Mike Tomlin, Omar Khan Excited By Potential Of Getting Calls For #32, Says Team Has Gotten Interest For #17

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2023 NFL Draft holding picks #17 and #32. Whether they exit the draft making selections at those spots is anyone’s guess. The draft is unpredictable from the order the players will go to the picks teams will make. And with plenty of draft capital in the top two days — four picks in the top — 80, the Steelers are in a unique spot in Omar Khan’s first draft as the team’s general manager.

In their annual pre-draft press conference, Mike Tomlin and Khan expressed excitement over holding the top pick of the second round, #32 overall. And Khan confirmed there’s been calls about pick #17.

“Man, we’re excited about it,” Tomlin said in the presser via the team’s YouTube channel. “We’ve been talking about it. I think the thing we’re least familiar about it is the amount of calls that we will be or could be getting. That’s where we’ve spent our time is how we organize, how we get prepared for the receiving of the amount of interest that pick could have. That’s a good and exciting possibility for us.”

Tomlin later added that #32 might attract “QB shoppers” and though he didn’t specify names, if someone like Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker slips out of Day One, the Steelers may trade out of the pick.

“Being at that position, we acknowledge we’re not QB shopping,” he said. “That position might attract some QB shoppers. It’s exciting to see what might transpire with some of those phone calls and the value we might be able to get. It’s a unique position for us to be in and we’re excited about it.”

Pittsburgh holding the top pick in the second round is highly unusual. It came via the Chase Claypool deal with the Chicago Bears, sending him for a second-round pick. After the Bears lost every game following the trade, the Steelers netted the top selection.

That lull between Day One and Day Two will give Pittsburgh and the rest of the league the chance to re-examine their boards and work the phones. Though recent history says that top pick isn’t dealt as often as you might think but the Steelers aren’t usually the type of team picking that early in Round Two.

Khan said he’s fielded calls from teams about #17 though couched it in teams doing their due diligence and putting feelers out pre-draft.

“That’s natural. That happens. But that is happening,” he said. “We’re [getting calls] and seeing if we’re interesting in moving up and moving down. A lot of times it’s just fishing for information.”

Khan said he’ll have spoken with all 31 teams prior to Thursday night.

The Steelers have been rumored to be looking to trade up from #17, ostensibly for an offensive tackle, though some of that could be a first-time GM crossing his T’s and dotting his I’s, making sure every scenario is accounted for before the craziness of draft night begins.

Throughout the presser, Tomlin and Khan repeatedly talked up the depth of the draft class, perhaps hinting at a desire to keep their picks, but no one knows until they know. And we’ll begin “knowing” Thursday night.

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