The 2023 NFL Draft is still months away, but it’s never too early to start scouting some prospects who could help the Steelers address their needs. The Steelers have several areas of concern, such as offensive line, cornerback, linebacker and quarterback, and they will likely have a high draft pick to work with.
Here are some players whose stock is rising at positions of need for the Steelers, based on their college performance and potential fit in Pittsburgh.
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama: Neal is a massive and athletic tackle who can play on either side of the line. He has the size, strength and footwork to handle elite pass rushers and open lanes in the running game.
He is also versatile enough to slide inside to guard if needed. Neal is widely regarded as the top offensive lineman in the draft class and a potential top-five pick.
The Steelers could use a franchise left tackle to protect their future quarterback and boost their struggling ground attack.
Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU: Stingley is a lockdown corner who has elite speed, agility and ball skills. He can play man or zone coverage and has the instincts and awareness to make plays on the ball.
He is also a willing tackler and a leader on the field. Stingley missed most of the 2021 season due to injury, but he is expected to be fully healthy for the draft.
He is arguably the best defensive player in the draft class and a potential top-10 pick. The Steelers could use a shutdown corner to pair with Joe Haden or replace him if he leaves in free agency.
Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah: Lloyd is a rangy and explosive linebacker who can play inside or outside. He has the speed, athleticism and coverage skills to cover tight ends and running backs in space.
He also has the strength, technique and instincts to stop the run and blitz the quarterback. He is a productive and versatile defender who can play in any scheme.
Lloyd is projected as a first-round pick and one of the best linebackers in the draft class. The Steelers could use a dynamic playmaker to complement Devin Bush and fill the void left by Bud Dupree.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty: Willis is a dual-threat quarterback who has a strong arm, quick release and accuracy. He can make all the throws on the field and extend plays with his legs.
He is also a dynamic runner who can break tackles and score touchdowns. He has improved his decision-making and pocket presence over his college career.
He still needs to polish his mechanics and consistency, but he has tremendous upside and potential. Willis is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the draft class and a possible first-round pick.
The Steelers could use a young and talented signal-caller to succeed Ben Roethlisberger and revitalize their offense.
Final Thoughts: Scouting Potential Prospects for the Steelers in the 2023 NFL Draft
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, with a long history of success and a proud tradition of toughness and resilience.
However, in recent years, the team has struggled to maintain its dominance and has faced numerous challenges on and off the field. The 2023 NFL Draft presents an opportunity for the Steelers to address some of their pressing needs and build a foundation for the future.
One area where the Steelers need help is the offensive line, which has been decimated by injuries and free agency departures. Evan Neal, a towering and talented tackle from Alabama, could be the answer to their prayers.
Neal has the size, strength, and athleticism to anchor the left side of the line and protect the quarterback’s blind side. He is also versatile enough to play multiple positions and adapt to different schemes.
With a high draft pick, the Steelers could select Neal and solidify their offensive line for years to come.
Another area where the Steelers could use an upgrade is the cornerback position, where they have struggled to find consistent playmakers. Derek Stingley Jr., a shutdown corner from LSU, could be the solution.
Stingley has the speed, agility, and instincts to lock down top receivers and disrupt passing lanes. He is also a willing tackler and a vocal leader on the field.
With Stingley and Joe Haden on the outside, the Steelers would have one of the best cornerback tandems in the league.
The Steelers also need to address their linebacker corps, which has been hit hard by injuries and departures. Devin Lloyd, a versatile and explosive linebacker from Utah, could be the missing piece.
Lloyd has the speed, coverage skills, and tackling ability to excel in any scheme and make plays all over the field. He is also a smart and disciplined defender who can read offenses and adjust on the fly.
With Lloyd and Devin Bush patrolling the middle of the field, the Steelers would have a dynamic and disruptive linebacker duo.
Finally, the Steelers need to plan for life after Ben Roethlisberger, who is nearing the end of his storied career. Malik Willis, a dual-threat quarterback from Liberty, could be the heir apparent.
Willis has the arm strength, accuracy, and mobility to make big plays and extend drives. He is also a natural leader and a resilient competitor who thrives under pressure.
With some coaching and development, Willis could become the franchise quarterback that the Steelers have been searching for since Roethlisberger’s prime.
Overall, the 2023 NFL Draft presents an opportunity for the Steelers to reload and rebuild for the future. With some smart scouting and drafting, the Steelers could address their needs and compete for championships once again.
The prospects of Evan Neal, Derek Stingley Jr., Devin Lloyd, and Malik Willis offer hope and potential for the Steelers and their loyal fans. It’s time to get to work and start building the next great Steelers team.