T.J. Watt. Cam Heyward. Minkah Fitzpatrick.
There are still others to add to the list…
Najee Harris. Diontae Johnson. Chris Boswell. Patrick Peterson. Mitch Trubisky. Allen Robinson. Keanu Neal.
These are all players who are on the Steelers 2023 roster who have previously been selected to the Pro Bowl. Some of these players, such as Patrick Peterson and Mitch Trubisky, were selected with other teams before arriving in Pittsburgh. Others have represented the Pittsburgh Steelers as a selection to the team.
Will there be any new players to add to this list after the 2023 season?
This was a topic which was discussed on the most recent episode of The Scho Bro Show podcast. Will the Steelers have a first-time Pro Bowl player in 2023? If so, who is the most likely candidate?
Both myself and Big Bro Scho laid out our top five candidates from the Steelers to be selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2023. Here were our top five lists: (Warning: I went full homer!)
5. Alex Highsmith
4. Pat Freiermuth
3. Isaac Seumalo
2. George Pickens
1. Kenny Pickett
Rich (Big Bro Scho)
5. George Pickens
4. Alex Highsmith
3. Larry Ogunjobi
2. Pat Freiermuth
1. James Daniels
There are a variety of reasons to select certain players in various positions. I chose Isaac Seumalo on the offensive line because he has the name recognition from being a Pro Bowl alternate last year. Rich did not select Seumalo because he was not sure if he was eligible because he would have possibly been at the Pro Bowl had he not been ineligible due to playing in the Super Bowl. For that reason, Rich went with James Daniels on the offensive line.
Both of us selected George Pickens where I had him much higher on the list than Rich. While Rich noted his highlight reel catches, I felt that if he has both those types of plays balanced with solid numbers, he is more likely to get noticed for the Pro Bowl.
Some positions are more difficult to make the Pro Bowl simply based on other players within the conference. With Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce both being in the AFC, it will be difficult for a player like Pat Freiermuth to get the nod as there are only two tight end selections per conference. While we both had Alex Highsmith on the list, he was further down because if his résumé from last season when T.J. Watt missed almost half the year was not enough to get him in the Pro Bowl, he will have a difficult path despite being worthy. But at the same time, last season did give him the name recognition needed to be selected.
Rich had a great choice in Larry Ogunjobi who I completely overlooked and could see him having a great season if he can stay healthy. Last year he had some highlight plays, so if he can add more of them in 2023 who knows what could happen. At the same time, he is on the same defensive line as Cam Heyward who was a Pro Bowl replacement player last year.
Now to address the big one where I included Kenny Pickett and put him at the top of my list. While I have to admit I was ambitious to put him first, I decided to go big. Although many feel the quarterbacks in the AFC are loaded and Pickett would have a difficult time, last year was a great example of how the quarterbacks chose not to attend. All three players selected from the AFC in Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow did not participate. If a player like Tyler Huntley can be sent to the Pro Bowl after going 2–2 in four starts with two touchdowns and three interceptions, Kenny Pickett should have no problem getting his name in the mix if a similar situation arises this season.
Regardless, the Steelers players have just as much chance to earn Pro Bowl honors in 2023 as other players throughout the league. Although ultimately it is not the most desirable outcome to play in the game as it has been moved to before the Super Bowl rather than after, a player being selected still counts. And starting last year, they didn’t play an actual game but had the “Pro Bowl Games” instead.
So will the Steelers have a player make the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2023? If so, who do you think it will be? Make sure you vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Who from the Steelers is most likely to make the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2023?
This poll is closed
If you wish to check of the episode of The Sch Bro Show where the topic was discussed, it can be heard below.