It’s pretty safe to say the Steelers are in relatively uncharted territory, and it shows in their 2023 NFL Draft position.
During the first half of the season, not much has gone right for Pittsburgh. The offense ranks dead last in scoring and the defense grades out as the fourth-worst in yards allowed per game at the moment.
The poor showing is why the Steelers are projected to pick early in next spring’s NFL Draft, something that the team definitely isn’t accustomed to doing.
After Week 8, Pittsburgh is 2-6 and is slated to have the third overall selection. The last time the Steelers had a top-five choice was 52 years ago. Head coach Mike Tomlin wasn’t even born yet.
Detroit, which has chosen at the very top of the draft four times before — most recently in 2009 — is 1-6 and currently owns the first pick. At 2-6, Carolina follows in the second spot, which would be its highest selection since taking Cam Newton first overall in 2011.
— Blitzburgh 🎃 (@Blitz_Burgh) October 31, 2022
With both being quarterback-needy squads, they will likely take Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud off the board. This would leave the Steelers with their pick of a number of high-end prospects, including defensive linemen Will Anderson (Alabama) and Jalen Carter (Georgia) and offensive linemen Peter Skoronski (Northwestern) and Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State).
Jacksonville, which is also 2-6, is behind Pittsburgh, with the fourth pick. Houston sits fifth at 1-4-1. The four teams other than the Steelers that make up the top five as it stands have combined for 27 top-10 picks since 2010.
Disregarding 2019, when Pittsburgh moved up to take Devin Bush, it’s trending in the direction that Pittsburgh will make a top-10 pick for the first time since 2000. They grabbed wideout Plaxico Burress with the eighth pick that year after going 6-10 the season before.