Who was the biggest steal of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 draft haul?

Steelers, Nick Herbig
Steelers, Nick Herbig / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books, and the people of Pittsburgh can rest easy knowing that it went almost exactly how it should have for their Steelers. By the time the draft was all said and done, Pittsburgh had accounted for most of the positions that fans and experts alike had requested they address. Also, all of its seven selected players are products of either the SEC or Big Ten (the franchise’s two favorite conferences).

As if the list of good fortune wasn’t long enough, one of those Big Ten talents was Joey Porter Jr, the son of former Steelers star linebacker Joey Porter. Porter Jr.’s drafting makes for yet another Steeler that has been roped into the organization through family ties.

In other words, Pittsburgh’s 2023 draft haul checked just about every box we had expected it to, and that will only add to offseason hype as we head into the summer months.

Steelers fans are no strangers to this kind of feeling after a draft, and a big portion of the credit for that goes to the franchise’s proven ability to find well-fitting players deep. Based on the names that were drawn later this time around, I would say this year’s installment showed exactly that.

If I had to declare just one as the 'steal' of the 2023 haul, though, it would have to be Nick Herbig.

Nick Herbig is the type of player Steelers fans want to see

Herbig, an outside linebacker from Wisconsin, was taken by Pittsburgh with the 132nd overall pick, and he is precisely the type of talent that the Steelers should have been gunning for all along.

Not only does Herbig bring a ton of aggression to the already menacing pass rush, but he also comes from the Big Ten -- a conference known for its physicality that we’ve already discussed Pittsburgh showing a liking to.

With all of that said, it cannot be denied that Nick Herbig and the Steelers is a match made in Heaven, but what makes him such a steal? Some might say that his still being up for grabs in the fourth round was impressive enough on its own. However, Pittsburgh’s luck appears to have actually run even deeper than that.

According to ESPN’s draft tracker, Herbig was the fifth-best OLB available, yet eight ended up being taken before him; that implies to me that he was overlooked rather harshly.

Herbig was not the only Steelers selection to endure such disrespect, though. Some other names that were heavily overlooked include Georgia tight end, Darnell Washington, and Purdue cornerback, Cory Trice. Their listed position rankings set them up for some fair helpings of disappointment as well.

What ultimately puts Herbig above both of them in the steal department falls not only on when he was drafted but also his college stats and just how badly Pittsburgh needed him. To be frank, his stats looked better than Trice’s, and I believe most would agree that he was a larger need than Washington (him being drafted a round after Washington doesn’t hurt his case, either).

5 Steelers on the chopping block after the 2023 NFL Draft. dark. Next

I think I speak for most yinzers out there when I say that the Steelers did very well in this year’s draft, and I can’t wait to see what all of the newcomers are capable of as they build their legacies in the coming seasons.