One Steelers draft choice fans should be most excited for in 2023
With the 2023 NFL draft in the books, the Pittsburgh Steelers got many talented players for their positions of need. Everyone has their favorite, but which one should Steelers fans be most excited to see?
Honestly, that’s not an easy question to ask or answer. The Steelers got value in every single pick; most were highly ranked players that fell for one reason or another, but that occasionally happens in the draft, and you must give Omar Kahn credit for gaming the draft and getting the players they wanted.
There is a lot to like about every player for different reasons. Joey Porter Jr. and the chips he has on his shoulder. At his press conference, you just know he will play with the same intensity his father did. It will be interesting to see if Darnell Washington makes a huge splash. Can Keeanu Benton be the eventual replacement for Cam Heyward?
Then the college sack leader Nick Herbig, the brother of Steelers offensive lineman Nate Herbig. Rounding out the 2023 draft class is cornerback Cory Trice Jr. who has huge upside potential, and the guard Spencer Anderson.
Why fans should be excited to see Broderick Jones
If one player stands out, it would have to be Broderick Jones. The Steelers drafted him first, as he can make a huge impact immediately. If he plays well, it will impact so many aspects of the game. He has two duties, the first of which is elementary football 101, which is plowing the road for your running back.
Too many times in 2021 and 2022, Najee had no gaping holes on the offensive line. A large chunk of his running game was small 1-4 yard pick-ups and then the occasional 8-15 yard gains. 2023 should be vastly different with an improved offensive line and a huge guy like Broderick Jones to overpower many defensive linemen off the ball.
Then adding Darnell Wahington on occasions Najee could easily have several hundred-plus yard performances next year and perhaps quite a few TD’s in the red zone. Fans should have plenty to cheer about when Najee touches the ball.
Job number two for Brodrick is then protecting Kenny Pickett. Pickett did get banged up a bit last year, suffering two concussions. Jones helps prevent this big time and protects Kenny Pickett's blind side. Protecting Kenny is only part of it.
It’s also to buy him enough time to find the open receiver downfield. Kenny can make those long-pass plays if given enough time in the pocket. The Steelers have many talented receivers, and they added to that list when they acquired veteran Allen Robinson.
The addition of Jones will certainly give Pickett the extra time needed to make that huge play to get them in scoring position. The Steelers could have a dynamic passing game this season, allowing Diontae Johnson to rebound.
There is a lot to look forward to simply by adding one player because it is a pivotal position that helps both aspects of the offense. That is why we must give the nod to Broderick Jones, as the player fans should be most excited to see.
While fans should be most excited to see Jones, you still can’t discount the rest of the draft class. The addition of Benton and Herbig are complementary to Porter and Trice. Pressuring the quarterback causes errant throws causing interceptions, and excellent defensive pass coverage allows rushers more time to come up with a sack; thus, all four will bring their own excitement.
The bottom line is that despite the impact one player might make, this entire draft class has lots of upside potential, and fans just need to make their pick of who they like; it will be a wild ride this season, one in which the Steelers could return to and make a splash in the playoffs.