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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2023 State of the League: Pittsburgh Steelers

2023 State of the League: Pittsburgh Steelers

Breaking down the AFC North: each team's key free agent moves, trades, potential impact Draft choices, and more.
Publish Date: 07/21/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

2022 Record: 9 – 8 (3 – 3 vs AFC North)

General Manager: Omar Khan

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin

Offensive Coordinator: Matt Canada

Defensive Coordinator: Teryl Austin

Special Teams Coordinator: Danny Smith

 

Preseason Projected Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
QBKenny PickettMitch Trubisky
RBNajee HarrisJaylen Warren
FBMonte Pottebaum (R)
WR1Diontae JohnsonCalvin Austin III
WR2George PickensGunner Olszewski
WR3Allen Robinson II
TEPat FreiermuthDarnell Washington (R)
LTBroderick Jones (R)Dan Moore Jr.
LGIsaac SeumaloKevin Dotson
CMason ColeKendrick Green
RGJames DanielsNate Herbig
RTChukwuma OkoraforLe’Raven Clark
PositionStarterBackup
DLLarry OgunjobiDeMarvin Leal
NTKeeanu Benton (R)Breiden Fehoko
DLCameron HeywardMontravius Adams
EDGEAlex HighsmithQuincy Roche
ILBCole HolcombTanner Muse
ILBElandon RobertsMark Robinson
EDGET.J. WattNick Herbig (R)
CB1Patrick PetersonLevi Wallace
CB2Joey Porter (R)James Pierre
CB3Chandon SullivanCory Trice (R)
FSMinkah FitzpatrickTre Norwood
SSDamontae KazeeKeanu Neal

 

2023 NFL Draft Class

RoundPickPlayer NamePositionCollege
114Broderick JonesOTGeorgia
232Joey Porter Jr.CBPenn State
249Keeanu BentonDLWisconsin
393Darnell WashingtonTEGeorgia
4132Nick HerbigLBWisconsin
7241Cory TriceCBPurdue
7251Spencer AndersonOGMaryland
Video: Steelers' 2023 NFL Draft BEST Pick and BIGGEST Steal I CBS Sports

Steelers’ 2023 NFL Draft BEST Pick and BIGGEST Steal I CBS Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Offseason Review

Pittburgh continued to make it a priority to build the offensive line this offseason. Isaac Seumalo was signed to a three year deal in free agency to start at left guard. Pittsburgh also traded a fourth round pick to move up a few spots in the first round of the NFL Draft and select offensive tackle Broderick Jones. Jones started only one full season at left tackle in college, but he displayed the necessary traits to excel in both the ground game and in pass protection. It had been reported before the Draft that some teams had Jones ranked as the top offensive tackle in this class. Former starters Kevin Dotson and Dan Moore Jr. will shift to the bench, bolstering Pittsburgh’s depth along the offensive line.

Before the Draft, the Rams traded wide receiver Allen Robinson to the Steelers for a seventh round pick. Robinson played in only ten games last season for the Rams due to a foot injury, and fell out of favor in Los Angeles. He should be the favorite to start the season as the third wide receiver in Pittsburgh, but second year pro Calvin Austin could overtake that role should Robinson get injured again or fail to produce. Austin has been a star during offseason organized team activities, and has a lot of buzz entering training camp. Tight end Darnell Washington surprisingly fell to the third round of the NFL Draft, despite being one of the most talked about prospects during the pre-Draft process. Washington is an elite run blocker with elite size, but he will have to work on his route running to meet his immense potential.

The Steelers ranked middle of the pack in sacks and passing yards allowed, finished tied for second most passing touchdowns allowed, and were one of the worst teams in the NFL in passing yards per attempt allowed. The team had several veterans at both corner and safety leave this offseason, and the rebuilt secondary should have no less than three new starters – maybe even four new starters. Cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Chandon Sullivan were signed in free agency from the Vikings, while safety Keanu Neal came over as a free agent from Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh also used the second round pick they got from Chicago in the Chase Claypool trade to select Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr.

Peterson should be a lock for one of the starting outside corner roles, while Sullivan is the current favorite to hold down the slot duties. Porter Jr. will be competing with Levi Wallace for the other starting spot on the outside, but he should claim the job sooner rather than later regardless. Minkah Fitzpatrick is arguably the best safety in football, but his running mate is in question. The team lost Terrell Edmunds to Philly in free agency, but did re-sign Damontae Kazee to a two year deal, and brought in Neal as competition. Keep an eye on seventh round pick Cory Trice; he was a star in organized team activities, and has elite size at 6-foot-3.

Video: All 20 Interceptions (#1 in the NFL) | Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 Season

All 20 Interceptions (#1 in the NFL) | Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 Season

Inside linebacker needed some reinforcements, and that was even before Devin Bush signed with Seattle this offseason. The team signed linebackers Elandon Roberts and Cole Holcomb as free agents, and both will be expected to be the starters inside. Veteran Markus Golden and rookie fourth rounder Nick Herbig were brought in to add depth at edge rusher. Herbig played on the edge at Wisconsin and played well, but he will likely take snaps at inside linebacker due to size/length concerns. Defensive lineman Keeanu Benton was selected in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft to start in between Cam Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi.

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