Steelers dream scenario comes true in recent 2023 NFL mock draft

Steelers, Paris Johnson Jr.
Steelers, Paris Johnson Jr. / Ben Jackson/GettyImages

When it comes to potential first-round prospects in the NFL Draft, Pittsburgh Steelers fans are rarely in agreeance as to which player the team should select. This has proven to be the case over the years. In 2021 a large group of fans were banging the table for RB Najee Harris, while others pleaded for them to take a prospect at a more valuable position.

This year, there are many mixed reviews on some of the potential candidates the Steelers could use the 17th overall selection on. However, I think nearly every fan would join together and be happy if things played out as they did in The Draft Network's most recent mock draft.

With their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Jack McKessy of The Draft Network has Pittsburgh running to the podium to turn in their card for Ohio State offensive tackle, Paris Johnson Jr. This would be a no-brainer for the Steelers.

In this particular mock, McKessy has OT Broderick Jones and CB Joey Porter Jr. going just ahead of Pittsburgh, but I doubt Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan would mind if things played out this way. Johnson was one of the nine players to earn dinner meetings with Pittsburgh's brass this offseason, and one of the only true first-round candidates to do so.

Paris Johnson Jr. to Steelers is nearly a perfect scenario

Obviously, we don't know exactly who Paris Johnson Jr. will be at the next level until we watch his career unfold. But as far as prospects go and where the Steelers are selecting, there's nothing more they could ask for.

According to NFL Mock Draft Database, Johnson is the 11th-best prospect on the consensus draft board this year -- making him a solid value pick. Not only that but he also happens to play one of the most important positions in football. Outside of quarterback, you could make a case that left tackle is the most important position on the team.

Additionally, the Steelers have gotten underwhelming performances out of Dan Moore Jr. (which is to be expected from a former fourth-round pick in such a difficult role). Johnson is bigger, longer, and stronger than Moore and is a significantly better prospect coming into the NFL Draft.

One of the only scenarios that would be as good as this would be if Georgia OT Broderick Jones fell to pick 17. Jones isn't as polished as Johnson, but he has some remarkable raw tools and the upside to be one of the better left tackles in the league with some refinement.

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Still, you wouldn't hear me complaining if the Steelers were somehow able to land a remarkable talent like Paris Johnson Jr. in the 2023 NFL Draft without a trade up. This would be a massive step toward helping Kenny Pickett and improving the offense.