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NFL Draft grades: Nobody did it better than the Steelers with their picks

Overall Pittsburgh Steelers draft grade: A+

The Steelers had the best draft in the NFL. It can credibly be said that they acquired four starter-level players with their first four picks. Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones, Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and Wisconsin defensive tackle Keeanu Benton all have the potential to be long-term starters. Darnell Washington gives the Steelers a young thunder-and-lighting type of tight end duo as they pair him with Pat Freiermuth. Even getting someone like Purdue cornerback Cory Trice in the seventh round was great value given his pre-draft profile — he has the potential to stick on the roster. The Steelers didn’t overthink it, plugged a lot of needs with quality talent and found value in the seventh round as well. It’s impossible to hate what they did over the draft weekend.

Defensive back Joey Porter Jr. runs a drill during Penn State's football pro day, in State College, Pa., Friday, March 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Defensive back Joey Porter Jr. runs a drill during Penn State's football pro day, in State College, Pa., Friday, March 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Favorite pick: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia (93rd overall)

Washington was projected by some as a first-round draft pick, but fell all the way to pick No. 93 where the Steelers nabbed him. At the very least, Washington can be a dominant blocker. If he can improve his receiving ability and hit his ceiling in that facet of the game, this will be an absolute steal. Washington crushed the NFL scouting combine, running a blistering 4.08 20-yard short shuttle despite being 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds. If Washington’s injury history doesn’t come back to bite him, he’ll be a huge plus for the Steelers.

Least favorite pick: Nick Herbig (132nd overall)

Even calling this a truly bad pick is a stretch, but maybe it was a tad high for the Wisconsin edge. Someone has to take this spot.

Full Steelers draft list

Georgia OT Broderick Jones (R1, 14th overall)

Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. (R2, 32nd)

Wisconsin DT Keeanu Benton (R2, 49th)

Georgia TE Darnell Washington (R3, 93rd)

Wisconsin edge Nick Herbig (R4, 132nd)

Purdue CB Cory Trice Jr. (R7, 241st)

Maryland OT Spencer Anderson (R7, 251st)