The “Betz” Steelers 2023 Offseason series rolls on in Part Three with a deep dive into the upcoming NFL Draft. In Parts One and Two, I examined a group of Steelers Free Agents the team should re-sign and some Outside FA’s that should be on the team’s radar, respectively. Those decisions will inform much of my selections for this 7-Round Mock Draft exercise. The goal is to create the best roster possible to take this team from pretender to contender in 2023.
This Mock Draft will be a little different than others you may see, in that my focus will be on WHEN certain positions should be addressed by the Steelers front office. That plays a huge role in predicting what players could be available for each pick, and also to the salary cap implications determined by the positional value of each selection.
So without further ado, let’s dive into my 7-Round Mock Draft.
NOTE: All measurables listed are from espn.com.
Round 1, Pick 17 Overall
CB Joey Porter, Jr. (Penn State)
6’2” | 198 lbs | Junior
With their first selection, I have the Steelers taking one of the top corners in a really good class. It’s a huge position of need for Pittsburgh in 2023, even if the team retains Cam Sutton like I have them doing in Part 1 of this series. But another reason for going CB in Round One is financial. You’re going to have to pay Sutton a good chunk of change to re-sign him. He’s a solid CB2, but no more. Finding a CB1 on a Rookie contract with the 5th-year option in play is a big deal in a world where elite CBs are raking in massive contracts. In regards to the player, Porter Jr. has elite traits and can play both press-man and zone. He’s aggressive, which Steelers fans will like, and really good in run support. He has the chance to be a true shut-down corner in the NFL. Throw in the family ties and this almost makes too much sense.
Round 2, Pick 32 Overall
OT/G Cody Mauch (North Dakota State)
6’6” | 30\3 lbs | Senior
The Steelers could easily trade out of this slot if they want to compile some extra picks. They currently don’t have a 5th or 6th round selection due to trades. I have them staying put though and selecting one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the Draft. I believe Mauch is likely still available on Day 2 because of solid depth at OT, and the recent propensity of NFL teams to target skill position talent late in Round 1. Mauch could do a lot for Pittsburgh, in that he can play anywhere on the OL and push guys like Dan Moore, Jr. and Kevin Dotson for their starting jobs. Mauch is a Day 1 starter at LG and can easily swing out to LT if the team feels the greater need is there. It’s time to find another true blue-chip talent on the OL to complement the solid pieces on the right side of the line. Mauch can be that guy.
Round 2, Pick 49 Overall
TE Darnell Washington (Georgia)
6’7” | 270 lbs | Junior
This might be my favorite scenario for Pittsburgh for their 2nd pick in Round 2. I love the thought of the behemoth TE from UGA teaming up with Pat Freiermuth to really open up the middle of the field for Kenny Pickett and be a 6th lineman in the run game. The former Bulldog would quickly become a matchup nightmare for defenses in both phases on offense, and for a QB like Kenny Pickett, who’s at his best working the intermediate and short passing game, Washington could really open up the offense. I did not have the Steelers re-signing TE Zach Gentry in Part One, so this shores up a need for the team as well.
Round 3, Pick 80 Overall
ILB DeMarvion Overshown (Texas)
6’4” | 224 lbs | Senior
Texas has several defensive prospects that could intrigue the Steelers in the middle rounds of the draft. Overshown might be the most enticing. The former Safety has range and speed in coverage, and shows sideline-to-sideline pursuit and aggression against the run. Pittsburgh hasn’t been shy in the past about employing long, lanky Linebackers in the past — see Lambert, Jack and Shazier, Ryan — and Steelers defense is never quite right without an athletic and imposing MLB roaming the field. Overshown could be just that for Pittsburgh.
Round 4, Pick 120 Overall
EDGE Ochaun Mathis (Nebraska)
6’5” | 260 lbs | Senior
Mathis is one of my favorite mid-round pass rushers. Watch his tape and you’ll see one of the few guys who puts natural talent and motor together on the field. While he’s still a little raw, and before you jump on me saying this is a reach, Mathis projects to test well at the Combine and he already ranks in the 80-90th percentile for measurables at his position. His stock should rise heading into the Draft.
Round 7, Pick 236
WR Jalen Wayne (South Alabama)
6’2” | 207 lbs | Senior
Wayne is a sturdy slot receiver in the mold of a JuJu Smith-Schuster. Wayne is a fantastic separator in short and intermediate routes and he displays exciting run-after-the-catch ability as well. His experience with returning kicks gives him a leg up in that regard as well. The Steelers have size (George Pickens), route savvy (Diontae Johnson), speed (Calvin Austin III), and depth (Steven Sims, Anthony Miller), so the selection of Wayne would be the Deebo Samuel-like addition the team needs to round out this WR corps. Not saying he’ll ever be as good as Samuel, but if Wayne is still lurking in the 7th, run that card to the table.
Round 7, Pick 243
OT Kadeem Telfort (Alabama Birmingham)
6’8” | 330 lbs | Senior
I like the idea of the Steelers double-dipping along the OL and Telfort is an ideal traits prospect with good feet and exceptional size and length for the position. If the Steelers want to give Dan Moore Jr. one more shot to lock down that LT position, they could choose to select a developmental prospect for the future. Telfort is very raw, lacking the lateral agility and the technical refinement to really take advantage of his size, but he’s a people-mover in the run game and with coaching has potential.
My “Betz” 2023 offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers includes meeting current needs and looking to the future in the Draft. It was difficult to leave Interior Defensive Line out of my Mock Draft, but with the team’s selection of DeMarvin Leal in 2022 and my projected addition of Dalvin Tomlinson in Free Agency (Part 2 of my series) I felt there were other more pressing needs.
Did you like my draft? Dislike any of the selections? Let me know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to answer the poll question. As always, go Steelers!
Which position is a higher priority for the Steelers to address in the draft in 2023?
This poll is closed