We are nearing the end of the 2022 calendar year, Todd McShay has released his mock draft 1.0, and players are choosing whether of not to declare for the NFL Draft. With all that in mind, it is time to begin answering some prime questions regarding the 2023 draft class as a whole.
A little over a week ago on Twitter, I asked for all you draft nerds to throw out some questions regarding the 2023 draft class. Come to find out, the majority of the questions pointed to one specific topic: cornerbacks We will discuss them below, but be sure to share your thoughts on these questions in the comment section as well.
Let’s get to the questions!
2023 NFL Draft Burning Questions
With a seemingly deep corner class, do you think we can wait til the 2nd or 3rd to pick up a quality guy? I like Witherspoon from Illinois personally.— Tyler W (@tyler_econ) December 9, 2022
I agree about the depth of this class, but it is too early to tell how good of a corner the Steelers will get on Day 2. You have Joey Porter, Jr., Kelee Ringo, Cam Smith, and Christian Gonzalez as the consensus top corners, and I do not foresee any of them making it to Day 2. DJ Turner from Michigan is a projected Day-2 pick as of right now, but I expect his stock to rise as the process plays out. I really like Clark Phillips from Utah as well. He could be our slot corner for the next 8-10 years, and he is projected to be taken right in the range of the second-round pick the Steelers acquired from the Bears.
However, the Steelers have nobody on their roster at this position they can trust. Nobody. Witherspoon has talent, but I have concerns about his fluidity in coverage schematic versatility. What the Steelers need is a lockdown corner. Unfortunately, they also need a stud tackle, and they cannot get both in Round 1.
With a deep QB class, do we take a flyer on a guy in the 6th?— Can He Flickett (@NeightFSU) December 10, 2022
I fully expect the Steelers to acquire a quarterback either on Day 3 or in undrafted free agency, as Mason Rudolph is not likely to return. I typically do not like quarterback fliers in the later rounds, but there are several small-school standouts in this class. Tyson Bagent from Shepherd is garnering some early interest, and Lindsey Scott, Jr. from Fordham is one of the most dynamic dual-threat options in the class. Do not be surprised if they are in play on Day 3.
Are you impressed by this receiver class? I'm wondering if Steelers build trenches and CB in rounds 1 and 2, can they find value in a 3rd or 4th round receiver pick? Will all the good ones be done?— Tyler W (@tyler_econ) December 10, 2022
I do not think this is an incredibly deep class, but the Steelers have their way with wide receivers in the draft, and I always find Day 3 prospects I fall in love with as the draft process rolls along. One guy to watch: Andrei Iosivas from Princeton. You will hear this name more and more as we get closer to April. At 6’3”, 200 pounds, he has speed for days. He could be in play to break the 40 record at the Scouting Combine if invited. If Anthony Miller and Steven Sims, Jr. return in 2023, I do not think receiver is a dire need early on in the draft.
Is there a player that we’d just have to take if they fell to us despite us being deep at that position or not needing him?— Kats ☠️ (@NoSxKats) December 10, 2022
It is too early in the process to know for sure, as there are always players who shoot up into the projected top 10 as the draft process rolls along. As of right now, I would say the player the Steelers could not pass up on is Jalen Carter. There are rumors he could fall due to character concerns, but the man is nearly unstoppable when healthy. He is a better fit in a 4-3 scheme, and the Steelers just drafted DeMarvin Leal in 2023, but a talent like Carter would be a steal if he somehow fell to the Steelers, regardless of character issues.
We're drafting another QB. Right?— Mini Hulk (@MINIHULKIN) December 10, 2022
Who's the ideal player the Steelers should go after?
I want to see if any of the tackles at the Senior Bowl can emerge. The consensus top linemen are Peter Skoronski and Paris Johnson, but both players have their limitations, and I would not say either player is a “can’t miss” prospect. The draft process could change my opinion on that, but as of right now, I think the corners are the most intriguing. Some of the guys mentioned above have noticeable lockdown potential.
Andrew who is your favorite CB in draft. I like Cam Smith what’s your opinion— AFL66 (@AFL66NFL) December 11, 2022
I still need to watch more of Smith to make a final assessment, but as of right now, my CB1 is Joey Porter, Jr. I just like his tenacity, athleticism, and aggressive mindset. Whenever I watched him at Penn State, he looked like an elite-level boundary corner who was ready for the NFL. Only time will tell for sure, but my familiarity with Porter gives me a little more confidence in him. Smith and Ringo are not far behind, though.
Many of the questions were focused toward this year’s corner class. Do you think it is the Steelers’ biggest need? When should the Steelers pull the trigger on one in the draft? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below!