The dust is starting to settle following the 2023 NFL Draft, which was a smashing success for the Pittsburgh Steelers. GM Omar Khan, now nicknamed the “Khan Artist”, couldn’t have done better in his first draft calling the shots, adding talented prospects at a value with nearly every selection. The Steelers appear to have found their LT of the future in Broderick Jones while also managing to land first-round talents, including CB Joey Porter Jr. and TE Darnell Washington on Day Two of the draft.
While the Steelers appear set up for success with notable additions to the defense this offseason as well ones to embrace playing bully ball offense in 2023, there are still a couple of key factors that will determine if these additions mean better results this coming season.
One key factor is the development of QB Kenny Pickett from Year One to Year Two, and Brooke Pryor of ESPN, as part a piece highlighting the biggest post-draft question for every NFL team, said OC Matt Canada’s ability to use the new offensive playmakers effectively is this team’s most important factor heading into the 2023 season.
“The Steelers have used their last three first-round picks to acquire foundational offensive pieces,” Pryor wrote. “Now they have to translate that to success on the field.”
Pittsburgh has gone all in in overhauling its offense the last three seasons, spending its 2021 first-round pick on RB Najee Harris to give the team a feature back that can carry the load on the ground. The Steelers drafted their hopeful future franchise QB last year in Pickett with the 20th-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. This year, they traded up a few spots to select OT Broderick Jones, who will be tasked with protecting Pickett as well as paving the way for Harris in the running game.
Pittsburgh has done more to address their offense outside of their first-round draft pick this offseason. They managed to get incredible value in TE Darnell Washington, who fell into their lap at #93 overall in the third round, giving Pittsburgh a unicorn-type player that can be a red zone weapon as well as a dominant run blocker at the position. They executed a trade to land WR Allen Robinson II, a proven veteran who provides another big red zone presence as well as a reliable security blanket for Pickett on possession downs. They also beefed up the interior of the OL, signing Isaac Seumalo to start as well as Nate Herbig, who provides great depth.
Simply put, the offense is the best on paper it has been in some time, likely since the “Killer B” days when Pittsburgh had Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell. However, it’s up to Canada to take these pieces and come up with an offense that is far better at finishing drives and putting points on the board that it has been the last two seasons with him at the helm. There are no excuses heading into 2023 for Canada. He has everything he needs to be successful and to put together a multi-faceted offensive attack. This is the year for him deliver; otherwise, it will result in another disappointing season for the Steelers.
And likely end his tenure with the team.