5 reasons to be excited about the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers

  • A flood of young talent could lead to a bright future
  • Second-year leaps mean more than you know

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 5

3. Steelers suddenly have up-and-coming talent on defense

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't had a bad defense in years. Since T.J. Watt was drafted back in 2017, they have typically finished near the top of the league, and since 2019, their 'Big Three' of Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Cameron Heyward have done more than enough to keep this unit strong.

The problem we've been noticing in recent years is not only a concerning lack of depth, but a severe lack of up-and-coming players to look forward to on the defensive side of the ball. Outside of their three All-Pros and Alex Highsmith, the Steelers didn't really have any young defensive linemen, linebackers, or defensive backs to look forward to. That all changed in just one offseason.

In his first training camp and preseason with the team, Nick Herbig has been the start of the Steelers this summer and looks like a player who can carve out a nice role on defense from Day 1. Herbig is just 21 years old and was one of the best players on either side of the ball in the entire NFL during the 2023 preseason.

But Herbig isn't the only possible gem to look forward to. Pittsburgh suddenly has a flood of promising youth on defense with Joey Porter Jr., Keeanu Benton, and DeMarvin Leal. Even CB Cory Trice Jr. was looking great before his knee injury. This went from a stable, aging unit to one that has both stars up front and up-and-coming talent to look forward to.