2023 NFL Draft

Steelers Trade Up, Make Pair Of First-Round Picks In New Mock Draft

I’ll be the first to admit mock drafts can be a little tiresome. Roughly the same five players projected at #17, the same discussion, the same evaluation. So when mocks do something different, even if it doesn’t feel realistic, it’s worth passing along. That’s what CBS Sports did in its latest mock draft, having the Pittsburgh Steelers make two first-round picks, one at #17 and another by trading back into the first round. 

In Josh Edwards’ latest mock, he has the Steelers taking Georgia OT Broderick Jones at the team’s original #17 spot. Falling into Pittsburgh’s laps, Edwards’ writes:

“Broderick Jones is a young, physical offensive tackle who still has room for growth. He moves really well for his size and has a chance to protect Kenny Pickett’s blindside for a long time.”

While Jones lacks great college experience, just 19 career starts, he has the size and athleticism to be an NFL left tackle and is considered by many to be the second-best tackle in this year’s class. Pittsburgh hasn’t been shy about upgrading its offensive line this offseason, making big strides along the interior already. If a top tackle falls, he’ll be hard to ignore. Jones isn’t quite the house or has the bulk of a Dawand Jones or Darnell Wright but still has great size at 6’5, 311, with nearly 35-inch arms.

Normally, that’s where these mocks stop. But Edwards doesn’t close the book on the Steelers with them trading up into the first round at #23 to go grab Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks. He also outlines the details of the deal, making a trade with the Minnesota Vikings.

“Trade! Pittsburgh moves up to select one of the top remaining cornerbacks to address the two biggest needs of the first round. Minnesota receives No. 32 overall and a third-round pick in return.”

So Pittsburgh sends #32 and #80 to move up nine spots to #23. A reasonably fair deal to “get their guy” and secure another first-round pick who comes with a fifth-year option. Banks is a physical press corner with good speed who is hard to beat vertically. There are some questions about his change of direction and fluidity.

The Steelers haven’t had a pair of first round picks since 1989 when they drafted RB Tim Worley at #7 and OG Tom Ricketts at #24. Neither selection panned out the way the team hoped, though it nabbed Carnell Lake early in the second round. Throughout the offseason, GM Omar Khan – in his first draft – has vowed to be aggressive so it’s possible the team makes a move to get back into the first round, especially knowing they have a pair of second-round picks to be aggressive with. But predicting trades are impossible. They’re all based off the board and the offers and it takes two to tango. We’ll see what happens next month.

In Edwards’ mock, he has Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud going #1 overall to the Carolina Panthers. He mocks a trade where the Baltimore Ravens trade QB Lamar Jackson to the Indianapolis Colts and select Florida QB Anthony Richardson at #4 while Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. goes one pick ahead of the Steelers, #16 to Washington. Again, you can check out the whole mock at the link here.

And you can check out our profiles on Jones and Banks below.

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