If you look at the acquisition opposing teams around the league were able to make, most of them pale in comparison to what the Pittsburgh Steelers did during the 2023 offseason. Omar Khan took over for long-time GM Kevin Colbert following the 2022 NFL Draft, but these past few months were his biggest test so far as general manager.
Needless to say, Khan passed the test with flying colors. While fans will have to be patient to see the fruits of his labors, they will come in due time. Here are my offseason grades for Steelers free agency, staffing, the NFL Draft, and more.
Steelers free agency grade: B+
While I thoroughly believe that the NFL Draft should be about targeting the best players at the most important positions, free agency is about filling needs and covering your bases before the draft. Fortunately, the Steelers were able to do this with the moves they made early in free agency.
Though this team did lose Cameron Sutton, they were able to replace him with an older player in Patrick Peterson (who is coming off a solid season despite his age). With the money saved by swapping these two players, the Steelers reconstructed their inside linebacker group by adding Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts.
On the offensive line, Pittsburgh added guards Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig. Additionally, they were able to retain starting defensive lineman, Larry Ogunjobi. The Steelers didn't swing for the fences in free agency, but they were able to move money around and cover all of their bases prior to the NFL Draft. For that, I give them a solid 'B+' grade.
Steelers staffing grade: A
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a handful of changes to their scouting department since Kevin Colbert departed as general manager following the 2022 NFL Draft. But if we are to look at the additions this offseason, it's easy to gush over new GM Omar Khan and assistant GM Andy Weidl.
Khan has been incredibly active in his first full offseason and it has led to an overhaul of the roster. Weidl, his right-hand man who strongly valued the trenches in Philadelphia, has brought with him the same team-building philosophy that he had with the Eagles. As a result, this GM and assistant GM pairing have valued the trenches more in their first offseason together than Colbert has in years.
The Steelers didn't have any major coaching losses, though they did lose linebackers coach Brian Flores. While Colbert had a great career as general manager, fans aren't missing him right now after what Khan and Weidl have done so far.
Steelers draft grade: A+
The 2023 NFL Draft couldn't have gone much better for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This team was able to land a true left tackle for the first time in decades and valuing important positions became a focal point. In addition, the Steelers found tremendous value all over the draft with players well above value on the consensus board.
This impressive draft haul included players like OT Broderick Jones, CB Joey Porter Jr., DL Keeanu Benton, TE Darnell Washington, LB Nick Herbig, and CB Cory Trice Jr. If you asked any expert prior to the draft, they would have told you that there's no way Pittsburgh was getting this haul with the pick they had.
Many of these players will not only be able to step into sizeable roles from day one, but they could also prove to be foundational building blocks for the future of this team for years to come. On paper, the Steelers knocked it out of the park with their impressive NFL Draft.
Steelers UDFA grade: D
If I have one beef with the Pittsburgh Steelers front office this offseason, it's that they weren't willing to hand out more money to get a stronger group of undrafted free agents. This is a theme that was running during Kevin Colbert's tenure, but one I would have liked to see change.
Pittsburgh spent very little on their UDFA class following the draft and may have missed out on some players who could have fought for roster spots as a result. They still landed a few long shots who could potentially make the team, but I wasn't very excited about the undrafted free agents they signed compared to what other NFL teams did following the draft.