Steeler Nation waited in torture on Thursday and Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft waiting to see who their Steelers would select. After Broderick Jones joined the black-and-gold, fans turned their attention closely to see who their AFC North rivals would select to improve their squad.
Last year, Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Linderbaum and Dax Hill entered the fray the first day. Below are the guys that the Steelers will see twice a year for a good while. Our very own Andrew Wilbar provides scouting analysis leading a team of staffers and fans called the BTSC Big Board Crew. The BTSCBBC includes writers Jeremy Betz, Shannon White, SNW, Ryland B. and fans Necksnation, Noah_E., skyfire322, Adam Curry and John O’Malley. Thanks to Andrew and those fine contributors for the assist below.
Note: The Cleveland Browns do not have a first-round pick again this year due to the trade for Deshaun Watson.
Round 1, Pick 22
Baltimore Ravens select WR Zay Flowers - Boston College
- 5‘10“, 177 lbs.
- 2022 Stats: GP 12, Rec 78, Yds 1077, TD 12
- Wilbar’s Grade and Rank: 25th/Late 1st
What this means for the Ravens: The AFC division has gotten even stronger with playmakers and Flowers is giving the Ravens a dangerous weapon wherever he lines up.
What this means for the Steelers: Get your Pepto ready, this guy can upset stomachs and will, that is should Lamar Jackson be able to find him.
Noah E’s Scouting Report
Over the last couple of months, Zay Flowers has been flying up draft boards, and for good reason. He is one of the twitchiest and most explosive receivers I’ve ever seen. He’s someone that makes the quarterback’s job easy, consistently creating separation on all three levels of the field. Not to mention he has phenomenal body control and strong hands that allow him to make catches in traffic look easy. However, where Flowers really shines is after the catch. His ability to make guys miss is otherworldly and he rarely goes down on the first try. Anytime he touches the ball there’s potential for a house call. Of course, no prospect is perfect. Flowers is on the smaller side and his play strength at the NFL level will certainly be a question mark. He does drop more passes than you’d like, something that can be fixed with some time on the JUGS machine. His combination of speed, twitchiness, route running, and RAC ability make him a dangerous weapon at any receiver spot. However, his size will likely limit him to a slot role, but I think he has the potential to thrive no matter what team he’s on or where he lines up.
Round 1, Pick 28
Cincinnati Bengals select EDGE Myles Murphy - Clemson
- 6‘5”, 275 lbs.
- 2022 stats: GP 13, T 40, TFL 11, S 6.5, PD 2, FR 0, FF 1.
- Wilbar’s Grade and Rank: 40th/Mid 2nd
What this means for the Bengals: Murphy joins a defense that includes one of the NFL’s more-feared pass rushing duos in Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard
What this means for the Steelers: The Steelers are beefing up their offensive line and they will need to be cognizant of the destruction that Murphy could bring to keep KP8 alive.
John O’s Scouting Report
Murphy is a stud Edge rusher; it’s that simple. He has the size, bend, and talent to pressure the pocket routinely. Murphy’s wheelhouse is playing right end in a 4-3 defense. He showed on tape repeatedly against quality competition whereas some of his talented Clemson teammates flashed but weren’t consistent. Athletically, Murphy looks talented enough to play an OLB role in a 3-4 also as a pass rusher and run defender. He isn’t a total shutdown run defender, but he has sufficient athleticism to figure it out. Murphy can likely drop in coverage a few yards, although he’s more of a pass rusher by trade. His technique and motor can be debated, but he beats opponents inside, outside, and with a variety of moves. In the modern NFL, this is a player almost any team should want, and he should be drafted in the first round.
Will Flowers and Murphy be names in the Steelers-Ravens and Steelers-Bengals rivalry and victimize Pittsburgh for years to come or will they be just another victim of the black and gold? We will see.