Top 12 Sleepers for Steelers heading into the 2023 NFL Draft

Stanford Cardinal cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly (17)
Stanford Cardinal cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly (17) / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
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9. Brenton Strange, TE, Penn St.

A tight end isn’t among the Steelers biggest needs entering this draft. While they did their due diligence on some mid-round names, a lot of that seemed to be insurance in case Zach Gentry walked this offseason. He was brought back on a two-year deal and will serve as a more than capable blocker and second option.

With the Steelers desire to be more of a physical, run-heavy team, they could shift some offensive philosophies and utilize more multi-tight end sets. If they do, investing in another traditional tight end makes sense, as Conner Heyward, while a weapon, can’t line up as a traditional tight end for the majority of plays.

Insert Pat Freiermuth’s former college running mate Brenton Strange. The Penn State tight end doesn’t have eye-popping stats or great athleticism, but he has showcased soft hands and the ability to hold his own as a blocker.

Assuming Strange is still available on the third day of the draft, he could be a capable fourth tight end for the Steelers. Gentry and Freiermuth will be the primary options while Heyward serves in a hybrid role. Strange can be a do-it-all backup that is injury insurance in case anyone gets injured.