Steelers: Joey Porter Jr. and Keeanu Benton headline a star-studded 2023 NFL Draft class

The Pittsburgh Steelers are no stranger to building a roster through the draft. However, at the 2023 NFL Draft, the franchise outdid itself. Joey Porter Jr. and Keeanu Benton already look like stars — what about the rest of the rookie class?
Oct 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90)
Oct 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Steelers are one of the most well-run organizations in all of sports — and it’s been this way for a while now. From the legendary Chuck Noll to the Hall of Famer Bill Cowher, only three men have held the honor of head coach in Pittsburgh since NASA landed on the moon. The third? Current Steelers shot-caller, Mike Tomlin.

The Pittsburgh Steelers Have A Winning Pedigree

Tomlin is amongst the best in the business, not only during games but as a culture builder off the field. His no-nonsense approach is a breath of fresh air, with the 51-year-old head coach blending a mix of old-school philosophy with new-age decision-making.

One major change did occur recently for the Steelers organization. Longtime general manager Kevin Colbert left his position atop the franchise following the 2022 NFL Draft. Before parting ways with the fan base, Colbert played a crucial role in selecting quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round.

Omar Khan assumed the vacancy, taking the reins and leading Pittsburgh into a new era of football. But as the saying goes: when things change, they still, somehow, remain the same. The Steelers used Pickett down the stretch to secure another winning season, but they ultimately fell short of a postseason berth.

With a somewhat promising rookie year under his belt, Pickett had positioned himself as the solidified QB1 heading into 2023. Khan was tasked with building up an already good roster and transforming it into a juggernaut playoff contender. The first-time GM made some savvy free-agent additions, but the 2023 NFL Draft is where he flexed his high football IQ.

The 2023 NFL Draft Could Shape The Next Decade Of Steelers Football

The rookie class is paying immediate dividends for the Steelers, even with injuries clouding the future of a few names on the list. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the most recent crop of first-year talent in the Steel City.

Round 1, No. 14 — Broderick Jones, OL, Georgia

The mountain of a man from Georgia had a slow start to his professional career. Broderick Jones, a raw offensive lineman, dealt with injuries in the offseason and early portion of the regular season. However, given his performance in the past two games, Jones’ time in the spotlight has come.

In relief of veteran Chukwuma Okorafor, Jones has allowed zero sacks, zero quarterback hits, and only two total pressures (via PFF). That is a promising showing from Jones, especially after the Steelers traded up the draft board to secure his talent.

Jones still has plenty of room to grow, which is an exciting proposition for the team’s future at offensive line. At only 22 years old, the Bulldog alum has the size, strength, power, and speed to dominate at either tackle position. Cleaning up the nuanced parts of his game, like footwork and hand usage, is the final key to Jones ascending to the top of the NFL as a blocker.