The Pittsburgh Steelers believe Kenny Pickett is the future but they have to get him help. That’s the goal for this 2023 NFL mock draft for Pittsburgh.
Kenny Pickett is the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers. There were plenty of skeptics regarding the former Pitt Panthers quarterback, to be sure, when the franchise selected him in the first round of last year’s draft. But once he took over as the starter, he made strides and proved that, at a bare minimum, he’s earned a chance to prove himself further moving forward.
For the Steelers to truly see if Pickett is the answer for them and if he can be the true successor to Ben Roethlisberger, though, the team has to get more help around him. Even with the flashes of good moments from the quarterback as a rookie, the simple fact of the matter is that a poor roster often had him effectively playing with one arm tied behind his back.
So as Pittsburgh looks to the 2023 offseason, free agency and the NFL Draft, getting Pickett adequate help should be the primary goal. And that was the idea as we went through this 7-round projection in a Steelers NFL mock draft.
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Steelers NFL Mock Draft 2023: 7-round projection to get Kenny Pickett help
Broderick Jones is the O-line anchor the Steelers have been lacking
Something desperately has to change on the Pittsburgh offensive line, first and foremost, if Kenny Pickett is going to start taking steps forward in his development. And there is no better place to look for where they should start upgrading than at tackle where both Dan Moore Jr. and Chuks Okorafor have been highly disappointing on the left and right side, respectively.
How the organization approaches the offensive line this offseason will be interesting. They could potentially cut Okorafor after previously signing him to a three-year, $30 million extension and could also potentially kick Moore inside to guard to battle with Kevin Dotson and, at the very least, be a depth piece. But what’s clear is that if a guy like Broderick Jones out of Georgia is on the board with the 17th pick, the Steelers would be foolish to not run up with their draft card to take him.
Though Jones only started for one year at left tackle for the Bulldogs, he was a stone wall on the edge for the eventual national champs. Listed at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, he moves extremely well but also has tremendous pop and power at the point of attack.
Jones does need to improve a bit technically in his run blocking but, with his effectiveness despite relatively limited experience and coming into the draft as only a redshirt sophomore, the upside is immense and he would immediately represent a step up from what the Steelers had at either tackle spot in the 2022 season.