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2023 NFL Draft

Steelers Draft, Omar Khan Receive National Praise



Pittsburgh Steelers GM Omar Khan Steelers Draft

Local and national media experts all agree that Omar Khan crushed his first draft as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ general manager. “The Khan Artist” stole the show over the weekend as he wheeled the Steelers to an excellent rookie class. The first four draft picks all have the chance to become day-one starters.

Here are some of the grades with the experts’ explanations:

Pro Football Focus

Grade: A+

Analysis: [Broderick] Jones impressed as a pass-blocker in 2022, earning an 84.1 PFF pass-blocking grade and allowing just nine total pressures from 470 pass-blocking snaps. Pittsburgh takes PFF’s CB4 and 21st-ranked prospect to open up Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Porter wins with his length… Porter’s 40% forced incompletion rate in 2022 led all Power Five cornerbacks… [Darnell Washington] has a strong resume in the ground game, as his top-five finish among Power Five tight ends in run-blocking grade in 2022 proves, and is a mismatch weapon as a receiver.

Yahoo Sports

Grade: A+

Analysis: The Steelers had the best draft in the NFL. It can credibly be said that they acquired four starter-level players with their first four picks. Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones, Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and Wisconsin defensive tackle Keeanu Benton all have the potential to be long-term starters. Washington gives the Steelers a young thunder-and-lighting type of tight-end duo as they pair him with Pat Freiermuth… It’s impossible to hate what they did over the draft weekend.

Sporting News

Grade: A+

Analysis: The Steelers crushed the first draft with GM Omar Khan. They filled their two biggest needs, a pass protector for Kenny Pickett and a big cover man to help Patrick Peterson. Jones and Porter were both first-round talents. Washington is a great No. 2 as a blocker and the Wisconsin 1-2 punch of Benton and Herbig will provide Badger T.J. Watt with upfield support.

Bleacher Report

Grade: A

Analysis: While [Broderick] Jones might not be a finished product, he has a ceiling that far outreaches left tackle Dan Moore Jr… Snagging cornerback Joey Porter Jr. at the top of Day 2 was also a big win for Pittsburgh. Not only did Porter’s father, Joey Porter, begin his NFL career in Pittsburgh, but the younger Porter was the second-ranked cornerback on the B/R board… The only negative here is that Pittsburgh didn’t add the explosive slot receiver it lacks… The Steelers nailed three of their first four picks and have a markedly better roster than they did last week.

Chad Rueter,

Grade: A

Analysis: Another solid first two days for the Steelers, with the trade for Jones filling the left tackle spot that was a sore spot last season, Porter picked as a playmaker outside (not just a legacy pick), Benton adding strength and athleticism up front and Washington’s massive frame giving him a chance to excel as a blocker and receiving threat. Using the early second-rounder gained in the Chase Claypool trade on Porter was a major win. Herbig can play inside or outside for the Steelers, with his aggressive nature overcoming his slight build. Anderson has good size and decent athleticism and should land on the roster as a swing tackle.

USA Today

Grade: A

Analysis: Rookie GM Omar Khan looked every bit the seasoned exec in his maiden draft as a shot-caller… He vaulted in front of the Jets on Thursday night… in order to take highly touted Broderick Jones, who should solve Pittsburgh’s left tackle issue for years. Khan then ended the tumble of Joey Porter Jr… Day 2 also brought DL Keeanu Benton and TE Darnell Washington, who’s a glorified tackle – though one with great hands and speed. And getting OLB Nick Herbig in the fourth? Larceny. Much rides on the development of QB Kenny Pickett, but this team appears much improved.

Pro Football Network

Grade: A-

Analysis: It’s difficult to imagine the 2023 NFL Draft going much better for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They landed an explosive offensive tackle who can benefit the ground game from the get-go while honing his craft as a pass protector. Pittsburgh bolstered the CB room with two impact players, including legacy pick Joey Porter Jr… The Steelers took advantage of falling talent, most notably with Georgia TE Darnell Washington.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports 

Grade: B+

Analysis: They traded up to land Broderick Jones in the first round, which will be an immediate help up front, and that was a must. Second-round corner Joey Porter Jr. was a nice pick as well, playing for the same team as his father. They did a solid job all the way around. Second-round tackle Keanu Benton didn’t play up to his traits, but he has the body.

Fox Sports

Grade: B+

Analysis: Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin made just seven picks, but they add protection up front for quarterback Kenny Pickett with the addition of offensive tackle Broderick Jones. And defensively, the addition of Joey Porter Jr., the son of Pittsburgh’s legendary pass rusher Joey Porter, should improve the team’s secondary. Pittsburgh likes to use tight ends, and Georgia’s Darnell Washington is a physical playmaker who will be a tough matchup on game days in the red zone. Wisconsin defensive tackle Keeanu Benton has the athletic traits to develop into a productive interior pass rusher.

Mel Kiper, ESPN

Grade: B-

Analysis: They traded a fourth-round pick to move up three spots in Round 1 to grab Broderick Jones, who will start at one of the tackle spots. He had an elite 2022 season. On Day 2, they added cornerback Joey Porter Jr., defensive tackle Keeanu Benton, and tight end Darnell Washington, all of whom could play significant roles this season. Porter is 6-foot-2 with long arms, and he can flip his hips in coverage… Benton’s traits didn’t match his college production, but if he keeps developing some pass-rush moves, he could be a three-down player… The light Day 3 keeps this class under an A… but there are some instant-impact players here.