What draft grades have the media given to the Pittsburgh Steelers? What are they saying about the Steelers' 2023 draft haul?
NFL.com - Grade: A
Herbig can play inside or outside for the Steelers, with his aggressive nature overcoming his slight build. Anderson has good size and decent athleticism and should land on the roster as a swing tackle.
ESPN - Grade: B+
On Day 2, they added cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (32), defensive tackle Keeanu Benton (49) and tight end Darnell Washington (93), all of whom could play significant roles this season. Porter is 6-foot-2 with long arms, and he can flip his hips in coverage. This is a great spot for him, being able to be mentored by Patrick Peterson. Benton's traits didn't match his college production, but if he keeps developing some pass-rush moves, he could be a three-down player. He was a slight reach on my board. Washington dropped because of some medical concerns, but he'll step into the NFL as one of the league's best blocking tight ends; and if he can up his game as a pass-catcher, he could be a steal.
Pittsburgh had just three picks in the last four rounds, with Nick Herbig (132) the most notable. He is my No. 7 inside linebacker. The light Day 3 keeps this class under an A -- teams that have more picks obviously have greater chances to find those diamonds in the rough -- but there are some instant-impact players here.
SI - Grade: A
PFF - Grade: A+
Day 2: Pittsburgh takes PFF's CB4 and 21st-ranked prospect to open up Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Porter wins with his length. The former Nittany Lion's 34-inch arms make it easy to disrupt his opponent at the catch point and line of scrimmage. Porter's 40% forced incompletion rate in 2022 led all Power Five cornerbacks.
The Steelers take a top interior defender that can line up in the A and B gaps, with the Steelers able to move Cameron Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi and Benton across the interior. Benton will help a Steelers run defense that struggled in 2022 up the middle, with a strong 10.5% run-stop win rate in 2022.
The freaky Georgia tight end's slide is over. Pittsburgh grabs the 6-foot-8, 272-pound Darnell Washington to continue their strong 2023 NFL Draft. He has a strong resume in the ground game, as his top-five finish among Power Five tight ends in run-blocking grade in 2022 proves, and is a mismatch weapon as a receiver.
Day 3: The Steelers' incredible draft continues. Herbig played on the edge at Wisconsin but figures to be more of a tweener in the NFL, and that's likely why he wasn't a higher pick. He knows how to rush the passer, though, as he won 23.9% of his pass-rushing snaps in 2022 and earned a 91.1 pass-rush grade.
Ranked 77th on PFF's big board. Price is a physically imposing corner at 6-foot-3 who is extremely aggressive at the line of scrimmage and tackles well.
Anderson is the only pick by the Steelers where the player has been outside the top 80 of the PFF big board. Anderson produced a 79.8 PFF pass-blocking grade in 2022 but struggled as a run blocker.
Fox Sports - Grade: B+
USA Today - Grade: A
The Ringer - Grade: A+
Sporting News - Grade: A+
Touchdown Wire - Grade: A
The marquee pick was Joey Porter Jr., the son of the linebacker the Steelers selected in the third round of the 1999 draft. Porter is a pure aggressive press cornerback with a wingspan longer than some offensive tackles in this class, which leads me to believe that Pittsburgh wants to play more in that style. Mike Tomlin isn't stupid, and he's a former defensive backs coach, so take that for what it's worth. I also love the addition of Wisconsin's Keeanu Benton, who should solve this team's recent interior defensive line issues that have forced Cameron Heyward to be Superman all the time. And Wisconsin's Nick Herbig is an interesting edgebacker hybrid guy who can add pass rush in a situational sense.
The Steelers were not messing around in this draft — they went all out for physically dominant players who bring production and attitude right off the bus.
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