The Steelers had seven selections in the 2023 NFL Draft, selecting four defensive players and three offensive players.
They kicked things off by drafting Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones in the first round, trading up three spots to the 14th overall slot to make the selection.
"Productive weekend," said General Manager Omar Khan. "Really feel like we're a better football team today than we were at 7:59 p.m. on Thursday. Can't wait until we get to the rookie minicamp in a couple weeks and really see our new Steelers in action."
Coach Mike Tomlin said there was a good feel about how the draft went overall, but there is work to be done.
"We feel good, but obviously the quality of this weekend will be played out over the next three to five years in the careers of these people, and we've got some responsibility in terms of that work, as well," said Tomlin.
The Steelers 2023 Draft Class:
Broderick Jones - Offensive Tackle - Round 1
Joey Porter Jr. - Cornerback - Round 2
Keeanu Benton - Defensive Lineman - Second Round
Darnell Washington - Tight End - Third Round
Nick Herbig - Linebacker - Fourth Round
Cory Trice Jr. - Defensive Back - Seventh Round
Spencer Anderson - Offensive Lineman - Seventh Round
Broderick Jones - Offensive Tackle - Georgia - Round 1 - 14th Overall Pick
The Steelers made a trade in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, moving up to the 14th overall spot to select offensive tackle Broderick Jones from the University of Georgia. The Steelers swapped spots with the New England Patriots in the first round and gave the Patriots a fourth-round pick (120th overall) in the 2023 NFL Draft.
General Manager Omar Khan said things worked out well for the trade and is happy to add the competition to the offensive line, something he said is his job.
"By the time we get to the opening game the best five offensive linemen will play," said Khan.
Jones started every game in 2022 for the Bulldogs and was an Associated Press All-SEC first-team selection.
"He is an extremely talented guy," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We were excited about him at every step of the process. We had dinner with him the night before their pro day. We had the chance to spend time with him in their environment. It was interesting. I was in Athens (Georgia) a year ago and took a group of his former teammates out and said to them give me a name that we are going to be back for in 12 months. Universally Broderick's name was the guys' name we got 12 months ago. That was the first time I heard his name. In investigating I see why they held him in such high regard. He is a really good player right now, but the upside is tremendous. He is a 'Diaper Dandy.' We're excited about getting him in the fold.
"In terms of the division of labor and who is going to do what, those things will be decided in the team development process. But make no mistake we are excited about having a young man of his talent.
"He's got big-time upside, but I also say he is a really good player right now. He's got a competitor's mentality. He is wired for this line of work. He's got a desire to be great. He's highly competitive. He has been a part of a winner. He understands we are in a winning business. He values that. Sometimes you can't really value that unless you've been a part of it, and obviously the run that that university has been on with their football program, and they have won about as much as you can win over the time they spent playing a significant role for them."
Joey Porter Jr. - Cornerback - Penn State - Round 2 - 32nd Overall Pick
The Steelers selected cornerback Joey Porter Jr. in the second round, using the 32nd overall pick to draft the Penn State product.
"Excited to get Joey," said defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. "We know we wanted a young corner. He has a lot of great attributes. Size, length, competitive, tough. Really good. Really glad we were able to get him to come in and contribute to our team. We're looking forward to him coming in and competing, having an opportunity to help us win games this year.
"He is going to have every opportunity to get in there and show us what he can do."
Porter is someone the Steelers are extremely familiar with. He is the son of former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter, who was drafted by the black and gold in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft and played for the team from 1999-2006.
"It's going to be my flavor to it," said Porter. "It's me. It's not him. He understands that."
Austin said the interest in him wasn't because of his dad, but because of what he has done in his Penn State career.
"He is his own person," said Austin. "Really attentive. Really good listener. Going to ask the right questions. He wants to be good. He wants to excel.
"I think it's more, not the people in the building or his dad, he is basically coming home. A lot of guys are going to go to a new city. They have to learn a new way to live. This stuff he knows. That is less stress so he can concentrate more on the football part of it.
"The big thing with him is he knew what he had to do. It wasn't because of who his dad was. They were coming to see him because he was a good player. I think he understood that right from the beginning. He handled that like a true professional."
Keeanu Benton - Defensive Lineman - Wisconsin - Second Round - 49th Overall Pick
The Steelers selected defensive lineman Keeanu Benton from Wisconsin in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the 49th overall pick.
Benton was an All-Big Ten third team selection by the coaches in 2022. He played in 12 games, starting all of them. He finished the season with 36 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and four and a half sacks.
"Big strong guy. Really active. Good hands," said defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. "For a big guy you will see him venture outside the box, chasing things down. He's got a good motor. You can see he's in really good shape when he plays. He plays a lot of snaps. He is an 80-85% guy. He keeps himself in really good shape, really competitive spirit.
"I got a good chance to see him. Evaluating film. He came in here for a visit. Wonderful guy. He seems like he has his stuff together. All the background stuff we seem to be looking at and looking for, he passed those tests."
Benton, who will join fellow Wisconsin players T.J. Watt, Isaiahh Loudermilk and Scott Nelson on the Steelers roster, made a pre-draft visit to the Steelers and felt good about his chances of ending up in black and gold.
