Steelers Draft Class Named One Of ‘Most Impactful’ Ahead Of 2023 Season

Ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, it was hard to imagine the Pittsburgh Steelers coming out with the haul that they ultimately did.

Landing Broderick Jones, Joey Porter Jr., Keeanu Benton, Darnell Washington, Nick Herbig, Cory Trice Jr., and Spencer Anderson has the Steelers earning a ton of praise coming out of the draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah called the Steelers clear winners coming out of the three-day draft.

Now, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso believes that the Steelers might have the “most impactful” draft class ahead of the 2023 season. 

Trapasso ranked the Steelers’ draft class as the No. 2 “most impactful” in the NFL ahead of the 2023 season, just behind the Indianapolis Colts and right ahead of the Seattle Seahawks.

“Benton to the Steelers was absolutely perfect. He’s the next defensive front seven star on that franchise with a storied defensive history. Porter too. Washington will acclimate quicker than many expect because he can actually make many NFL players look small and lacking in the power department,” Trapasso writes regarding the Steelers’ draft class. “Plus, Kenny Pickett will be quite fond of his catch radius. Jones could take some time to become steady force on the outside. He won’t be a disaster out of the gate, however.

“And, please, whatever you do — don’t sleep on Trice just because he’s a seventh-round cornerback. He had multiple years of suffocating coverage at Purdue, and he’s a textbook tackler.”

There is no denying the Steelers had quite the haul in the 2023 NFL Draft. Trading up for Jones to leapfrog the New York Jets and securing the big left tackle was a shrewd move by GM Omar Khan and the Steelers. That decision to be aggressive while calculated paid off in the end as the Steelers were then able to land starters on Day 2 in Porter Jr., Benton and Washington — all three of whom should have impactful roles in the Black and Gold in 2023.

The addition of Herbig gives the Steelers a versatile defensive piece that can rush off the edge and play the run as an off-ball linebacker. He also profiles as a special teams ace who could realistically lead the Steelers in special teams tackles in his first season. Fliers on Trice and Anderson could pay dividends too. Trice was a consensus top 10 corner in the class but dropped due to a medical concern, while Anderson has great versatility along the offensive line and could hold down a backup role long-term.

As of late, rookies have hit the field quickly in Pittsburgh, a clear shift in philosophy from earlier in the 2000s and early 2010s when rookies sat and learned. Now, they’re being asked to be contributors right away. Fortunately for the Steelers, they landed a great class overall and should see the selections have impact right away in 2023.

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