Steelers mock draft roundup: Experts fixated on two prospects to Pittsburgh
By Tommy Jaggi
As NFL pro days wrap up and insiders are hearing whispers, we are starting to get a very clear picture of where teams could go early in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the 17th overall selection this year, and we have seen everything from offensive tackle to cornerback to even an edge defender in round one.
Following free agency, Pittsburgh doesn't seem to have nearly as many pressing needs. This should give them ample flexibility to more or less choose from the best available players early. Fortunately, the BPA also happens to coincide with their biggest needs this year.
The scouting trail has taught us a lot about the interests Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan have. With just three weeks until the 2023 NFL Draft, here's what the experts believe the Pittsburgh Steelers will do with their top selection.
Steelers mock draft roundup:
Todd McShay, ESPN (Subscription required): Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
I find it a little surprising that high-profile draft experts like Todd McShay still believe that Broderick Jones could fall to the Steelers with the 17th overall pick. Jones had an outstanding NFL Combine in which he tested as a 96th percentile athlete and followed that up with a great Pro Day performance.
Drafting Jones would require him to slip past tackle-needy teams like the Bears, Titans, and Jets who each pick ahead of the Steelers. Maybe the NFL isn't as high on the athletic tackle as we all expect them to be.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: Deonte Banks, Maryland
Now that the Steelers officially have a pre-draft visit scheduled with Deonte Banks, the Maryland cornerback is squarely back on their radar as a possible pick. This comes after just one Pittsburgh area scout attended his Pro Day last week.
Banks has fantastic athletic tools, but it's not all there on tape yet. He can be a bit up and down and has just one year of starting experience. It's also worth mentioning that he turned 23 years old before the draft. The upside is all there, but there's a lot more risk taking him at pick 17 than what I'm typically comfortable with.
Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Like Todd McShay, Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus also has the Steelers going with Georgia tackle, Broderick Jones. Palazzolo admitted that he typically sets his mock drafts up for what he would do; not what the team may or may not be thinking.
Still, Jones can't be discounted just yet. Though I think it's much more likely that Pittsburgh would have to trade up a bit in order to land him, there are at least a few draft experts who believe that the Steelers can stand pat and take the high-upside left tackle prospect in the middle of the first round.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
Once again, Deonte Banks is a name that has become very popular in connection with Pittsburgh as of late. It makes sense as to why. With a handful of teams picking ahead of the Steelers who need a cornerback upgrade, it seems more and more likely that all three of Christian Gonzalez, Devon Witherspoon, and Joey Porter Jr. will be gone.
While it gets a little dicey for me after the top three cornerbacks, many believe that Banks is the best of the rest thanks to his combination of size and traits. Now with the pre-draft visit, he will likely be a popular pick leading all the way up to the time that the Steelers are on the clock in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.