3 shocking positions we can't rule out for the Steelers at pick 17

Steelers, Will McDonald
Steelers, Will McDonald / Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA
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We like to think we have everything figured out by this point, but the fact of the matter is that we still don't know what the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to do with the 17th overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Nobody does. In years past, their first-round pick has been much easier to narrow down (like when they took Najee Harris in 2021 or Kenny Pickett in 2022), but that isn't the case this time around.

While we all suspect that offensive tackle and cornerback are going to be high on Pittsburgh's draft radar (and for good reason), we can't guarantee that they will go that route in round one -- especially if the board doesn't fall their way. Here are three

3. Steelers could take DT at pick 17

The first name isn't nearly as shocking as the next two positions on this list, but it would still catch us off guard if it happened. Many are assuming Pittsburgh will target an offensive tackle like Broderick Jones or perhaps even trade up for Paris Johnson, while others think they could stand pat and take the best available cornerback (whether that be a player like Joey Porter Jr. or Deonte Banks).

However, surprising us with an interior defender is well within the realm of possibility. The top IDL prospect in the class is Georgia's Jalen Carter, but even if he were to somehow slip, it's unlikely the Steelers would trade up for a player with character concerns.

Regardless, their pro-day meetings with Clemson DT Bryan Bresee and Michigan DT Mazi Smith indicate that we can't rule out this possibility completely. It's also worth noting that the Steelers had a packed house in their own back door for Pitt's pro day with DT Calijah Kancey working out.

Additionally, there's always a chance that Pittsburgh could view a player like Lukas Van Ness -- who played DT in the past -- as an interior defender. They met with Van Ness at his Iowa pro day. None of these seem like the most likely picks, but we can't rule out the position at pick 17 either.