"I did have a little bit of an idea," said Benton. "I feel like it was a place for me and a place I felt comfortable.
"I think it's a place I can develop my game. I am not sure where they want me to play yet, but I am ready to take off with an NFL career."
Darnell Washington - Tight End - Georgia - Third Round - 93rd Overall Pick
The Steelers selected tight end Darnell Washington from the University of Georgia in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the 93rd overall pick.
The Steelers traded with the Carolina Panthers, sending the Panthers the 80th pick overall. The Steelers acquired the Panthers third round pick, No. 93 overall, and a fourth round pick, No. 132 overall.
"The emotion is crazy. This is a dream come true," said Washington. "Not only that, it comes with perks playing with my old teammate, George (Pickens) and Broderick Jones being on the same team. It's hard for me to speak right now because of how happy I am. Just to be a Steeler. A great franchise. To become a part of that is amazing.
"When I saw (the number), I took a Top 30 (visit) there. I had a special connection. I am not going to say I knew it was going to be the Steelers, but I had a good feeling. One of the best feelings in the world was seeing my phone ring."
Washington had 28 receptions for 454 yards and two touchdowns in 2022. For his career he has played in 36 games and has 45 receptions for 774 yards and three touchdowns.
Nick Herbig - Linebacker - Wisconsin - Fourth Round - 132nd Overall Pick
The Steelers selected Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the 132nd pick overall.
Herbig is the younger brother of Nate Herbig, the free agent guard the Steelers signed this offseason.
"I can't really explain it to you. I am at a loss for words," said Herbig. "It's all I've really dreamed about. Now I get a chance to play for the Steelers, a legendary organization. And I get the chance to play with my brother. That's all I could ever ask for. Me and him talked about this since we were little kids. We shared the same dream. We've worked out together. That is my best friend. I don't think blood could make us any closer. I am so happy to be here."
Herbig said he and his brother played together when they were kids, as young as second and sixth grade, but not at a higher level.
Now, though, it's all changed.
"It's the right place for me," said Herbig, who is expected to play outside. "It's exactly where I need to be. They want me to come in and be a dawg. That is what I do. Whatever they ask me to do I am going to come in and do it."
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Cory Trice Jr. - Defensive Back - Purdue - Seventh Round - 241st Overall Pick
The Steelers selected defensive back Cory Trice Jr. in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the 241st overall selection.
"He played a lot of press coverage and that's huge," said secondary coach Grady Brown. "Just the way that he plays press, being able to go down and not play a motor technique, not back up, really just use that frame to just take up a lot of space and make guys work on the line of scrimmage.
"Really excited about getting him in here. He has some toughness. He started his career off as a safety. A high school basketball player. So just a lot of good things just from a coaching standpoint to work with and we're looking forward to getting him in here."
Trice played at Purde where he appeared in 34 games, starting 24.
"The emotions…they are everywhere right now," said Trice. "I am so excited to be here and this position.
"When I talked to the Steelers, we had a good conversation. I understand the things they like to do with their players as far as technique. I am just excited to be there and be a Steeler."
He was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection in 2022 by the coaches and media. He was also a third-team All-Big Ten selection by Pro Football Focus.
Trice started 13 games in 2022, recording 34 tackles, two interceptions and a team-high 10 passes defensed.
Spencer Anderson - Offensive Lineman - Maryland - Seventh Round - 251st Overall Pick
The Steelers selected offensive lineman Spencer Anderson out of Maryland in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Anderson was a 2022 Pro Football Focus Preseason second-team All-Big Ten selection.
Anderson started all 13 games in 2022 for Maryland. He played 12 at right guard and one at right tackle. He blocked for a Maryland passing attacked that ranked third in the Big Ten, averaging 259.8 yards per game.
Anderson played every position on the offensive line while at Maryland giving him position versatility, something that will be beneficial.
"I feel like it helps a lot," said Anderson. "In the NFL, snaps are limited, and seasons are limited when you're stuck at one position so I feel like me adding the versatility to the team is definitely a bonus when teams usually travel with seven to eight linemen, if that. It's always a good help when you can help at all five spots on the offensive line."
He has played center in several games, giving the team plenty of options for him.
"I played four games. I started four games at center in 2021," said Anderson. "I've practiced at center throughout practice this past year and at center the year before that. I've practiced at center pretty much every time. I played it in the Shrine Bowl recently in Las Vegas, back in February, and I've always got a ball in my hand. It was always something that I practiced because I value that flexibility.
"They say your best ability is availability, but behind that, I feel like it's versatility. So, being available and being versatile is definitely something that I try to be in my game."
Following the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Steelers agreed to terms with seven undrafted rookie free agents.
The full list is below:
Wide Receiver/Return Specialist Jordan Byrd – San Diego State
Center Trevor Downing - Iowa State
Quarterback Tanner Morgan – Minnesota
Defensive End James Nyamwaya - Merrimack
Linebacker David Perales – Fresno State
Fullback Monte Pottebaum – Iowa
Kicker B.T. Potter - Clemson