With the NFL Draft just a few burdensome weeks between us and the unofficial-official kick best day of the year it would only make sense to continue to flood our social channels with NFL Draft content. Not because anyone is kicking down my door asking for it, but because I need to nail at least one mock in order to talk a years worth of quality shit to the rest of the TFTB staff.
This offseason has been terrific and the NFL draft is the perfect cherry on top heading into the 2023 season. The crazy this is the second I press publish on this I can almost promise you a trade will occur, deeming this a laughable “useless”.
I love the draft. I love having Greg in town with me to produce a terrific show and I love the thought of every one of these young men living out their dreams on the largest scale possible.
I am using the ProFootballNetwork mock draft for this mock so although I am making each selection myself. There is obviously bias in terms of their ranking so if you do choose to do a mock draft yourself, don’t be surprised if guys like Kansas State’s Julius Brents or Penn State’s Brenton Strange get drafted fairly high despite their “lower” ranking.
Keep in mind, I do NOT project trades. I know there’s currently a lot of buzz around the Steelers moving up but I just have no fun in pretending to know that move.
I am also using the current NFL Draft Order as of Tuesday, April 11th 2023. I say this because on my last mock the Panthers traded up to one causing me to just laugh into the ethos. This mock is also based in the universe of who I think would be the pick as opposed to who I would pick if I were the team, so hold on to your butts.
Deke’s 7 Round Steelers Mock
Round 1 – Pick 17 – Joey Porter Jr. – DB – Penn State
Rumors have been swirling for the Steelers to move up with the potential of a deal with the Bears brewing on the underbelly of Draft Twitter today. Personally, I think the front office is preparing for a run on two positions – DB and OT.
In this scenario our perfect corner fell into our laps. With a combination of elite skill and athleticism, Porter Jr. offers the Steelers an instant improvement on the outside. I know the knock on Porter Jr. has been his “grabby” play style, but I don’t believe his dad would allow him to be a bust at the next level. If this is the pick on draft day, consider me happy.
Other Potential Selections – Brian Branch, Emmanuel Forbes, Deonte Banks, Darnell Wright, Dawand Jones
Round 2 – Pick 32 – Dawand Jones – OT – Ohio State
Dawand Jones and Darnell Wright have been the two major moves at tackle for the Pittsburgh rumor machine. Wright, arguably the classes best RT, has been a riser on boards so sadly he was gone here, leaving us with the 6’8″ monster from Ohio State.
I love the moves the Steelers have made this offseason to bring talent to our roster but tackle and corner absolutely are a must-fix in the first two rounds. I’t would be easy to snag the top center in the class ‘m not 100% sold on Jones as the prefect fit so if the Steelers went a different direction (such as Kancey or Smith) I wouldn’t fault them at all knowing there are a few talented tackles left.
Other Potential Selections – Calijah Kancey, Mazi Smith, John Michael Schmitz, Trenton Simpson
Round 2 – Pick 49 – Mazi Smith – DT – Michigan
Fortunately for us Mazi Smith fell to our next pick at 49, an easy snag at this stage of the draft. I’m curious who the Steelers plan to start at NT even with the recent signings so Smith feels like a quality decision to try there.
The 6’3″ 323 lbs tackle has a comp to Dontari Poe and has that pure mix of power and athleticism for a large man. The Steelers haven’t hid their love for Keeanu Benton so I could see them going C or LB here (I would strip live on air if we ended up with Drew Sanders) but let’s make the most of our elite D-Line and bring in another massive talent.
Other Potential Selections – John Michael Schmitz, Drew Sanders, Will McDonald IV, Keeanu Benon
Round 3 – Pick 80 – Joe Tippmann – C – Wisconsin
For me at least, the first three picks are somewhat bucketed. A quality corner, a starting tackle and someone to plug up front. From here on out, it’s a little less clear who the Steelers are targeting but we do know their needs and Tippmann fills a big one. Last season Mason Cole played 96% of the offensive snaps at C and was a serviceable plug in but Tippmann is 6’6″, 313 lb frame and could be our center for years to come.
Tippmann left the combine with the best score at C and has a knack for run schemes, something we need to emphasize to improve on Najee’s career so far. He has a large intelligence for the sport and was an impactful communicator at Wisconsin.
Other Potential Selections – Antonio Johnson, A.T. Perry, Ivan Pace Jr.
Round 4 – Pick 120 – Parker Washington – WR – Penn State
At some point in this draft the Steelers HAVE to take a receiver and Parker Washington could be an instant WR3. A.T. Perry was a strong consideration at 3.80 but this is a fairly deep receiving class with the likes of Ford-Wheaton and Charles Jones still available.
Parker is great at absorbing tackles and could pop right into a slot receiving role to assist Pickett’s growth. He has sideline speed and is relatively considered NFL Ready despite obviously needing to assimilate to his new team. I’m excited to see what Calvin Austin III can do in Black and Gold but we need a new receiver with DJ’s contract a bit up in the air still.
Other Potential Selections – Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Charles Jones, Henry To’o To’o, Ronnie Hickman, Byron Young
Round 7 – Pick 234 – Yasir Abdullah – DE – Louisville
I’d be a bit surprised if the Steelers dont add some edge help just knowing that there isn’t much to write home about after Watt and Highsmith on the depth chart. Abdullah (6’1″ 237 lbs) led Louisville with 10 sacks in 13 starts and posted 63 total taclkes last year including two interceptions.
Naturally this late in the draft there are some downsides for Abdullah such as his smaller stature with some pretty stiff hips but adding much needed depth is a win in round 7.
Other Potential Selections – Jordan Howden, Malik Cunningham, Xavier Henderson, Stetson Bennett
Round 7- Pick 241 – Stetson Bennet IVv – QB – Georgia
I don’t think this is as controversial as many people would assume but the Steelers should take a very serious look at QB during the draft. Pickett will be the starter for years to come and Mitch Trubisky is a fine backup but he’s most likely gone after this year so it makes sense to take a swing at a late round QB from a backup perspective.
Bennett is controversial in his own dorky way but you can’t deny the kids resume at Georgia. He’s a gamer with a good sense for football and although I never want him to take a snap ever (even if there’s a fire), I think we need to bring in a third QB.
Other Potential Selections – Tommy DeVito, Tim DeMorat, Byron Young