You could argue that the Pittsburgh Steelers exceeded expectations in 2022. Mike Tomlin’s squad had a win total around 7 and 7.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook prior to the season. They finished 9-8, but that still wasn’t good enough to grab a Wild Card spot in the NFL playoffs.
So what moves should Pittsburgh make to return to the postseason? Some of those pieces are already falling into place through free agency. However, the 2023 NFL Draft will be key in addressing the needs of this roster.
Below, we’ll break down those needs and potential prospects to fill them in this seven-round mock draft.
Significant free agency additions
- DE Larry Ogunjobi (re-signed)
- G Isaac Seumalo
- LB Cole Holcomb
- OLB Elandon Roberts
- CB Patrick Peterson
Significant free agency losses
- CB Cameron Sutton
- ILB Devin Bush
- S Terrell Edmunds
Steelers 7-round mock draft
I used Pro Football Network’s mock draft simulator to put together a seven-round mock draft for the Steelers. Pittsburgh has seven total picks in this draft. The Steelers first pick checks in at No. 17 overall, and they have three selections to make in the first 50 picks.
When using the mock draft simulator, I usually picked from the top of PFN’s best available player list while keeping an eye out for needed positions. Even though Pittsburgh signed veteran CB Patrick Peterson in free agency, he’s hardly part of the Steelers’ long-term plans. That’s why I drafted Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. at No. 17 overall. The need is there, the history is there, and everything seems aligned if Pittsburgh wants to draft Porter.
From here, I took Ohio State tackle Dawand Jones at pick No. 32. The Steelers have a need at offensive tackle, and Jones is a 6’8” 374 pound giant who could anchor the line for years to come. Pick No. 49 was used to select EDGE rusher Tuli Tuipulotu of USC.
With pick No. 80, I went with Noah Sewell (LB - Oregon). He was the best available at this stage in the draft, and it was surprising to see him fall this far. The Steelers reportedly showed interest in Sewell at the NFL Draft Combine. Plus, it wouldn’t be a true Steelers’ draft if they didn’t select a linebacker.
When pick No. 120 came around, I decided to take Ji’Ayir Brown (S - Penn State) to compete for snaps at the strong safety position. Damontae Kazee is in line to start alongside free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, but Brown is a versatile player who could help the secondary in several different ways. There’s no doubt Penn State fans that also root for the Steelers would be ecstatic if their team drafted a pair of Nittany Lions.
We had to wait several rounds for the next pick, which was No. 234 in the seventh round. Elijah Higgins (WR - Stanford) was the selection, adding depth to a wide receiver room that traded away Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears last season.
The Steelers final pick is No. 241 in the seventh round, which we used to take defensive lineman Byron Young of the Alabama Crimson Tide.