Steelers draft: ESPN Analytics predicts most likely picks for Pittsburgh

Steelers, Darnell Wright
Steelers, Darnell Wright / Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
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After months of anticipation, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hardcore football fans around the globe have been gearing up for the 2023 NFL Draft for some time now and we will be on the edge of our seats with each passing selection from the time the Panthers are on the clock with the first overall pick. The Pittsburgh Steelers hold three selections inside the top 50 and they have a chance to reshape their team with a good haul this April.

There is so much research and film study that has gone into this process on my end, so I know how much teams must be doing to prepare. Now, with just days until the NFL Draft, ESPN Analytics has created a Draft Day Predictor based on their extensive research.

ESPN's formula predicts the percent chance a particular team will take a specific player with a specific pick. They also predict which of the remaining best prospects are most likely to be available. I encourage you to mess with their calculator, but let's take a deeper look at what they discovered specifically as it relates to Pittsburgh Steelers draft choices in the first three rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Steelers draft round 1 (pick 17 overall)

Highest chance of being the pick: OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee

Highest chance of availability: CB Deonte Banks, Maryland

With the 17th overall pick, ESPN Analytics thinks Darnell Wright is the most likely selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last week, this wouldn't have made the most sense. Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were not present at his Tennessee Pro Day, but we later learned that Assistant GM Andy Weidl was on hand with OL coach Pat Meyer.

On April 18th, Wright officially had a pre-draft visit with the Steelers -- putting him squarely on the map to be a possible selection with the 17th overall pick. Interestingly, ESPN believes that Wright is more likely to be the selection at pick 17 than Joey Porter Jr. However, this could be because they think Porter is less likely to be there.

Of the players in the mid-first-round range who are expected to be on the board for this selection, ESPN believes that there is nearly a 100 percent chance that Maryland CB Deonte Banks is still on the board. On the contrary, their analytics give Porter just over a 30 percent chance of availability. Wright, who was dubbed as the most likely pick by Pittsburgh in round one, is given a 50 percent chance of being there and a 10 percent chance of taking him.