Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season is over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we turn our attention to the offseason and everything that means. One thing that it means is that some stock evaluations are going to start taking on broader contexts, reflecting on a player’s development, either positively or negatively, over the course of the season. Other evaluations will reflect only one immediate event or trend. The nature of the evaluation, whether short-term or long-term, will be noted in the reasoning section below.
Player: T Dan Moore Jr.
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: The Steelers survived a second season with Dan Moore Jr. as their left tackle. While they would certainly be wise to have top left tackles on their radar when it comes to the 2023 NFL Draft, the development that he has shown suggests that they could get by with him if necessary.
A fourth-round draft pick out of Texas A&M, Dan Moore Jr. has started 33 career games, missing only one due to injury, and has logged 2240 offensive snaps. That’s a lot of football for anybody in a two-year span, and a lot of tape to evaluate.
His certainly isn’t going to be teach tape, but there is reason to believe this far along that Moore could possibly stay at left tackle without the Steelers’ offensive line falling apart. Part of that, one could argue, is Pat Meyer’s blocking scheme, which does not ask its tackles to exist on an island.
But Moore individually also deserves a lot of credit for the progress he’s made in his own game, and that includes rebuilding some of his mechanics with Meyer’s coaching, which in some respects differs significantly from the Steelers’ prior offensive line coach of his rookie season, Adrian Klemm.
A young player being asked to learn different techniques in each of his first two seasons is going to have some issues transitioning, and Moore certainly did. Really, the entire offensive line this past season took some adjusting.
But by midseason and beyond, we started to see some positive developments. And there are certain things that Moore does well, even as a run blocker. He does have the sort of physicality that you would want, especially on the weakside runs, but he can also work to the second level.
You’re probably never going to feel good about the idea of leaving him one on one against a team’s top pass rusher, but how many teams do feel good about their own left tackle doing that? There really aren’t so many great ones out there.
That said, Moore’s presence shouldn’t preclude one from looking. Tackle should absolutely be a priority on the Steelers’ draft board, though the odds of finding a clear improvement in free agency are very low, at least in the price range they could reasonably afford.
The question is, what happens after the 2023 season? Do you really want to sign him to a contract extension and what that would cost? Or do you just bank on two more years and hope to have another option to start at left tackle by then? There’s a chance, of course, that he continues to develop into a guy you can leave there for years and not feel too bad about. But he’s not there yet.