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Draft's best remaining Day 2 players: Start with these guys

There are now 31 selections in the books of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Steelers are on the clock and there are plenty of enticing players available. Who are the top 10?

  1. Brian Branch, S, Alabama - Branch doesn't have great size and his testing was rather average. But he is a fantastic football player. Branch is an immediate slot defender who sees the game near the ball extremely well. He might just be the best tackler in the entire draft regardless of position. Branch also excels well away from the line of scrimmage with great read-and-react skills. There isn't a defense in the league that wouldn't be bettered with the addition of Branch. 
  2. O'Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida - Torrence wasn't a great tester and doesn't excel at hitting smaller bodies in space. But it really doesn't matter because Torrence consistently mashes his opponent. He has long arms, big powerful hands and a huge thick body. This is a throwback-type player you run behind in short-yardage situations. Torrence sets the physical tone. 
  3. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State - Porter has a huge body and incredibly long arms for the cornerback position. He is a pure press-man corner who loves getting his hands on opposing wide receivers on the outside. Porter runs well, but there are questions about his ability to break out of his backpedal and his overall change of direction. There were a lot of instances where opposing teams just basically stopped throwing in Porter's direction. 
  4. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame - This is a very deep and impressive tight end class, and Mayer didn't test great. Those are probably the two reasons why Mayer didn't hear his name called on the first day of the draft. Mayer very well could be the best tight end in Notre Dame history - which is really saying something. He loves to block, is outstanding in contested catch situations and in the middle of the field. He is a traditional inline tight end with an infectious playing style. 
  5. Steve Avila, OG, TCU - Terms such as "plug-and-play starter" and "he's going to play in this league for a long time" get thrown around way too much when talking about young men coming into the NFL. However, in Avila's case, those terms very much apply. He's a wide-bodied guy who can excel at either guard or center. Avila plays with a great base and is very difficult to move backwards. 
  6. Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas - Sanders was an edge defender at Alabama but transferred to Arkansas where he was excellent this past season as an off-the-ball linebacker. So, yes, he is a still a work in progress at the second level of the defense, but Sanders is an excellent athlete with pass-rush skills and length to take on blockers and disrupt throwing lanes. The best is yet to come with Sanders. 
  7. Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State - Musgrave is almost 6-6 and weighs 253 pounds with the frame to add more good weight. And he runs like a deer with big smooth strides. This is a major weapon down the seam with the ability to play above the rim. Linebackers won't run with Musgrave, and safeties will struggle with his size. There is a lot of upside here. 
  8. Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State - As cornerbacks go, Brents looks like a condor on the football field. And he uses his rare size very well. There are some inconsistencies in his game on which he still needs to work, but he is an extremely fluid athlete for someone of his crazy cornerback dimensions. And he is quick to accelerate, which is rare for long-limbed cover men. 
  9. Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia - Washington has rare traits. He's huge. He's very fast. He has excellent body control playing the ball in the air. There just aren't many defenders who can match what Washington has in his toolbox. His technique as a blocker needs work, but Washington could be on the verge of developing into a high-end blocker. He was underused at Georgia because they had another elite tight end, so Washington's production won't catch your eye. But everything else about him will. 
  10. Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee - Hyatt didn't run an expansive route tree at Tennessee, but he was ultra-productive in his final college season. His calling card is obvious: speed. And that speed is terrifying. Hyatt isn't overly physical and needs work dealing with press-man coverage. But while he progresses, Hyatt's deep-ball presence alone creates room for everyone else on the offense.