Many people believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a playoff team in 2023 after a successful offseason under new general manager Omar Khan. One person that believes the contrary is ESPN’s Todd McShay who predicted that the Steelers will have a top-10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Steelers have not owned a draft pick of their own inside of the top 10 since the team selected Plaxico Burress with the eighth pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
McShay predicted that the Steelers will select Washington’s defensive end/pass rusher Bralen Trice with the tenth overall pick in next year’s draft. The last edge rusher that the Steelers selected in the first round was T.J. Watt in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“Trice has an NFL frame at 6-foot-4 and 256 pounds, and he can get to the QB. Trice piled up 48 pressures and nine sacks last season, plus 13 tackles for loss. Alex Highsmith is a free agent after 2023, and Trice could slot in as a potential replacement opposite T.J. Watt,” said McShay.
Trice’s 13 tackles for loss ranked fourth and his nine sacks ranked third among all Pac-12 players in 2022. Trice was named the team’s defensive player of the year at the team’s postseason banquet.
If the Steelers are unable to extend Highsmith prior to 2024, the edge rusher position will certainly climb to the top of the team’s needs heading into the offseason. Highsmith is entering the last year of his rookie deal after the Steelers selected him with the 102nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The former third-rounder led the Steelers in sacks with 14.5 last season.
Some of the top prospects in the Class of 2024 include quarterbacks Caleb Williams (USC) and Drake Maye (UNC), wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State), offensive tackles Olumuyiwa Fashanu (Penn State) and Joe Alt (Notre Dame) defensive ends Dallas Turner (Alabama), Jared Verse (FSU), and J.T. Tuimoloau (Ohio State).