4 most important scouting notes from Steelers pre-draft visits

Steelers, Cody Mauch
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2. Can't rule out EDGE for Steelers top pick

As much as this might irritate some fans, we can't rule out the Pittsburgh Steelers drafting an edge defender with the 17th overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Admittedly, this seems a bit rich with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith under contract, but this forward-thinking approach isn't as bad as it looks at first glance.

Watt has been injured often in each of the past two seasons, and the Steelers could desperately use a significant upgrade to their depth in the event that he goes down with another major injury. Meanwhile, Highsmith has been very fortunate to have incredible health in his first three seasons, but he could break the bank in free agency next offseason and Pittsburgh could be left with nobody to help Watt on the edge.

During the pre-draft process, the Steelers had pro day dinner meetings with some top edge prospects like Clemson's Myles Murphy, Iowa's Lukas Van Ness (who also has interior defensive line flexibility), and Iowa State's Will McDonald IV. This is in addition to Tomlin and Khan being on hand to see Nolan Smith at Georgia's pro day.

While I don't think it's the most likely outcome, I do think there is a chance that the Steelers go with an edge defender if the board gets wiped of their top OT and CB prospects. At the very least, we can't rule it out.