Teams are apparently willing to give a lot of capital to move all the way up to the Arizona Cardinals’ pick at No. 3 overall in order to draft top tackle Paris Johnson, Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reports.
Pauline noted that many teams believe there is a significant ‘talent void’ at left tackle, and that Johnson is easily the best pure player of the bunch. With only him and Broderick Jones options that everyone believes in, it could push Johnson up the board as a result.
“In a draft void of talent at the left tackle spot, Johnson has cemented himself as the best in this class,” Pauline wrote. “While the league has gone QB crazy in round one, left tackle is still a position that teams covet in the early part of the draft, and there aren’t many good ones in 2023.”
Peter Skoronski, who could be the best pure lineman from the class, is only viewed as a guard by many teams. That puts a premium on players like Johnson as a result. But could the Steelers be the team that makes the leap? I’d wager the answer is no for a couple of reasons.
For one, that’s just a huge leap to make, and Pittsburgh has too many needs to make that drastic a leap in this class. Second, I’m just not sure Paris Johnson is so much better than the other options that I’d be willing to jump up this high for him. This is the type of deal where Pittsburgh would be parting with not just this year’s first-round pick but the 2024 first-round pick, too. There are enough players there, between Johnson, Broderick Jones, Darnell Wright, Anton Harrison, and Dawand Jones that the team should feel at least good enough to land some solid tackle.
Regardless, if this ends up happening, the ripple effects it has down to the Steelers at No. 17 could easily be felt throughout the first round. it could put the urgency to move up the board slightly for one of the other options if that is what they really want, but don’t expect Pittsburgh to make that drastic a leap.