by John Toth
The Pittsburgh Steelers are now 8-8 after defeating the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday night and now see their draft position drop even further down the draft board, likely landing somewhere between the 15 th and 19 th picks. No doubt, the Steelers have improved their play over the past several weeks but still have many holes to address in the offseason.
Last week we talked about going after a cornerback (Joey Porter, Jr. - Penn State). This week, we will focus on a player who most likely won’t be there if the Steelers stay in the middle of the pack drafting. We are diving into our needs on the offensive line.
Pittsburgh went after offensive lineman this past off-season signing 2 (Mason Cole, James Daniels) and re-signing Chuks Okorafor for big money (3 yr.- 29 million). The Steelers were hoping the two
under the radar signings of Cole and Daniels would pay off, but at first the line struggled to find consistency.
Pittsburgh also had high hopes that left tackle, Dan Moore Jr., a 2021 4 th round pick out of Texas A&M, would keep ascending after a very productive rookie season. With Kevin Dotson and James Daniels at the guard spot and Moore and Okorafor holding down the starting tackle positions, it is widely believed the Steelers need to improve their offensive line by drafting a blue-chip prospect at the tackle position, one who will protect Kenny Pickett for years to come. And if I had my choice this is the guy they would go after.
The tackle that stood out to me as a player who would match our style and play and bring an edge to our line is Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski. Skoronski is 6’4” 315 lbs. This is his unofficial height and weight as his measurables won’t be official until after the combine
Skoronski got to understudy with first round pick Rashaan Slater (the 13th pick overall from last year’s draft, taken by the Los Angeles Chargers). Skoronski was able to pick up where Slater left off and gave Northwestern a superstar left tackle who played exceptionally for a subpar team in the Big Ten Conference.
Grandson of Packers Hall of Famer Bob Skoronski, he was ranked as a four star recruit in his junior year of high school. But before he committed, he was awarded a fifth star by some high school recruiting services, becoming Northwestern’s first 5-star recruit—picking the Wildcats over schools such as Notre Dame and Michigan.
The 2023 draft is seen as a “down year” for offensive tackles, but I would have no problem with him dropping into a spot where Pittsburgh could make him part of their future on the offensive line.
Positives of OT-Peter Skoronski
- Explodes off ball, foot speed that is unmatched in 2023.
- Has played as low as 275 and was still powerful enough, can add
15-20 lbs. of muscle at next level.
- Watch his tapes against pro prospect edge rushers…he handled
- Never takes a play off, always plays till the whistle.
Negatives of OT-Peter Skoronski
- Can at times lean into opponents, he does not have elite length in
- Teams may fear upper body strength due to the fact his weight
has fluctuated from 275lbs to 315lbs.
- In truth, Not much to “not like,” but a team will have to monitor
how he works with added weight and can continue playing at high
All in all, after combine, workouts, interviews, I see Peter Skoronski
going as high as top 10 and as low as top 20 in round one of this year’s