For The Steelers, 2023 NFL Draft Has Depth In All The Right Places

As we get closer and closer to the NFL Draft, now just under a month away, the more we learn about this year’s draft class. Some of the position groups are deep, some are not deep. For a team that has some big needs, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, having some of their biggest needs dovetail with the deepest position groups is a good thing.

Today, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso ranked the 2023 NFL Draft class based on position groups. The good news for the Steelers, if they agree with Trapasso, is that two of their biggest needs are in the top three for best position groups: cornerback and offensive tackle.

It is no secret that Pittsburgh needs a cornerback and offensive tackle, with Cameron Sutton leaving in free agency and the starting offensive tackle situation just be average; upgrades can be made at both positions.

Trapasso also lauds a cornerback group led by Christian Gonzalez, Devon Witherspoon, and Joey Porter Jr. Trapasso has six cornerbacks with first-round grades, and 18 with top-100 grades. Given that Pittsburgh has picks 17, 32, 49, and 80, they have a good chance of getting a high-level cornerback prospect somewhere in their first four picks.

With so much cornerback talent in this year’s draft, the Steelers won’t feel the need to be locked into the position at pick 17 and reach. Instead they can comfortably wait until round two to draft a high-level, and possibly first-round talent cornerback.

Say Pittsburgh doesn’t want a cornerback at 17, what is its next biggest need? Offensive tackle. Lucky for the Steelers it is another great group. Trapasso lists the offensive tackle class as the third-best position group and says he has four with first-round grades and 12 with top-100 grades. With Pittsburgh at minimum needing depth at tackle — and likely wanting to upgrade the position — there is a lot of talent to grab a good one early.

With the depth at cornerback and offensive tackle, general manager Omar Khan and head coach Mike Tomlin will have a lot of flexibility when approaching the early rounds. Last year the team needed a quarterback and because of a weaker class, Kenny Pickett fell right to them. This year the two biggest needs are the deepest, allowing the Steelers to grab top-level talent, possibly in the third round.

The football gods are smiling down on the Steelers rebuild at certain positions. Hopefully, with the quality available, the Steelers can grab a stud at corner and offensive tackle early in the draft.

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