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2023 NFL Draft

Could the Steelers Trade Back in the 2023 NFL Draft?



Steelers Kenny Pickett

It’s never too early for draft talk. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes that the Pittsburgh Steelers could move back in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft in order to stock some more choices.

“The Steelers have picked in the top 11 just twice in the past 20 years, and one of those was a trade up (for linebacker Devin Bush in 2019),” Kiper wrote. “I went to No. 11 there because that’s where they got Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 and where ESPN’s FPI has them projected in 2023. They just took quarterback Kenny Pickett in Round 1 last year, so they don’t have a need at that position. New general manager Omar Khan could try to add capital via a trade back.”

Currently, the Steelers are slated to draft 14th in the initial round, and a recent mock draft by The Draft Network’s Damian Parson has them going defense — Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and Alabama linebacker Henry To’o To’o — with their first two turns.

The Steelers could use a boost on all three levels of the defense, along with strengthening the their attack, too, so trading down could obviously afford them the chance to fill more holes on the roster.

As is the case with most first-round signal-callers, building around Pickett — who seems to be getting the hang of things as this season moves along — could be a main focus. If Pittsburgh would like to better protect him, offensive tackles such as Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. and Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski are options.

If the Steelers opt to provide Pickett another weapon on the edge, it’s possible they could consider USC wideout Jordan Addison, who won the Biletnikoff Award catching passes from Pickett at Pitt in 2021.

The choice to hold onto or swap the pick for more capital will simply come down to who the Steelers think they could get and where they could take them.

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