In recent years, NFL.com columnist and CBS Sports/SiriusXM personality Adam Schein has often been critical — sometimes unfairly — of the Pittsburgh Steelers and their mode of operations.
Sometimes, that criticism was warranted. Other times, not so much.
Lately though, Schein has changed his tune a bit, and that continued Tuesday as Schein listed the Steelers as one of his draft winners coming out of the 2023 NFL Draft, praising GM Omar Khan for doing a “tremendous job” in his first draft as the Steelers’ head man while highlighting the Steelers’ draft class as one of his nine favorites coming out of the weekend.
“I’ve been critical of the Steelers at times for favoring sizzle over substance. Not here! Leapfrogging the Jets to grab Broderick Jones — the last of the Big Four offensive tackles — was a savvy move. He will immediately start and help protect my guy Kenny Pickett,” Schein writes regarding the Steelers’ draft class. “Then Pittsburgh stole Joey Porter Jr. with the first pick of Round 2, which was fitting because they originally stole that pick from Chicago in the Chase Claypool trade. Porter should’ve been a first rounder. And having the Steeler bloodlines with his dad is so special and fun.
“The hits kept coming on Day 2. Keeanu Benton tore up the Senior Bowl and feels like a perfect fit on Pittsburgh’s defensive front, which needed some young blood. And I really like massive Georgia tight end Darnell Washington a lot. He just feels like a take-no-prisoners Steeler who would’ve fit right in with those nasty Super Bowl teams of the 1970s. In his first draft sitting in the big chair, Steelers GM Omar Khan did a tremendous job.”
It’s hard to find any fault whatsoever regarding the Steelers’ draft class in the first year with Khan in charge. Pittsburgh leaned heavily into the bully-ball mentality, loading up in the trenches with Jones, Washington and Spencer Anderson offensively, as well as Benton defensively, addressing some major needs.
On top of that bully-ball mentality, the Steelers did a great job adding size and physicality in the cornerback room, an area that has been rebuilt in recent seasons, with Porter Jr. and Cory Trice Jr., two cornerbacks that were consensus top-10 players at the position but were available to the Steelers in the second and seventh rounds for different reasons.
Entering the draft, the Steelers knew what their needs were. They did a tremendous job of letting the board fall to them in certain spots, and being aggressive when they needed to be, putting together a rather impressive draft class overall to load up for what has the makings of a big 2023 season for the Black and Gold.