Top Steelers Draft Pick Now 16th Overall after Latest Win
The Pittsburgh Steelers keep on winning, which also means their first-round pick for the 2023 NFL Draft is dropping. If the season ended today, the Steelers would have the 16th overall pick in the draft — exactly in the middle. The days of the Steelers having a top-5 pick are long gone, as Mike Tomlin’s unit has won five of its last seven games after starting the season at 2-6.
Tomlin-led teams simply just don’t fold. In 2013, the Steelers started the season 0-4 and finished with an 8-8 record. In 2019, the Steelers started the year 1-4 and concluded at 8-8, as well. Ben Roethlisberger played just six quarters in 2019 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury, so Tomlin was dealing with the likes of Mason Rudolph and Devlin “Duck” Hodges at quarterback, and he still didn’t post a sub.-500 record.
Along with currently having the 16th overall pick, the Steelers are also slotted to have the No. 34 pick in the second round due to the Chase Claypool trade with the Chicago Bears, along with their own second-round pick at No. 47. That’s three picks in the top 50.
The Bears are 0-7 since acquiring Claypool on Nov. 1. The Notre Dame product hasn’t put up gaudy numbers either, recording just 12 receptions for 111 yards and no touchdowns. It appears that Omar Khan has absolutely fleeced Chicago.
The Steelers essentially have a late first-round pick thanks to the Claypool deal. And No. 16 is really not that bad of a spot either, the Steelers drafted Lawrence Timmons (2007) and Ryan Shazier (2014) at 15th overall. The Steelers’ only 16th overall pick in franchise history ended up being pretty good as well — Troy Polamalu out of USC in 2003 (Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020). The Steelers traded their first-round pick (27th overall), a third-round pick (92nd overall), and a sixth-round pick (200th overall) to the Kansas City Chiefs to move up 11 spots in the draft.
If the Steelers select at 16th overall, it’s likely that Penn State cornerback and son of legendary Steelers outside linebacker, Joey Porter Jr., will not be available. Likewise for Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo. Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. will be well off the board. On Dec. 22, Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski was mocked to the Steelers at 13th overall by Luke Easterling of the Draft Network. Easterling had the New England Patriots selecting USC wide receiver Jordan Addison at 16th overall. Could Pickett be reunited with Addison? Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones was projected to the New York Jets at No. 17, so he could potentially be a fallback option for the Steelers if Skoronski is gone.
There are a slew of teams who have six or seven wins, so depending on how the final two weeks go, the Steelers could either have a top-10 pick or a teens/early twenties selection.