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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Nick Herbig Has Elite Traits; The Rookie Is Thriving Alongside The Veteran Cast On Defense

Round 4, No. 132 — Nick Herbig, LB, Wisconsin

Although the Watt brothers are on another level, another set of brothers came through the Wisconsin program in recent years. Nate Herbig is a depth-piece offensive lineman, but Nick has a direct path to superstardom within the Steelers scheme. And it’s only taken half a season to see that.

The young Herbig was virtually unblockable in college, regularly posting one of the top pass-rush win rates in the country. The issue with his NFL Draft profile began and ended with size. He isn’t particularly big from a height and weight standpoint. That left many around the league wondering which position he’d slot into on Sundays.

Thankfully for Herbig, he landed with a Steelers defense that has established veterans all across the roster. According to PFF, he only has 31 pure pass-rushing reps in 2023, leading to three total pressures and his lone career sack vs. the Rams in Week 7. The NFL has been gradually shifting to “position-less” football; Herbig is a prime example of that.

Round 7, No. 241 — Cory Trice Jr., CB, Purdue

Unfortunately, Cory Trice Jr. suffered a season-ending injury back in August. The Purdue alum held a top 100 grade on my Big Board, making him a massive steal on paper. Alas, we won’t know what Trice can bring to the table until the 2024 campaign, at the earliest. Here’s to hoping the youngster can bounce back and make good on his label as a “draft day steal".

Round 7, No. 251 — Spencer Anderson, OL, Maryland

Spencer Anderson has logged one snap on the year and profiles as nothing more than a long-term practice squad member/backup lineman. Still, Anderson was nearly the final selection of the 2023 NFL Draft — it is easy to root for him to carve out a role in an offense. All in all, it’s a nice cap to an impressive haul of talent.