The Pittsburgh Steelers have made some big changes to the roster in the first wave of free agency. How much of those moves will impact the 2023 NFL draft? Let’s update our NFL draft needs after the first wave of free agency.
Don’t let the signing of Le’Raven Clark fool you, he does nothing for the problems the Steelers have at offensive tackle. Pittsburgh has addressed multiple offseason concerns and should be able to focus on getting an elite left tackle very early in the draft like Georgia’s Broderick Jones.
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Even Cam Heyward says this team needs more defensive linemen. Specifically, this team needs more big bodies in the middle of the line and this draft has several very good ones including Michigan’s Mazi Smith.
If between now and the actual draft outside linebacker Bud Dupree is reunited with the Steelers, this need drops bigtime. But until then, getting a third edge rusher to rotate in with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith is perhaps an underrated need. Auburn’s Derick Hall would be a nice fit later in the second round.
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After five seasons as the Steelers starting strong safety, Terrell Edmunds is gone. Pittsburgh hopes Damonte Kazee is the man to replace him but even if so, the Steelers still need a third safety for their sub-package defense. A player like Penn State’s Ji’Ayir Brown in the middle rounds would make sense.
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With Steven Sims leaving in free agency, Pittsburgh is putting all of its eggs in the basket of Calvin Austin III to replace him. But with the Steelers ability to find rare talent at wide receiver late in the draft, we’d like to see them do it again with a player like Arkansas WR Jadon Haselwood.
Thankfully, after losing Cameron Sutton to free agency, Pittsburgh was able to sign Patrick Peterson to replace him. Peterson is no long-term solution so Pittsburgh should draft a developmental guy this year to coach up to be the starter in a couple of years, similar to how Sutton did it. A name to keep in mind is Iowa’s Riley Moss.