Steelers news: Pittsburgh votes on flex-scheduling, NFL mock draft, and more
By Tommy Jaggi
We are now in April, which means the 2023 NFL Draft is just around the corner. NFL Pro Days are nearly finalized (with the exception of a second Pro Day from Clemson and Alabama) and pre-draft visits will wrap up in the days to follow. The Pittsburgh Steelers have kept busy since the start of free agency, and we don't expect things to slow down yet.
Right now, the focus shifts to the NFL Draft as we try to narrow down which players Pittsburgh could target. Early in the week, however, we take at the latest Steelers news and an interesting mock draft that has the team going with an out-of-the-box player at pick 17.
Recently, the NFL voted on whether or not to allow for the flex scheduling of Thursday Night Football games. According to Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team, the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of six teams that voted 'no' on this potential rule change.
The Steelers apparently felt like flexing games out of Thursday Night would make for a complicated scheduling matter, and they understand that players need more notice and more time for their bodies to recover between games than to spring something like this on them. The other teams who thumbed down this proposal were the Giants, Jets, bears, Saints, and Packers.
More Steelers news:
In other Steelers news, three players who had been scheduled for pre-draft visits officially made the trip to Pittsburgh yesterday to meet with the team's brain trust. According to Dale Lolley of Steelers.com, DL Tuli Tuipulotu, DT Keeanu Benton, and CB Julius Brents each officially had their in-house visits with the Steelers.
All three players are expected to be drafted sometime on day two. It just so happens that Pittsburgh owns three day-two selections, including pick 32, pick 49, and pick 80. If neither cornerback nor defensive line is targeted in the first round, consider these players to be in strong contention in rounds two and three.
In NFL news, Thor Nystrom of Fantasy Pros recently released his two-round mock draft for the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. After a run on offensive tackles and with Joey Porter being selected one pick ahead of the Steelers, Nystrom had Pittsburgh going with Maryland CB Deonte Banks in round one. This selection was followed up by Minnesota C John Michael Schmitz at pick 32 and Ohio State OT Dawand Jones at pick 49.
While the Banks selection would be a bit unusual at this point after Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan skipped out on Maryland's Pro Day, they clearly have interest in both Schmitz and Jones as both players were scheduled for a pre-draft visit with Pittsburgh.