The 2023 NFL Draft was a memorable one for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Throughout the 3-day selection process the team was able to bring in talent many didn’t believe would even be possible in the lead-up to the draft.
As an example, some thought the Steelers could possibly have to choose between a player like offensive tackle Broderick Jones or cornerback Joey Porter Jr.
Never in anyone’s wildest dreams did people feel getting both players was a possibility.
Likewise, the mountain of a man, Darnell Washington, was mocked to go in the late 1st Round or 2nd Round of most mock drafts; however, the Steelers didn’t just get him in the 3rd Round they traded back from pick No. 80 to pick No. 93 and still were able to obtain the man most call “Mount Washington” on their roster.
Throw in the 2nd Round pick of Keeanu Benton out of Wisconsin and the Steelers’ top four picks were certainly noteworthy. In the wake of the draft, you will get articles which quote anonymous college coaches and NFL Scouts giving their thoughts on specific players. This is exactly what Adam Rittenberg of ESPN did, and those coaches spoke not just about a player picked in Rounds 1-3, but the Steelers 4th Round pick, Nick Herbig.
“I really liked Herbig,” a Big Ten coach said. “Everybody says, ‘What’s the best value?’ That guy’s a good one. He’s not real flashy, just gets stuff done and Pittsburgh, they know it.”
This brings some interesting context into the picture for a lot of fans who ask questions about the Herbig pick.
- Is he big enough to play OLB?
- Can he flex inside to play ILB?
As the coach suggested, he might not be flashy, but he’s a good football player. Sometimes that’s all it takes, and you hope the Steelers coaching staff can take care of the rest.
Another coach from the Big Ten spoke about Joey Porter Jr. and his overall build. Porter isn’t just 6’3” tall, but unbelievably long. Porter’s length is what makes him ultimately unique when comparing him to his counterparts.
“He’s just so long,” a Big Ten coach said. “Not very many corners are built like that. You don’t see that kind of length.”
Whether he can translate that length into a solid NFL career has yet to be determined, but there is plenty of hope surrounding the Steelers draft picks from top-to-bottom. What do you think of these two picks in particular? Do you see the Steelers being able to find a spot for them in Year 1? Or would someone like Nick Herbig be deemed more of a project?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2023 NFL offseason.