Steelers mock draft roundup: Pittsburgh's selection all over the map in final mocks

Steelers, Paris Johnson Jr.
Steelers, Paris Johnson Jr. / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

We've finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel. After a long pre-draft process full of speculation, rumors, and a flood of mock drafts, the Pittsburgh Steelers will soon be on the clock with the 17th overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Unlike previous years, it's been remarkably hard to narrow down which position they will covet in round 1, let alone the player. As a result, some big-name NFL Draft analysts are all over the map when it comes to trying to accurately predict which direction the team will go with their top pick this year.

Judging by the variety here, one of these experts may very well be correct in their prediction. However, the uncertainty is going to make for an exciting draft this year. Here's where some top analysts are predicting in their final mock drafts:

Final 2023 Steelers mock draft roundup:

Peter Schrager, NFL Network: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Paris Johnson Jr. is a name that is catching a lot of steam in connection with the Pittsburgh Steelers in recent days. Omar Khan says that he has talked to the Bears (pick 9) and Titans (pick 11) about moving up this year. Though he didn't say what for, it's presumed that the Steelers would like to land one of the top offensive tackles.

Johnson would certainly be an excellent fit with his prototype left tackle traits. However, having him fall to their lap at pick 17, as Peter Schrager suggests, seems very unlikely.

Matt Miller, ESPN: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

In the days leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, Darnell Wright has been one of the fastest-rising prospects. After originally thought to be a second-round player, many draft analysts now believe that his range is somewhere between the 9-20 pick range.

The Steelers just so happen to be selecting at pick 17. While Wright isn't the premier left tackle prospect they could be coveting, he is still a player they brought in for a pre-draft visit recently, and he could be a fallback plan if he's the last remaining of the first-round offensive tackle prospects.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Joey Porter Jr. has been the favorite pick to Pittsburgh since day one (for obvious reasons). In addition to having a severe need at the position, the family bloodlines to the organization can't be ignored.

Porter fits the physical, aggressive mindset the team looks for on defense, and the team has expressed interest in the long-limbed CB throughout the pre-draft process. If he's on the board, this connection makes a lot of sense.

Eric Edholm, Lukas Van Ness, DL, Iowa

You don't see Lukas Van Ness mocked to the Pittsburgh Steelers very often, but this is a sneaky pick that Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan could surprise fans with. Pittsburgh's brass was in attendance at Iowa's Pro Day so Van Ness checks this box.

Additionally, the Steelers have some glaring needs when it comes to edge defender depth and interior defensive line depth and Van Ness is a player that Pittsburgh could move up and down the defensive line until they find a permanent role. It seems like a bit of a luxury pick, but it's certainly not out of the question.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

I haven't seen Emmanuel Forbes mocked to Pittsburgh in round one very often, and my guess is that this is the least likely of the names mentioned in the Steelers mock draft roundup. While the team did have a formal visit with Forbes at the NFL Combine, they never got around to meeting with him for a pre-draft visit despite reports that the two parties were scheduled to meet. I'm a big Forbes fan, but I just don't see this one happening at this point.

Mark Kaboly, The Athletic: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

The only repeat name on the Steelers mock draft list just days before the draft kicks off is Paris Johnson Jr. However, unlike Schrager, Mark Kaboly has Pittsburgh trading up in his final mock to secure the Ohio State offensive tackle. Johnson clearly makes a ton of sense and Pittsburgh's brass had a pro day dinner meeting with him during the pre-draft process.

Next. Top 12 Sleepers for Steelers heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. dark