The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team who often make their intentions clear when it comes to the NFL Draft. There are many prospects the Steelers have been actively involved in recruiting, and end up being their top pick in the draft. Najee Harris in 2021 would be the perfect example of the Steelers not trying to hide what they wanted to do when the selection process started.
On the flip side of that, the Steelers also aren’t an organization which typically leaks a lot of information, if any at all. Some teams will have people leak draft plans, or interest in players, as a smoke screen or to see the ripple effect it might have on other teams.
The Steelers do things their way, and there is no denying that. So, when ESPN recently wrote about what teams would need to do to get a positive grade in the draft, as well as the rumors which are swirling around the team, there wasn’t much to write about.
Nonetheless, check out what they’re hearing at this stage of the game and the draft being just weeks away.
Top picks: Nos. 17, 32, 49
With two picks in the top 32, how can the Steelers get an “A” grade?
The Steelers’ free agent signings of cornerback Patrick Peterson, inside linebacker Cole Holcomb and guard Isaac Seumalo give them some flexibility with their two early picks, but the priority should be to protect quarterback Kenny Pickett and strengthen the defensive backs. The Steelers upgraded the interior of the line, but adding a premium offensive tackle in the first round would be an upgrade over either Dan Moore Jr. or Chukwuma Okorafor. And drafting a top-tier cornerback such as Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State) to learn under Peterson would put the position in good shape after losing Cameron Sutton to the Lions. — Brooke Pryor
What we’re hearing about the Steelers’ draft: The two positions that come up most often when talking to sources about the Steelers’ draft plans are cornerback and offensive tackle, so Brooke and I are on the same page. Porter is a fan favorite — yes, his father was drafted by the Steelers, too — but his length, aggressive style of play and ability to attack the ball also make him a great value and scheme fit for the Steelers. He could definitely be available in the middle of Round 1. And with the first pick of Day 2, I like tackle Anton Harrison (Oklahoma) to Pittsburgh. — Miller
If you talk to any Steelers fan who pays attention to the team in the offseason, most would say offensive tackle and/or cornerback would be near the top of the draft needs. So it wasn’t a shock when Miller said what he’s “hearing” is the Steelers are looking at cornerback and tackle in the first two rounds.
The key in this situation is how the Steelers have three picks in Rounds 1 and 2, so if they go with a cornerback and tackle with two of those three picks, what position would they select with the third pick? A defensive lineman? Safety? Wide receiver?
Luckily, there are only a couple weeks left before the draft and the speculation will finally end and picks will start to be made. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the NFL offseason.