4 worst case scenarios for Steelers in 2023 NFL Draft

Alabama defensive back Brian Branch
Alabama defensive back Brian Branch / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4

1. The Steelers let the board fall as is

To me, this is the absolute worst-case scenario for the team, and it is something they had a history of doing under Colbert. The Steelers would stand pat in the first round and watch as names they showed interest in went off the board. Then, no matter where the player was ranked, the team would take the next highest player at a position of need on their board.

Artie Burns was the poster child of this. The Steelers were in desperate need of some cornerback help, and they had seemingly set their sights on William Jackson only for the Bengals to take him one pick earlier. Instead of trading up for him or moving back, they took the next highest cornerback on their board in Burns.

The move was criticized then and is still viewed as one of the bigger mistakes of this franchise in recent years. They can’t do that again this year. There are quite a few teams that need a cornerback and a tackle picking before them in the draft. If the board starts breaking poorly, they need to move up and get one of their top guys.

On the flip side, if they don’t move up and their board is barren at pick 17, try and find a trade partner and move down a few spots. Even if that lands you a less ideal prospect, at least it secures you more picks to play with.

What this team can’t do is just take the next name on their board even if they aren’t worth the pick. This is a proven bad strategy, and the Steelers would be wise to do better. Either make a small move up and land a competent guy or be willing to move back if a top player isn’t there.

Next. Steelers mock draft: Running things how I would as Pittsburgh's GM. dark

The Steelers have a lot of options in the first round, and it is fine for them to explore those different avenues. That said, they can’t miss on their top pick. These four scenarios in particular stand out as the worst-case scenarios for the Steelers in the first round.