The Pittsburgh Steelers did not draft a wide receiver among their seven picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. They didn’t even sign one as an undrafted free agent.
That’s because general manager Omar Khan and his team feel good about the Steelers’ depth at the position after making one big offseason move and a number of minor ones.
The big move was the acquisition of Allen Robinson II from the Los Angeles Rams, a move that cost the Steelers just 15 spots in the seventh round to pick up the veteran receiver that thinks he’ll be a better fit in the slot with the Steelers than the was outside of Cooper Kupp in L.A.
The Steelers got two other additions in the form of players returning from injury, slot options Antony Miller and Calvin Austin III, the team’s fourth-round pick from the 2022 NFL Draft.
“Calvin had like a redshirt year, right?” Khan said during an appearance on 93.7 The Fan on Thursday. “He didn’t get a chance to play. There was a reason he was drafted pretty high for us. He’s healthy. He looks great out there. …
“I believe he can play in the slot, play outside. Obviously, he’s going to have some return ability. Love his versatility.’
The Steelers also brought back special teams stars Gunner Olszewski and Miles Boykin, practice squad alums Jamarcus Bradley and Cody White. They added another potential special teamer in ex-Penn State and Minnesota Vikings ace gunner Dan Chisena, and two intriguing receivers in former fourth-round pick Dez Fitzpatrick, who ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash and averaged nearly 20 yards per catch his senior season at Louisville, and former fourth-round pick Hakeem Butler, a 6-foot-5 receiver with a 4.48-second 40 that put up 1,318 yards and scored nine touchdowns for Iowa State in 2018.
Fitzpatrick has played in five NFL games over two seasons and caught five passes. Butler, who was schedule to come rookie camp on a tryout, played in two NFL games without a catch and spent the spring with the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL.
Khan also spoke highly of undrafted free agent Jordan Byrd, who was listed as a running back by San Diego State, but will likely play some wide receiver and return kicks for the Steelers.
With Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and Robinson locked into the top three spots, the Steelers could have significant competition for spots four, five and six in their lineup with 10 realistic options for three slots on the 53-man roster.
“Overall, it’s a good group,” Khan said. “We feel good about it.”