With the their chances of making the playoffs dwindling by the week, it’s time to take a look at the Steelers draft needs for 2023.  Of course those could change dramatically depending on free agency, but here are the top five positions of need as we stand today:

1.  Left tackle:

Do you know when the last time the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted a tackle in the first round was?  It was in the 1996 draft when the team selected Jemain Stephens out of North Carolina A+T.  That’s right, it has been 26 years since this franchise invested a fist round pick in a tackle.  That has to be the longest streak in the NFL.

Hopefully this team breaks that streak in 2023.  Dan Moore has proven to be a significantly below average pass blocker in his time as the team’s starting left tackle.  While his run blocking has improved, the pass protecting seems to be regressing this season.  This position should be priority one this off-season.

2.  Corner:

The Steelers under Mike Tomlin seem to value pass rush far more than coverage corners.  This team seems perfectly content with a group of average corners, rather than having a true number one.  The defense has suffered greatly from this philosophy this season as opposing wide receivers have had a field day with this group.  The problem really came into focus once TJ Watt went down with his injury.  The lack of pass rush resulting from that injury exposed this poor group of corners.

It promises to be a very deep group of DBs heading into the 2023 draft.  The Steelers should have several options when they draft in the mid to late teens.  They would be wise not to pass up an opportunity to upgrade this position.

We pushed for the Steelers to draft a corner two years ago instead of Najee Harris In our last mock draft that year…Steelers mock draft 4.0: The final countdown

3.  Defensive Tackle:

Cam Heyward will be 34 entering next season, and he will most likely the only veteran impact defensive tackle left on the roster.  Tyson Alualu will be retired, and Larry Ogunjobi will have moved on leaving this team extremely thin at this important position.  There is hope that DeMarvin Leal can develop into something, but more impact bodies will be needed.  Defensive tackle is sure to be high on the Steelers draft needs come next April.

4.  Linebacker:

I can’t believe there will be another year where the Steelers have to dump more assets into the inside linebacker position, but here we are.  Ever since the Ryan Shazier injury this team has had a revolving door at this position.  The Steelers decided not to pick up the 5th year option on Devin Bush, meaning they will be once again on the hunt for another athletic inside linebacker.  Look for them to address this position fairly early in next year’s draft.

5.  Edge Rusher:

The Steelers learned a tough lesson in 2022, and that is they are hopelessly thin at the edge position.  While they might have the best pair of starters in the league, what’s behind them leaves a lot to be desired.  In today’s NFL of fast paced offenses, there is a need for depth at this position even if the starters are healthy.  Drafting a edge rusher to spell TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith should be among this team’s top priority in this upcoming draft.