The Pittsburgh Steelers roster is pretty much set heading into the dog days of the NFL offseason following the 2023 NFL Draft. While the team may make a few changes around the edges between now and late July when Steelers training camp kicks off, the bones of the team are solid right now. Here we are going to look at the updated Steelers depth chart with every starter after the 2023 NFL Draft.
In his first draft as Steelers general manager, Omar Khan received high praise for his selections. Out of the seven picks he made, a number of players were ranked in many analysts’ top 100 lists. Khan addressed pressing needs by trading up to select an offensive tackle, Broderick Jones, and landing cornerback Joey Porter Jr. in the second round. Later picks, such as tight end Darnell Washington and cornerback Cory Trice Jr., were considered potential steals by many analysts. These additions not only have the potential to contribute early on in the upcoming season. They could also impact the entire roster.
With the offseason coming to a close, the Steelers’ 90-man summer roster is nearly complete. Fans are eager to see how the positional battles will play out with the new additions to the team. With seven draft picks and a handful of free-agent signings, Khan has set the stage for significant roster changes. Players at the top of the depth chart will compete for larger roles, and some rookies may even push starters to the bench. The Steelers’ offseason moves have created excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season.
Now let’s look at the updated Pittsburgh Steelers depth chart with every starter after the 2023 NFL Draft.
Quarterback: Kenny Pickett
Wide Receiver 1: George Pickens
Running Back: Najee Harris
Wide Receiver 2: Diontae Johnson
Wide Receiver 3: Allen Robinson II
Tight End: Pat Freiermuth
Left Tackle: Broderick Jones
Left Guard: Isaac Seumalo
Center: Mason Cole
Right Guard: James Daniels
Right Tackle: Chukwuma Okorafor
For QB Kenny Pickett to take a significant step forward in his second year, he must stay healthy and protected. This was a concern in his rookie season. He had to leave two of the 12 games he started due to head injuries. Despite his mobility allowing him to evade some pressure, he still got sacked at a rate of 2.25 times per game. That ranked ninth highest in the league. The addition of a reliable running game and the transformation of the offensive line into a strength should help ease the pressure on him.
During the 2022 season, the Steelers offensive line improved as the season progressed. This made it seem like it might not need much improvement. However, the team still overhauled the line in free agency. They brought in Isaac Seumalo, Nate Herbig, and Le’Raven Clark. They also added a marquee piece in the draft with Jones. With the new additions, it’s easy to envision Najee Harris running to the left behind the formidable trio of Washington, Jones, and Seumalo in the red zone. These changes also suggest that the Steelers may focus more on the running game. This would give Harris more opportunities to showcase his skills. Furthermore, the team’s decision not to draft another running back is a win for Harris. We expect him to have a pretty big season in 2023.
Kenny Pickett finds Najee Harris for six. Steelers take the late lead
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 2, 2023
Defensive End: Larry Ogunjobi
Defensive End: Cam Heyward
Strong-side Linebacker: Alex Highsmith
Middle Linebacker: Cole Holcomb
Weak-side Linebacker: TJ Watt
Defensive Tackle: Keeanu Benton
Defensive Tackle: Montravius Adams
Cornerback 1: Ahkello Witherspoon
Cornerback 2: Patrick Peterson
Nickel Corner: Levi Wallace
Strong Safety: Damontae Kazee
Free Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick
The Steelers lost Cameron Sutton to the Lions in free agency, but they signed veteran Patrick Peterson. Peterson should start at cornerback on this team due to the contract he signed. However, it remains unclear who will take on the CB2 role. Ahkello Witherspoon is currently listed as the starter opposite Peterson. Witherspoon missed most of last season due to a severe hamstring injury, but assuming he stays healthy, he could fight for the role. Meanwhile, Levi Wallace, coming off a four-interception season, is also in the mix. However, the job is ultimately expected to go to Joey Porter Jr.
Another spot to watch is at nose tackle. Recall that the combination of an aging Alualu and Montravius Adams was inefficient in the position last year. Adams is still under contract, but he seems like the least likely candidate to win the job. During free agency, the Steelers added Breiden Fehoko, a former Chargers nose tackle. He is known for his run-stopping ability but did not grade out really well. Fehoko might stand a better chance of making the final roster than Adams, but he may be second in line for now. Rookie second-rounder Keeanu Benton seems like the front-runner due to his talent, although he is inexperienced and did not grade out particularly well against the run last year at Wisconsin.
While these positional battles are sure to provide excitement and intrigue during the preseason, their outcomes will have important implications for the Steelers’ success this season. With solid performances from Witherspoon or Wallace, the Steelers’ cornerback duo could become a formidable force. On the other hand, a successful transition at nose tackle could make all the difference in bolstering the Steelers’ defensive line and improving their run defense.
Kicker: Chris Boswell
Holder: Pressley Harvin III
Long-snapper: Christian Kuntz
Punter: Pressley Harvin III
Punt return: Gunner Olszewski
Kick return: Gunner Olszewski
For eight years, Chris Boswell has served as the Steelers’ kicker. He has become one of the best in the NFL during his tenure. Although he was an undrafted free agent in 2014, he has since made over 200 field goals for the team. Boswell also ranks third in the franchise’s history with 855 career points. With the four-year, $20 million contract extension he signed in 2022, Boswell’s job might seem secure. However, the team might face a difficult decision as they consider undrafted free agent BT Potter as a potential challenger for the kicking job.
Potter, a rookie placekicker from Clemson, was added to the Steelers’ roster within 24 hours after the draft’s end. He is one of the many players who took advantage of the extra year of college football due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Right now, Potter’s chances of taking Boswell’s job are still uncertain. However, the Steelers might consider him a strong contender for the position given his experience and performance at Clemson. With the upcoming season approaching, the Steelers could face a tough decision as they weigh the options for their kicking game.
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