NFL Draft

Ike Taylor: Steelers Mock Drafts ‘Ain’t Too Far Off’ From What Franchise Might Be Targeting

When it comes to mock drafts and discussions regarding which position or specific player the Pittsburgh Steelers might be targeting in the NFL Draft year after year, it’s usually a hopeless exercise. Nobody outside of the four walls inside the Steelers’ practice facility has a real answer as to what the Steelers are gearing up to do.

It’s a fun exercise overall, and to hear former Steelers great turned scout Ike Taylor, the mock drafts he’s seen this year ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft for the Black and Gold “ain’t too far off” from what’s happening inside the facility.

Appearing on his latest episode of the Bleav In Steelers podcast with co-host Mark Bergin, Taylor gave his thoughts on the Steelers’ draft needs as a whole with his newfound inside perspective as a member of the scouting staff. He revealed that fans and the media aren’t all that far off when it comes to players the Steelers are potentially targeting.

“I’m looking at the way we talk about these mock drafts and who can possibly go where; they ain’t too far off. I will say that,” Taylor stated, according to video via Bergin’s YouTube page. 

While Taylor isn’t going to reveal too much of the inside secrets regarding the Steelers and targets in the 2023 NFL Draft, it was rather eye-opening that he did drop that little nugget to viewers, hinting that the national discussion regarding the Steelers and their potential path at No. 17 overall isn’t all that far off from what’s actually happening inside the draft war room inside the Steelers’ facility.

Throughout the pre-draft process for the Steelers, names like Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr., Maryland’s Deonte Banks, Tennessee’s Darnell Wright, Ohio State’s Dawand Jones and Alabama’s Brian Branch have often been linked to the Black and Gold at No. 17 overall, hypothetically shoring up those holes on the roster.

Of course, it helps that guys like GM Omar Khan and head coach Mike Tomlin have made trips to the Pro Days to see guys like Jones and Branch and have had top 30 visits with guys like Porter Jr., Banks and Wright, which adds more speculation to the possibility at No. 17 overall.

In the end though, it’s just that — speculation — until the pick is announced on Thursday night. But, if Taylor is to be taken at his word, the general discussion regarding the Steelers and their first-round pick isn’t all that far off from what’s happening inside the war room.

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