The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2023 NFL Draft with seven draft choices, several of which were not theirs, originally. As of now, they have only six, after using a fourth-round selection to move up from 17 to 14 to ensure they would get their target in the first round, Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones. So what’s left, and what happened to their original choices? Let’s review, first with what they started with, and where they are now.
|Original Choices||Current Choices||What Happened To Them|
|–||Round 1 (14th overall)||Acquired via trade from Patriots on April 27, 2023, in exchange for 17th (1) and 120nd (4) selections.|
|Round 1 (17th overall)||–||Sent to Patriots via trade along with 120nd (4) on April 27, 2023 in exchange for 14th (Broderick Jones).|
|–||Round 2 (32nd overall)||Acquired via trade from Bears on November 1, 2022 in exchange for 3rd-year WR Chase Claypool.|
|Round 2 (49th overall)||Round 2 (49th overall)||Currently still control.|
|Round 3 (80th overall)||Round 3 (80th overall)||Currently still control.|
|Round 4 (120th overall)||–||Sent to Patriots via trade along with 17th (1) on April 27, 2023 in exchange for 14th (Broderick Jones).|
|Round 5 (151st overall)||–||Sent to Seahawks on September 3, 2021, in exchange for CB Ahkello Witherspoon.|
|Round 6 (195th overall)||–||Sent to Broncos on September 3, 2002, in exchange for OLB Malik Reed and 241st (7).|
|Round 7 (234th overall)||–||Sent to Rams on April 21, 2023, in exchange for WR Allen Robinson II and 251st (7).|
|–||Round 7 (241st overall)||Acquired via trade from Broncos along with OLB Malik Reed on September 3, 2022 in exchange for 195th (6).|
|–||Round 7 (251st overall)||Acquired via trade along with WR Allen Robinson on April 21, 2023 II in exchange for 234th (7).|
As you can see, a lot has happened over the past year…and a half. Of the Steelers’ seven original draft choices, they maintain possession of only two, in the second and third rounds, and there seems like a fair chance one of those might end up changing hands before the night is through. Both are due up tonight, so we won’t have to wait long.
The Steelers entered the day maintaining control of their top four native selections from rounds one through four, but they used their own first- (17th) and fourth-round (120th) picks to trade up to 14th to select Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones, getting a deal done with the New England Patriots.
That’s only the latest, and most significant, in a long line of trades that have taken place, beginning before current general manager Omar Khan was on the job, so let’s work our way back to the beginning.
The first pick of the Steelers’ 2023 NFL Draft class to be dealt was the fifth-round selection, due to be 151st overall). They sent that pick to the Seattle Seahawks in September 2021 in exchange for cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. Witherspoon remains on the roster after re-signing in 2022 on a two-year, $8 million contract. He lost his starting job last season and could be released, maybe even just after the draft.
The next pick to move was their sixth-round selection, 195th overall, which they sent to the Denver Broncos on September 3, 2022, exactly a year after the Witherspoon deal, both with the goal of adding depth. In this case it was at outside linebacker, bringing in Malik Reed and acquiring the Broncos’ seventh-round pick, 241st overall, so this deal also resulted in a swap of selections.
Later that year, the Steelers traded wide receiver Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears on November 1, 2022, in exchange for their second-round selection. By season’s end, they had finished with the worst record in the league, granting them the top selection in the round, and affording Pittsburgh the 32nd-overall selection. That means they’re on the clock right now.
Between the Reed and Jones deals was one completed a week ago with the Steelers acquiring veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson II from the Los Angeles Rams. They exchanged seventh-round picks as part of the deal, the Steelers getting back 251 in exchange for 234.
And that’s where we are now, folks, as you can see neatly broken down in the table above. I have a feeling it’s going to change again before tonight is through, but if you were looking for a recap of how we got here before the night’s festivities begin, here you go.