2023 mock NFL Draft 3.0: Final 11th-hour edition (with trades)

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Darnell Wright, Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee Volunteers offensive lineman Darnell Wright (58) blocks against Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Calijah Kancey (8) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

. Offensive Tackle . Volunteers . Darnell Wright. 23. player. 839

On the clock: Pick No. 23: Pittsburgh Steelers (via Minnesota) – Darnell Wright, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee

Mock Draft 1.0 – Devon Witherspoon, Cornerback, Illinois (Minnesota Vikings)
Mock Draft 2.0 – Cam Smith, Cornerback, South Carolina (Minnesota Vikings)

The Pittsburgh Steelers need an upgrade at left tackle desperately if quarterback Kenny Pickett is to make a leap in his second season. Darnell Wright launched into first-round contention off the back of his work as a right tackle at Tennessee, but he’s played both tackle positions for the Volunteers.

Wright has some concerns as he’s only had one season of really good tape and he could be stuck at right tackle, but his tape against Alabama where he stonewalled top prospect Will Anderson for the entire game showcases the potential he has to be a blindside protector. Off the back of this tape, Wright could go higher than people think.

Wright plays with a stout anchor and is rarely pushed off his stance when he gets set. He isn’t a mauler, but he has perfectly functional strength that allows him to stonewall elite talents in games. His pass protection technique is particularly impressive, with perfect hand discipline that allows him to get the first punch in without being overeager and prone to counter moves.

Wright could stand to improve his lateral movement and run-blocking technique. He’s below average in both areas which can lead him to struggle against speedy defenders, especially when run blocking where he needs to get to the second level quickly.

Wright is far from the finished article, but he has all the tools necessary to develop into a strong tackle in the NFL.