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2023 NFL Draft

How Much Draft Capital Do Steelers Have, Compared to Competition?



Pittsburgh Steelers GM Omar Khan Steelers Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers have an extra pick early in the 2023 NFL Draft, thanks to the Chase Claypool trade with the Chicago Bears. That pick ended up being No. 32 overall after the Bears collapsed in the second half of the 2022 season and the Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round pick. But does that extra pick give the Steelers a big leg up on the completion when it comes to how much talent they’ll be able to add to the team in Kansas City next month?

On Thursday, the NFL handed out the final compensatory draft picks for the 2023 NFL Draft, and took one away from the Houston Texans for some salary cap chicanery, meaning that the final draft order for the 2023 league selection meeting has been decided. The number and location of those compensatory and other supplemental draft picks has moved some of the Steelers’ selections in later rounds from where they might otherwise be, so here’s the full, updated list of selections that Omar Khan has to work with.


Round 1, Pick 17
Round 2, Pick 32 (from the Chicago Bears in exchange for Chase Claypool)
Round 2, Pick 49
Round 3, Pick 80
Round 4, Pick 120
Round 7, Pick 234
Round 7, Pick 241 (from the Denver Broncos, along with Malik Reed in exchange for pick No. 195)

The Steelers did not receive any compensatory picks for departing free agents because they signed more than they lost in the 2022 offseason. They also did not receive and compensation for the departure of senior defensive assistant Brian Flores because he did not spend the required two seasons with the club.

In addition to the Claypool trade, the Steelers also sent out their sixth-round pick to the Denver Broncos for outside linebacker Malik Reed and an additional seventh. They also traded their fifth-round pick in 2021 for cornerback Ahekllo Witherspoon.

Now that the draft order has been finalized, we can also compare how much draft capital the Steelers have to their competition. There are multiple ways to calculate the accumulation of draft capital.

One is the Fitzgerald-Spielberger NFL draft value chart, an attempt at putting empirical evidence to the process that was started by former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson in the 1990s. According to the total value of the Steelers’ seven picks by way of the F-S chart, the Steelers have the 14th-most draft capital, just about the midpoint of the league. They do surpass all of their AFC North rivals, with Cleveland 25th, Cincinnati 26th and Baltimore 29th.

Another way of looking at the value of draft picks it to take that word slightly more literally and use the rookie pool for the salary cap value of the picks, according to the NFL’s slotting system. The Steelers will pay their rookies approximately $9.6 million in 2023, which is the 18th-most in the NFL, or just below average. They remain well ahead of the rest of the AFC North, though.