4 disastrous picks Steelers must avoid at pick 17 in the 2023 NFL Draft

Steelers, Brian Branch
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Steelers can't take Trenton Simpson with their first pick

As much as I like Trenton Simpson and what he could offer down the line, I just don't think it's a good idea to be spending mid-first-round picks on off-ball linebackers unless you are a truly elite prospect. The Clemson standout has terrific athletic traits, plus length, and speed to run with pass-catchers down the seam. Somehow this still isn't enough to spend a pick this high.

If you look around at the rest of the league, how many off-ball linebackers would you trade a first-round pick for? The answer is probably not very many. In today's game, they fizzle out pretty fast and take a lot of beatings. In many ways, they are like the running backs of the defense.

A great linebacker can still have a huge impact on a football team, but with four quality off-ball linebackers this year in Simpson, Drew Sanders, Jack Campbell, and Daiyan Henley, I would be more apt to wait until pick 32 or even pick 49 to land a starting LB. This would allow the Steelers to save their elite pick for a more premium position like offensive tackle or cornerback.

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I think that all four names on this list could have very respectable NFL careers when it's all said and done, but none of them would make a ton of sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers at pick 17 in the 2023 NFL Draft.