The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.
On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.
Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answered, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.
Question: Predict the pick: who are the Steelers drafting at 17 tonight—if they draft at 17?
Today is the day, people. The first day of the 2023 NFL Draft gets underway tonight, with the Steelers set to make their first-round selection at 17, right in the middle of things. There’s more uncertainty than usual with Omar Khan now general manager and with assistant general manager Andy Weidl running the draft board, so things could get interesting.
The Steelers haven’t held the 17th pick or higher going into a draft since 2014 when they drafted Ryan Shazier 15th overall out of Ohio State. Of course, they drafted Devin Bush at 10 in 2019, but they traded up 10 spots from 20 to do it.
There has been plenty of speculation about the possibility of them trading up again this year, possibly into the top 10, to land a variety of named players, including defensive lineman Jalen Carter and offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
I don’t see that happening, but I still feel pretty strongly that the first-round selection is going to be a tackle or a cornerback. I believe that at least one player from one of those two positions that they value high enough will be available to them at 17, and that they’ll take that player there.
So who would that player be? If you asked me a few days ago, I would have said offensive tackle Darnell Wright. I still think it’s a distinct possibility, and I think that might be the player that they want to draft. But I’m increasingly hearing that he may go ahead of some of the other tackles, in the top 10.
So my prediction for who the Steelers will draft in the first round is: