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Pittsburgh Steelers Projected To Pick 2nd Overall In 2023 NFL Draft By ESPN


The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to a dismal 1-3 start this season, dropping three-straight games after pulling out a win on opening weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals on the road. If it weren’t for a Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked extra point, Pittsburgh may very well be staring down the outlet of 0-4 with the Bills, Buccaneers, Eagles, and Dolphins on the docket who all profile as playoff teams as we sit here today.

For this reason, ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) is currently giving Pittsburgh a 2.4% likelihood to make the playoffs this season and are projecting them for a 5.4-11.6 record based on their projections for the remaining of the season. Subsequently, when ESPN got here out with their newest 2023 NFL Draft Order projections after Week 4, The Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves in uncharted territory, being slated at #2 overall only behind the Houston Texans who’re slated to have the #1 pick.

The 0-3-1 Texans — who picked third within the 2022 draft — have a 33.2% likelihood to land the highest selection, and so they’re followed by the 1-3 Pittsburgh Steelers 14.5%), who just benched quarterback Mitch Trubisky in favor of rookie first-rounder Kenny Pickett.

Based on ESPN’s model, Pittsburgh has had a median draft position of 6.3 of their simulations and have a 14.2% likelihood to earn the #1 overall pick. Pittsburgh’s possibilities at a top five pick are currently set at 54.9% which a top ten selection being almost a guarantee at 80.4% presently given their start and upcoming schedule via FPI.

For a team that has never had a losing season under HC Mike Tomlin and that has remained competitive as a yearly threat to at the very least make the playoffs, these projects are a far cry from what Pittsburgh Steelers fans have seen in many years. While it needs to be noted that this team’s schedule lightens up down the stretch after their bye week, they currently have the NFL’s hardest remained strength of schedule from several media outlets, lacking an identity on offense and try to make do on defense without T.J. Watt for the following few games with a frightening schedule ahead of them.

The move to Kenny Pickett did provide a notable spark to the offense last Sunday against the Jets, however the Steelers find themselves in a predicament as they face a rebuilding yr, even when Tomlin doesn’t wish to admit it. Tomlin, GM Omar Khan, and owner Art Rooney II won’t allow this team to tank and can try to stay competitive, likely playing themselves out of a top three selection this coming spring.

The query might be whether Pittsburgh made the best decision last offseason with the collection of Pickett once they are staring the likes of QBs Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud within the face with where they’re at straight away. You’ll be able to throw in all-world EDGE Will Anderson Jr. in there as well who looks to be the perfect prospect at his position since Von Miller back in 2011.

Pickett may have the chance to prove that he’s Pittsburgh’s franchise QB of the long run for the remaining of 2022, but should Pittsburgh be unable to show things around this season with Pickett on the helm, many will wonder what might have been in the event that they would have opted to bypass QB in 2022 and take aim on the 2023 class which has been touted as more talented class on the position. Regardless, it looks like Pittsburgh might be picking higher this offseason than they’ve been accustomed to, presenting the chance so as to add a blue-chip prospect to their roster depending how they evaluate this draft class.

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