The Steelers have been recognized repeatedly as one of the 2023 NFL Draft’s biggest winners. Still, there remain a few holes for Pittsburgh as Day 3 gets underway in Kansas City, particularly on defense.
Pro Football Focus released a list of players each NFL team should look to pick up on Day 3 of the selection showcase and Gordon McGuinness suggested the Steelers shore up the depth at inside linebacker with Oregon’s Noah Sewell.
“Sewell flashed big plays but not consistency in his time at Oregon,” McGuinness wrote. “His ability as a pass-rusher makes him an intriguing option on Day 3, though. From 94 pass-rushing snaps this past season, he racked up two sacks, two hits and 14 hurries.”
An interesting stance for McGuinness to take when it comes to the stocky off-ball linebacker. Though no one in Pittsburgh will turn its nose up at versatility at the linebacker position.
Our own Jonathan Heitritter described Sewell as a “physically gifted linebacker” who possesses “great size, strength, and speed that you want in a downhill thumper.”
Sewell is shaped in the mold of an old-school linebacker that figures to be a two-down run stuffer as he acclimates to the next level. That partially explains why he’s available on Day 3 of the Draft, as the NFL has shown less and less interest in that style of linebacker with coverage responsibilities becoming more prevalent for the position.
“Still, his fluidity as an athlete needs to be worked on this season for him to be considered a well-rounded prospect at the position as well as cleaning up some of his tackle attempts and ability to stay sticky in man coverage,” Heitritter wrote in his scouting profile.
The Steelers completely revamped the inside linebacker room this offseason. Out with Devin Bush, Myles Jack and Robert Spillane and in with Elandon Roberts and Cole Holcomb. Pittsburgh only returns second-year project Mark Robinson at the position and still needs to find depth and special team help at the position. Sewell would be quality competition for Robinson and his athletic profile suggests he’d be a fine contributor in the third phase as well.
The Steelers likely appreciate the NFL connection with Sewell as his older brother Penei Sewell has already enjoyed great success as the Detroit Lions starting right tackle. However, there remains the interesting fact that Steelers often don’t look out west in the draft. That said, Sewell did meet with the Steelers in Indianapolis, so some dots can be connected.