5 most likely Steelers draft choices in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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5. Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Paris Johnson Jr. begins the list. He fell to the Steelers 10 times, giving him a 4.76% chance of the Steelers drafting him. Johnson will go in the first round. The bigger question is would he be on the draft board at 17? The likely answer is no, despite some mock drafts having Johnson falling to 17. In most mock drafts, he is off the board 94.28% of the time before selection 16.

If Johnson will not fall to the Steelers, the only option is that they trade up to get him. We know the Steelers want Paris Johnson, and we know the Steelers have talked to the Bears about trading up to their 9th pick in an attempt to get Johnson. Since no deal has been made official, we have no way of knowing close they are in terms of a trade, or they could just be waiting to announce the deal on draft day.

Despite the fact that the Steelers need a cornerback, they need to protect Kenny Pickett. He already suffered two concussions in his rookie season, and if they do not shore up the offensive line with a left tackle, Kenny Pickett will not last long as the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger. It’s not like there are no other decent tackles the Steelers could grab; however, if the Steelers stay at their 17th selection, at least three of them will be long gone before the Steelers are on the clock.

If 2022’s draft is any indicator, there could be a lot of trade activity, especially if some of the teams that could take tackle decide to make a play for one of the quarterbacks instead; then perhaps some of the tackles fall a bit further than expected. So it’s entirely plausible the Steelers could land Johnson; the bigger question is how they would manage that feat.