The NFL media continue to praise the Pittsburgh Steelers’ seven draft picks made last week. After receiving positive press from virtually everyone, NFL Network’s Rich Eisen added to the conversation during his Monday show, saying the Steelers had the second-best draft of any team in the NFL.
He loved what the team did at the top, moving up in the first round to grab Georgia LT Broderick Jones.
“I really like the Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft. A lot,” Eisen said. “Broderick Jones, they go up, they beat the Jets to the punch. For this kid who was the last, best top-notch first-round grade left tackle out there. So you get him. Najee Harris is gonna love running behind him. Kenny Pickett is gonna be protected by him.”
Pittsburgh traded up in the first round for only the fourth time this century and the first since 2019 when they made a move for LB Devin Bush. In Omar Khan’s first draft, he smartly jumped the New York Jets, who were widely expected to take Jones had he been available. Eisen, a die-hard Jets fan, had been pounding the table for the team to draft him, even telling Jones that in an interview in early April.
He was the first offensive tackle the Steelers have drafted since 1996 and the first offensive lineman selected in the top two rounds since 2012 when Pittsburgh picked David DeCastro and Mike Adams back-to-back. Adding Jones was another investment in the revamped Steelers’ o-line, one that should be far stronger than it has been in past years. Jones joins a group that includes new guards Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig, who were signed in the offseason. Depth across the board is also better, especially at tackle.
At the top of the second round, the Steelers grabbed Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr., combining a feel-good story with tremendous value.
“How about Joey Porter? How about bringing the legacy back for the top pick in the second round? They stayed put and they took the kid out of Penn State. Long, tall corner. They’re gonna love him,” Eisen said.
A potential candidate at #17, the Steelers turned down multiple trade offers to keep the pick and take Porter. He may not start Week One but will be an immediate impact player in Pittsburgh’s secondary.
Eisen ran through the bulk of the Steelers’ other draft picks, again praising each.
“Keeanu Benton is a mauler from Wisconsin, right in the middle of the defensive line. Stick him next to Cam Heyward,” he said. “Darnell Washington, Nick Herbig, those are guys who are all so-called ‘value picks.'”
Benton could start the year at nose tackle while Washington fell to #93 due to medical concerns over his knee. Pittsburgh still grabbed him after trading down 13 spots. Herbig was solid value in the fourth round and could lead the Steelers in special teams tackles as a rookie.
So who edged out the Steelers for the top spot? You don’t have to even leave the state to find them. Eisen gave the nod to the Philadelphia Eagles, who grabbed a pair of Georgia Bulldogs in the first round in DT Jalen Carter at #9 – trading up one spot with Chicago – and EDGE rusher Nolan Smith at #30. For a time during the draft, there were five Georgia players selected, all by either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. The Eagles also picked up a third-round pick after the Arizona Cardinals self-reported a tampering violation with new head coach Jonathan Gannon when he was with the Eagles and used it to select Illinois DB Sydney Brown 66th overall, one pick after taking Alabama OT/OG Tyler Steen. CB Kelee Ringo fell to them in the fourth, too.
Overall, it’s fair to give the edge to the Eagles. But the Steelers weren’t far behind. Now this group will have to play as good as it looks.
Catch Eisen’s entire top five below.