2023 NFL Draft

Brian Baldinger Believes Steelers Will Take OT & C In The Draft: ‘Fix This Offensive Line Once And For All’

On NFL Now which aired live on NFL Network, analyst Brian Baldinger was asked by host Andrew Siciliano if he sees the Pittsburgh Steelers continuing their overhaul of the offensive line by selecting an OL at #17 overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Not only did Baldinger answer Siciliano’s question affirmatively, stating he thinks that Pittsburgh will take an OT with their first pick, but that the team will invest multiple picks in the trenches on the offensive side of the football to return the line to prominence in 2023 and beyond.

“You bring in Isaac Seumalo and you bring in Nate Herbig, who started for the Jets last year, and that might upgrade the guard positions,” Baldinger said on NFL Now. “I still think that they need a tackle, and I am looking for them to take a center as well in this draft. It’s a good draft for centers and you can get good value in the second or third rounds at that position. I feel like they might draft two offensive linemen to just fix this offensive line once and for all. It’s been a number of years since they’ve been an elite group, and I think that they have a chance to get an elite tackle and maybe a center.”

The Steelers finished the 2022 season strong with better play from the OL down the stretch, but GM Omar Khan and assistant GM Andy Weidl didn’t want to go into 2023 in the same situation they were in last year, lacking top-end talent as well as capable depth behind the starters. They signed Seumalo from the Eagles and he figures to man one of the guard spots opposite James Daniels. They also brought in Nate Herbig, who has most of his experience at guard but can be Pittsburgh’s swing guy at both guard spots as well as potentially play center in a pinch.

The Steelers haven’t invested much draft capital in the OL for several years now, with the last first-round pick being David DeCastro in 2012. That looks to change as the Steelers have been doing their homework on all the top OT prospects in the draft class. While a trade up to get Paris Johnson Jr. from Ohio State or Broderick Jones from Georgia is a possibility, they likely could stand pat or even trade back a few spots and land a prospect like Darnell Wright from Tennessee or Dawand Jones from Ohio State. HC Mike Tomlin suggested that the team could look to upgrade the OT position last month. He stated that “happy” wouldn’t be an accurate description but rather he is “comfortable” with the guys they currently have in-house.

While C Mason Cole represented himself well in his first season with the team last year, he isn’t the caliber of player that Pittsburgh is used to having at the position. Like Baldy stated, the center class has some notable names, including Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz, who came in for a pre-draft visit with the Steelers, as well as Wisconsin’s Joe Tippmann who met formally with the Steelers at the Combine. Both prospects could be had somewhere on Day Two of the draft and represent a long-term upgrade over Cole at the pivot, giving Pittsburgh a player with higher upside.

The Steelers will take an offensive lineman in the 2023 NFL Draft. We are fairly certain of that. Most would suggest that they would take a tackle if having to choose between the two positions given the fact that Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor are just average at their respective positions. Still, this team has prioritized center in the past, and its interest in the position is real. Regardless of whether Pittsburgh elects to take one or both positions, this team has made a clear statement that its wants to return to dominant offensive line play like it had a half decade ago. Should they pick the right OT and/or C, the Steelers could very well complete that process this offseason.

To Top