The Carolina Panthers are on the clock and the 2023 NFL Draft is ready to get started, with Roger Goodell and the top draft picks gathered with around 100,000 fans in Kansas City, Missouri, and Omar Khan, Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers braintrust huddled in their war room at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in Pittsburgh.
That’s where Steelers Now is, with Alan Saunders and Nick Farabaugh on site to talk with the team’s decision-makers immediately after they pick at No. 17 overall. The club’s first round draft pick will also talk to the local media via conference call.
In this file, we’ll break down the picks leading up to No. 17 that may impact the Steelers’ decision, as well as keeping track of who may be available for the team with the first pick Friday’s second round at No. 32 overall. Stream live.
1. Carolina Panthers, QB Bryce Young, Alabama
No surprises here.
2. Houston Texans, QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
The Texans talked about doing something dumb for so long (and well, they do have a track record) that I’m actually somewhat surprised by them doing the smart thing and taking the player that I think is the best quarterback in the draft class.
Them taking a quarterback at two means they should be locked in to wide receiver with their second pick at No. 12.
3. Houston Texans, EDGE Will Anderson, Alabama (trade from Arizona Cardinals)
The Texans traded picks No. 12, their 2024 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick to go up to No. 3 and take Anderson. I guess the smoke that DeMecco Ryans really liked him wasn’t smoke.
Stroud will have no one to throw to, but I guess their defensive head coach is happy. This is a head-scratcher.
4. Indianapolis Colts, QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
5. Seattle Seahawks, CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
It seemed like Seattle wanted to trade down, but couldn’t find a partner. Instead, the first cornerback comes off the board, and it’s something of a surprise that it’s not Christian Gonzalez.
Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is officially falling, as this was the place most predicted he would go.
6. Arizona Cardinals, OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (from Detroit Lions)
The Cardinals move down three spots and pick up what could very well be a top-five pick next year. They get the player they were linked to at No. 3 anyway in Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Back to back picks that sting a little bit for the Steelers, with corners and tackles going early.
7. Las Vegas Raiders, EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
8. Atlanta Falcons, RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
9. Philadelphia Eagles, DT Jalen Carter, Georgia (from Chicago Bears)
The Eagles move up one pick to keep someone else from jumping ahead of them and land potentially the best player in the draft in Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.
Philly paid only a 2024 fourth-round pick to move up one spot.
10. Chicago Bears, OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee (from Philadelphia Eagles)
The second tackle is off the board, and it’s a bit of surprise with Tennessee’s Darnell Wright moving up ahead of Peter Skoronski and Broderick Jones in the pecking order at tackle.
11. Tennessee Titans, OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
The Titans were a team that a lot of people had taking a quarterback. Instead, they go with one of the top offensive linemen, leaving just Broderick Jones to get to the Steelers in six picks.
12. Detroit Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama (from Arizona Cardinals (from Houston Texans))
Well, now we’ve gone totally off the rails, with the Lions passing on elite cornerback Christian Gonzalez in order to take the second running back in the top 12.
Gonzalez and Broderick Jones are the players to watch as things get into the home stretch for the Steelers.
13. Green Bay Packers DT Lukas Van Ness, Iowa
The Packers go defense, leaving the Steelers with a pretty solid board remaining:
Broderick Jones, Christian Gonzalez, Joey Porter Jr., Deonte Banks, Jaxon Smith-Ngijba
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (from New England): OT Broderick Jones, Georgia
The Steelers trade up to get the last true tackle on the board for the first round. He should be the blindside protector for Kenny Pickett heading into the future.
15. New York Jets: EDGE Will McDonald, Iowa State
Did you want another ‘wow’ pick? Well, you got it here. McDonald is a bendy and twitchy edge rusher that is a productive player, but is light and still has to develop a bag for his counters.
16. Washington Commanders: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
The best pure ballhawk in the class goes in the first round despite true weight concerns. Forbes is a guy who will light up the football field and be a dynamic player in Washington.
17. New England Patriots (via Steelers): CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
This is a home run pick for the Patriots. Gonzalez is an elite athlete that grew as a player each season and will continue to grow as a player with plenty of upside.
18. Detroit Lions: LB Jack Campbell, Iowa
Another surprising pick from the Lions, as they take Jack Campbell. You can take that however you’d like, and Campbell is the best linebacker in the class, but is a wholly complete player to take him this early?
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: IDL Calijah Kancey, Pitt
Calijah Kancey gets to stay close to home and stay in the Sunshine State. Despite being undersized, his athleticism and high upside has put him in the first round and he can be a high-level player.
20. Seattle Seahawks: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
The Seahawks get perhaps the best receiver in the class who runs silky smooth routes and might not have the elite speed, but checks all the boxes for a quality player in the NFL.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: WR Quentin Johnston, TCU
The Chargers add a speedy, boom-or-bust player in Quentin Johnston. He doesn’t run the crispest routes but his speed and explosiveness give him game-breaking potential.
22. Baltimore Ravens: WR Zay Flowers, Boston College
Baltimore gets what I would consider the best pure route runner in this entire class. Flowers has a lot of Tyler Lockett fabric in his game and could be a long-term piece there.
23. Minnesota Vikings: WR Jordan Addison, USC
The Vikings pair Jordan Addison with maybe the best receiver in the game Justin Jefferson. He can play from a variety of alignments and his routes are among the best in the entire class.
24. New York Giants (via Jaguars): CB Deonte Banks, Maryland
Another one of the cornerbacks connected to Pittsburgh is off the board in Deonte Banks. His athleticism combines with elite 2022 tape, though the inconsistency in technique makes him boom-or-bust.
25. Buffalo Bills (via Giants): TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah
The first tight end is off the board and it is a player that has the entire skillset to be a star in the NFL. Kincaid has back issues, but if this hits for the Bills, that offense goes from good to deadly.
26. Dallas Cowboys: IDL Mazi Smith, Michigan
The third interior defensive linemen selected is a powerful and athletic player in Mazi Smith. The tape for Smith is good, and his pad level should allow him to be an early contributor.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
The fifth tackle of the NFL Draft is off the board and it is the high-upside, athletic Anton Harrison. Harrison checks off a ton of the boxes for teams that might not need a tackle right away, but that could use a starter a year down the line.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson
Murphy is a great fit for the Bengals who add a polished, ready-made player to their pass rush rotation alongside Trey Hendrickson.
29. New Orleans Saints: IDL Bryan Bresee, Clemson
Injury concerns aside, Bryan Bresee is a versatile player who has polish on his game already. Expect Bresee to play early and often from anywhere as a base end to nose tackle.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia
Smith is an elite athlete and has a fantastic value at this point in the NFL Draft. How the Eagles keep getting Georgia defensive linemen is beyond me, but they keep getting better.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
An explosive edge rusher, Felix Anudike-Uzomah has high upside for a Chiefs pass rush that needs plenty of juice off the edge.