6 unlikely players I want the Pittsburgh Steelers to take in the 2023 NFL Draft

Baylor defensive lineman Siaki Ika (DL08)
Baylor defensive lineman Siaki Ika (DL08) / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Siaki Ika, NT, Baylor

Siaki Ika is a hard prospect to judge during this draft cycle. He is a mauler as a run defender and can take up a lot of space allowing other players’ lanes to make an impact, but he also has no real pass-rush plan and lacks the athleticism to be much more than what he currently is. There is value there, but how much?

For a Steelers team that has lacked a great fit at nose tackle, there is reason to believe that Ika would be an instant upgrade. He is pro-ready given his experience and profile, and I would think that he would easily beat out the current nose tackle candidates on the roster. He would be a limited player, likely only playing 30-40 percent of the defensive snaps, but that role is there.

The issue is, do you use one of your first-round picks on a player with a limited role and a low ceiling? Given the needs of this team, I would argue no, as there can be much better value had at that range. The third round is a different story, but his value seems earlier than that.

While I think it would be fun to see such a run-focused defender back along this defensive line, his perceived value will likely be too high to be worth it. He won’t become an every-down defender for this team, and that isn’t a sound investment in the second round. That said, it would be fun to see a player like Ika in the black and gold nonetheless.