5 fan-favorites Steelers won't be able to draft without a trade-up

Steelers, Paris Johnson Jr.
Steelers, Paris Johnson Jr. / Ben Jackson/GettyImages
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If you follow the NFL Draft closely, then you probably already have a handful of dream-scenario players in mind for the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 17th overall pick. From time to time, we get lucky. Back in 2017, I desperately wanted T.J. Watt to fall to the 30th pick, and this ultimately became a reality.

While the NFL Draft is often full of randomness with some bizarre selections mixed in, Pittsburgh could miss out on some of our favorite prospects in the 2023 class. Here are five players the Steelers won't be able to draft without trading up for in round one.

5. CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

This one was a long shot from the very beginning. Immediately following the 2022 season, it was Devon Witherspoon who was considered the best cornerback prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now the consensus has changed.

Gonzalez already had great size, excellent instincts, and fantastic fluidity on tape. After combining that with a spectacular performance at the NFL Combine, it's hard not to put the talented Oregon prospect as the CB1 this year.

Since the Combine, Gonzalez has been routinely mocked as a top-10 selection. Strange things have happened, but barring some major red flags we aren't aware of, there's zero chance he falls to pick 17, and the Steelers would have to be willing to package future capital to move up for him. This isn't going to happen.