Pittsburgh Steelers most likely options at pick 17 in the 2023 NFL Draft

Trenton Simpson, Steelers
Trenton Simpson, Steelers / Eakin Howard/GettyImages
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Brian Branch would be a reliable pick, but potentially too rich in round one

It’s not very common where you pick in the middle of the first round and could still select the top prospect at their position in the draft. That situation could arise for the Steelers at pick 17 if they decided to use that selection on Brian Branch out of Alabama. He is the top safety in this class according to a high majority, but using this pick on him might be too rich.

This draft class of safeties is not the strongest group in general. Branch is an exception overall as he can play the slot role and the strong safety spot for Pittsburgh's defense. He can wear a couple of hats for this group, but that might not be enough to justify selecting a player this early in the draft over other needs.

Branch did well at his pro day and is a good prospect heading into the NFL. The Steelers met with him at his pro day as they sent the house there to watch closely. That should be a good sign for Branch regarding the potential of being drafted in round one. Taking him with the top pick in the second round should be a better option but pick 17 would not be the worst reach by this organization.