2023 NFL Draft
Could Steelers Make Jordan Addison, Kenny Pickett Reunion Happen?
With the 2023 NFL Draft’s official underclassman declaration coming up on Monday, it was key to see if some names would enter the draft. One of those names, former Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison, officially declared for the draft on Monday morning.
Slated as a first-round pick, Addison has already been the talk of speculation in the short time in the offseason. As the top wide receiver for Kenny Pickett in 2020 and 2021, there is already talk about potentially reuniting the pair if Addison falls to Pittsburgh’s pick at 17. But in reality, with Addison’s declaration, he may not even get there.
But to put into perspective just how Addison, and to an extent, C.J. Stroud’s declaration affects the Steelers on the big board, there has to be a discussion about the fact that TCU wide receiver Quinton Johnston is not in the NFL Draft just yet, either. If he does not declare, there is a good chance that by the end of the day, Jordan Addison is the consensus top receiver in the draft.
If that is the case, there are a lot of needy wide receiver teams in front of Pittsburgh. The Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and Houston Texans are just a few of the teams that jump out immediately as potential players for Addison, whether Johnston is there or not. But more importantly, if Johnston is not the draft, there is a great chance Pittsburgh will not see Addison fall to their pick.
Stroud’s declaration does offer some interesting possibilities for the Steelers, however. There are four top quarterbacks on the board Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, Bryce Young, and of course, Stroud. As it currently stands, all four of those quarterbacks have legitimate chances to go before the 17th overall pick. That will only push down players that the Steelers could be interested in, including Addison.
Here are the facts of the likely board to be for the Steelers. There could be one of the top three tackles on the board. If that is not the case, a cornerback they like should be there. Somehow, if the Steelers hate this cornerback class, Bryan Bresee and other defensive linemen could be there. And if all else fails, the Steelers should be left with someone at wide receiver to jump on if they see fit. With four quarterbacks in the top 17 a real possibility, it just pushes everyone else down, that includes Addison.
Is Addison the right pick for the Steelers? I think that’s an entirely different proposition to be had and it requires several layers. But there is absolutely a scenario on the board where he falls to 17 and is one of the best players left on the board, and perhaps the one who makes the most sense.
That should be the baseline with Addison officially into the draft pool now. Everything can not be chalked up right away to positions of hierarchy when the Steelers are in a spot where they should be looking at a best player available scenario in this case. They need multiple valuable positions, and if Addison fits the criteria with the board that is there, that can not be discounted.
Here is the bottom line of things as it stands. Pittsburgh has cap flexibility to allow the Jordan Addison scenario to happen. That does not mean they will circle in on him, but at this time, I believe 17th overall will be more about best player available at a position of need. And wide receiver is a position of need. So, if the board falls right, don’t think that Addison to Pittsburgh is a crazy proposition.