2023 NFL Draft
Steelers Draft Digest: Top CB Lands in Pittsburgh, New Prospect Meetings
The Steelers draft lands with a top cornerback in ESPN’s new mock draft, and the Steelers meet with some new prospects in the process.
: In a new two-round mock draft conducted by Matt Miller of ESPN, the Steelers end up with a big cornerback falling into their lap. Miller ends up having the Steelers draft brass falling in love with Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez, and they pounce on him at No. 17.
“The biggest need in Pittsburgh this offseason is along the offensive line, but with the top three tackles already off the board, the Steelers could pivot to the secondary,” Miller wrote. “Gonzalez has a unique blend of traits and production. The 6-2, 200-pound cornerback is expected to test really well at the combine, with one area scout predicting times in the 4.3-second range in the 40-yard dash.”
In the second round, the Steelers draft Minnesota IOL John Michael Schmitz and Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison. Could that happen? Absolutely as an offensive line heavy draft, and with the Steelers heavy focus on it at the Senior Bowl, it would not be that crazy.
: In a best fit for some top Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl prospects, Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report cited the Steelers as one of Will McDonald’s best fits. An edge rusher out of Iowa State, McDonald’s bend and spin move drew attention of scouts down in Mobile. He is a little bit raw, but he is a prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker that could easily fit the mold of what the Steelers like there.
“Someone like the Steelers with a long track record of developing outside linebackers would be an ideal landing spot,” Ballentine wrote.
: According to Justin Melo of the Draft Network the Steelers met with Oklahoma DB Justin Broiles at the Tropical Bowl. They were one of many teams, including the Jaguars, Packers, Bengals, Jets, Lions, and Vikings at the event. Scouts seemed to be impressed by the 5-foot-11, 190 pound defensive back out of Oklanhoma. Broiles joined the Sooners program in 2017, so he will be a bit on the elder side entering the draft, but he is versatile. He started 11 games with one interception and 60 tackles on the season.
: According to Justin Melo of the Draft Network, the Steelers draft brass met with versatile Oregon State OL Brandon Kipper at the NFLPA Bowl along with the Commanders, Jets, Bengals, Falcons, Lions, and 22 other teams. Kipper is a veteran who started 45 games for the Beavers over his career. He transferred in from Hawaii, but in his career has experience at both right tackle and right guard.
: PFF did a mock draft using their simulator to fill each team’s biggest need. They view the Steelers’ biggest need as CB, and they select Joey Porter Jr. to fill that void.
“Steelers, and Pittsburgh is developing a reputation for targeting local high-level prospects — including Kenny Pickett and Pat Freiermuth in recent years. Porter lands with the Steelers at No. 17,” they wrote.
This is a popular mock pick for a reason. The Steelers do love NFL bloodlines, and Porter has the correct profile for the type of cornerback that the Steelers need.