Miller: Two Positions That ‘Come Up Most Often’ For Steelers In Draft Include OT, CB

In just two weeks the 2023 NFL Draft will kick off in Kansas City. The culmination of a busy offseason featuring some serious overhauls is nearing. For the Pittsburgh Steelers some areas of need are starting to come more and more into focus.

After the signings of players like cornerback Patrick Peterson, linebackers Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts and guard Isaac Seumalo, some key holes on the roster have been addressed. Still, that leaves some areas of need for the Steelers entering the 2023 NFL Draft and two of those line up well for the team entering this month’s draft.

According to ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller and Steelers beat reporter Brooke Pryor, the two positions that come up often regarding the Steelers in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft are offensive tackle and cornerback.

“The two positions that come up most often when talking to sources about the Steelers’ draft plans are cornerback and offensive tackle, so Brooke [Pryor] and I are on the same page,” Miller writes for ESPN.com Thursday morning regarding the latest buzz two weeks before the draft. “(Joey) Porter (Jr.) is a fan favorite — yes, his father was drafted by the Steelers, too — but his length, aggressive style of play and ability to attack the ball also make him a great value and scheme fit for the Steelers. He could definitely be available in the middle of Round 1. And with the first pick of Day 2, I like tackle Anton Harrison (Oklahoma) to Pittsburgh.”

Based on everything the Steelers have done this offseason, and the interest they’ve shown in the positions in the pre-draft process, offensive tackle and cornerback are the two positions that they are targeting early.

When it comes to need, one might not be bigger than the other currently on the roster. Left tackle Dan Moore Jr. and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor are both serviceable young starters who played relatively well down the stretch last season. But they are bookend starters that can easily be upgraded at the top of the draft.

At cornerback, Peterson is no doubt talented. But he’s going on 33, has lost a step and is nearing the end of his career, even coming off a strong season in 2022. Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon will battle for the starting job opposite Peterson — at least for now — and Arthur Maulet projects to be in the slot once again.

Porter Jr. makes the most sense for the Steelers at cornerback. While the team’s connection to Porter Jr. is obvious as he’s the son of former Steelers great Joey Porter, the Penn State product brings great length, physicality and aggressiveness that the Steelers look for in the position. There’s also a guy like Maryland’s Deonte Banks who makes a ton of sense for the Steelers in the first round.

If cornerback isn’t the move in the first round, players like Tennessee’s Darnell Wright, Ohio State’s Dawand Jones and Harrison make a great deal of sense for the Steelers outside of the big three at the tackle position (Broderick Jones, Peter Skoronski, Paris Johnson Jr.). Miller believes Harrison will be available at No. 32 overall and could be a Steeler in that slot.

Regardless of what direction the Steelers head in the first round, it’s important that with two of their three top-50 selections, they address cornerback and offensive tackle, shoring up the two biggest needs on the roster.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!