The Pittsburgh Steelers used a fourth round pick on Texas A&M offensive tackle Dan Moore Jr. with the assumption that he would be able to compete for work right away. That’s not always the case for fourth-round picks by any means, but that’s how the depth at tackle worked out in the draft this year, at least from the team’s perspective.
And from Moore’s perspective. He doesn’t expect anything different from himself. As far as he’s concerned, he has spent his college career already lining up across from NFL talent, playing in the most prominent conference in college football.
“That was something that was part of my decision” to go to Texas A&M, speaking on the In the Trenches program on Sports Talk 790 in Houston. “That was a huge factor, going into the SEC, seeing the amount of NFL talent that gets drafted every year. As you saw this year, the most amount of players in the draft came from the SEC. That’s been proven year in and year out.”
“Essentially, when you go play in the SEC, you’re thinking you’re going to be facing NFL talent every week, and that’s what I wanted to do,” he added about the mentality of playing in the SEC. “I wanted to play against the best and prepare myself for where I wanted to be in the future.”
According to NFL.com, Moore was the 15th tackle taken in the draft with the 23rd selection in the fourth round, the second taken in the round. Four were taken in the first round, with another five in the second, and another four in the third.
He comes to the Steelers at a time of transition, not only along the offensive line as a whole, but also specifically at the tackle position. Currently, the projected starter at right tackle has started one game in his career (prevented from more due to injury). The projected starting left tackle has started 18 over three years, but all at right tackle, and all due to injury to others.
It’s not unreasonable to believe that a rookie who is coming into the league during a very deep tackle class could at least make a run at a starting job, even if it’s never ideal to have a bunch of young players, particularly rookies, in the lineup.
It’s already expected that the Steelers will have a rookie center in third-round pick Kendrick Green. Kevin Dotson, a fourth-round pick in 2020, started four games last season. David DeCastro at right guard is the only seasoned veteran with a lot of experience at the spot he will be playing this year.