Steelers Named Team That Boosted Projected Win Total Through NFL Draft

Omar Khan Kevin Colbert

On NFL Total Access after the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft, NFL Media analytics expert Cynthia Frelund cited five teams she believed improved their projected win totals the most through the draft. Frelund believes that the Steelers, who have an over/under win total by Caesar’s Sportsbook of 8.5, are one of those five teams.

“When I’m looking at the Pittsburgh Steelers and I’m thinking about improving along the o-line, and then I’m thinking about doubling down and doing that later in the draft, which was a really smart strategy. And then you’re also getting a tight end, and then…do I really need to keep going? 8.5 games? There are 17 games in the season. When I’m thinking about what’s the opportunity here, I think the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Frelund said

“…8.5 games? The Steelers will do that in their sleep,” she continued.

The Steelers addressed their biggest needs throughout the draft, improving at offensive line, defensive line, EDGE and especially in the secondary. The run game, which is how the Steelers are going to live and die this year, got a lot better with first-round OT Broderick Jones and third-round TE Darnell Washington. Both are maulers in the run game.

Pittsburgh won nine games last season with a team, that on paper, doesn’t look as talented as its potential 2023 roster. The Steelers patched all their major holes, added a lot of talent and especially a lot of good depth. In addition, their projected schedule looks easier than it was last year. Add in the fact that the team went 7-2 down the stretch last year when it pivoted to being more run-heavy, and there’s an easy case to be made the Steelers will surpass that 8.5 projected win total.

It’s hard to definitively say the Steelers will be better next season when you can’t account for things like injuries. But it’s hard for a team to fill pretty much all of its holes and get worse, especially when you can expect some general progression from a young offense led by second-year QB Kenny Pickett. It’s not hard to envision a scenario in which the Steelers play bully ball en route to 10 or 11 wins in 2023.

With the draft concluded, the major part of the NFL offseason is over, which means we’re getting closer and closer to actually seeing this iteration of the Pittsburgh Steelers take the field. It’s the most excited I’ve been about this team in a long time, and I’m ready for it to get started.

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