NFL Draft

Steelers Draft Class Earns One Of League’s Highest Grades From NFL Draft Analyst

Two days removed from the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft, the class that the Pittsburgh Steelers put together seems to be universally lauded, at least within NFL circles.

Called draft “winners” by the likes of NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., the praise of the Steelers’ seven-player draft haul continues to roll in at an impressive rate.

That praise continued Monday morning as’s Chad Reuter handed out one of his highest draft class grades of the cycle to the Steelers, giving them an “A” grade.

“Another solid first two days for the Steelers, with the trade for Jones filling the left tackle spot that was a sore spot last season, Porter picked as a playmaker outside (not just a legacy pick), Benton adding strength and athleticism up front and Washington’s massive frame giving him a chance to excel as a blocker and receiving threat,” Reuter writes regarding the Steelers’ draft class and the grade handed out. “Using the early second-rounder gained in the Chase Claypool trade on Porter was a major win.

“Herbig can play inside or outside for the Steelers, with his aggressive nature overcoming his slight build. Anderson has good size and decent athleticism and should land on the roster as a swing tackle.”

It is truly hard to find many issues — if any — with the Steelers’ draft class, which is the first one under GM Omar Khan and assistant GM Andy Weidl at the helm of the front office.

An aggressive offseason continued in the three-day draft for Pittsburgh. Khan traded up from No. 17 to No. 14 with the New England Patriots to secure Georgia’s Broderick Jones ahead of the New York Jets in the first round. That decision to move up for Jones kickstarted a strong draft, which included landing Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. at No. 32 overall to open the second round, and then adding Wisconsin defensive tackle Keeanu Benton at No. 49 overall. The Steelers then took Georgia tight end Darnell Washington at No. 93 overall following a trade down from No. 80 with the Carolina Panthers to close out the second day of the draft.

Day 3 was a strong one for the Steelers too. Pittsburgh added Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig at No. 132 overall — the pick acquired in the trade down with the Panthers — as well as Purdue cornerback Cory Trice Jr. at No. 241 overall and Maryland offensive lineman Spencer Anderson at No. 251 overall.

Overall, it was a very good draft for the Steelers as they addressed significant areas of need on the offensive and defensive lines, and at cornerback. Khan was aggressive but calculated and saw the board break perfectly in his favor time and time again. That ultimately resulted in one of the better draft hauls — on paper — the Steelers have had in years.

Draft class grades are largely meaningless in the end, but it’s great to see the Steelers receiving so much praise coming out of the draft for the first time in what feels like a long time.

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