7th, 38th, 69th, 100th, 168th, and 199th overall in this year’s upcoming draft if the season ended today.

It has been a difficult season for Pittsburgh who are off to a dismal 2-5 start. The loss of DPOY T.J. Watt in Week 1 certainly doesn’t help matters, but the defense hasn’t been able to generate any semblance of a pass rush in his absence while the offense looks incapable of sustaining drives and converting in the red zone.

In terms of needs and potential targets should Pittsburgh indeed finish with the seventh selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, there are plenty of directions the Steelers could go to improve the roster. Players like DL Chris Wormley and Larry Ogunjobi, LB Devin Bush, and S Terrell Edmunds are all scheduled to hit free agency this spring, suggesting Pittsburgh could fill their shoes with a young, talented player via the draft. Georgia DL Jalen Carter would be an ideal pick for Pittsburgh if they wanted to address the defensive line whereas Oregon LB Noah Sewell or Clemson LB Trenton Simpson could replace Bush and play beside Myles Jack at linebacker in 2023.

Given Pittsburgh’s lack of pass rush and Alex Highsmith entering the final year of his rookie contract, the Steelers could add another talented edge rusher with their first selection. Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. will almost certainly be off the board by then, but Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy, Notre Dame EDGE Isaiah Foskey, and LSU EDGE BJ Ojulari all could be there and provide some much-needed pass rush juice. The Steelers currently lack a #1 CB on the roster and prospects like Georgia CB Kelee Ringo or Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. could fit the bill.

While LT Dan Moore Jr. has played better as of late, Pittsburgh could opt to draft a franchise-caliber LT to upgrade on a player like Moore. Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, Maryland’s Jaelyn Duncan, and Ohio State’s Paris Johnson all make sense as potential blindside protectors who project favorably to the next level. IOL including Minnesota C John Michael Schmitz, Notre Dame G Jarrett Patterson, and Ole Miss G Nick Broeker all would upgrade the interior, but are more likely Day Two picks than top ten selections.

How the Pittsburgh Steelers address free agency in lead up to the draft will be telling in terms of what route they may choose to go with their first selection in the draft next spring. Pittsburgh could improve down the stretch and find themselves picking outside the top ten come draft day, but should this performance on the field continue, the Steelers will have a fair amount of talented players to choose from with the highest pick they have had in decades.

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