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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Curt Popejoy

Ranking the Steelers Top 6 NFL draft needs

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Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers season is in the books and we’ve had more than four months to watch this team. There were highs and lows and in terms of the roster this is a quality young team almost across the board. Almost. Pittsburgh worked a trade to get the No. 32 overall pick which essentially gives the Steelers two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL draft, so let’s update and rank the team’s top six draft needs.

1-Inside linebacker

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Probably a controversial pick here but I would put inside linebacker ahead of offensive tackle in terms of the draft. Especially if the Steelers can target a veteran offensive tackle in free agency. And even more true if the team chooses not to bring back Devin Bush and Myles Jack.

2-Offensive tackle

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers offensive line came on strong in the second half of the season but we concede upgrading Dan Moore at left tackle is a need. This group benefited a great deal from continuity and consistency and so we are hesitant to make huge changes but if a player like Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr or Georgia’s Broderick Jones is on the board in the first round, no one would complain.

3-Defensive tackle

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The Steelers have some interesting young players on the defensive line, especially defensive end DeMarvin Leal. But the defensive line is still minus a huge, run-stuffing defensive tackle to shore up the run defense. This might not be a pick that happens in the first three picks but it should happen.


If Pittsburgh holds onto William Jackson III and Ahkello Witherspoon, this need goes away but if Pittsburgh goes the cost-cutting route, adding a fourth cornerback makes a lot of sense.

5-Wide receiver

Sarah Phipps-USA TODAY Sports

Even if Calvin Austin comes off IR and is 100 percent healthy in 2023, you have to assume the Steelers will find some hidden gem of a wide receiver to help round out this group. Maybe another receiver with deep speed or perhaps try to replace Chase Claypool with another big body.

6-Edge rusher

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, the Steelers might have the best edge-rushing tandem in the AFC with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. But the team continues to sort out a third pass rusher with multiple failed attempts.

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