2023 NFL Draft

Steelers Take High Pedigree OT In Football Outsiders Latest Mock Draft

We don’t often cite Football Outsiders for mock draft content. But when they put a relatively uncommon name to the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s something worth talking about. In Benjamin Robinson’s latest mock for the site, he has the team taking Georgia OT Broderick Jones at #17 overall. Explaining the pick, he writes:

“Given that the Steelers have not hidden their intentions well when drafting players in the first round recently (Devin Bush in 2019, Najee Harris in 2021, and Kenny Pickett in 2022), 2023 might not be far behind with the cornerback and offensive tackle as the Steelers’ top positional needs in Grinding the Mocks data. Selecting Georgia’s Broderick Jones makes a lot of sense here. Jones is a mauling lineman whom the Steelers would like given how successful Georgia has been in the trenches winning the College Football Playoff behind a strong line.”

Mocking the Steelers an offensive tackle isn’t uncommon in itself but Jones is a name that doesn’t often get sent to Pittsburgh at #17. Still, it’s a solid suggestion. Robinson is right the Steelers have traditionally been transparent with their pre-draft scouting. It was obvious they loved Devin Bush in 2019 and was only a question of it they’d be willing and able to trade up for him. They were and they did. Harris to Pittsburgh in 2021 was the free space on the NFL Draft Bingo card; again, it was only a matter of if he’d fall to them or if the Miami Dolphins or New York Jets would snatch him away. They didn’t. And it was obvious the team was going quarterback last season, though the specific name was a bit harder to predict. In hindsight, the team staying local with Pickett was clear as day.

In our pre-draft scouting report, Michael Rochman lauds Jones for his solid body type, strong punch, and football IQ. A lack of starting experience is an issue, just 19 of them, and he needs to stick and stay engaged with his blocks more often. Still, he came away impressed with Jones’ overall tools and traits.

“With his natural athleticism, quality anchor strength, and ability to move and eradicate defenders, he should be a problem for defenders at the next level. He’s got a great blend of size, speed, and power to be able to profile well at left tackle, and could be a long-term piece for a franchise looking to add protection on the offensive line.”

And gave him a first round grade.

Current left tackle Dan Moore Jr. has shown improvement through his first two years but has also taken his lumps. The odds of him ever turning into a franchise left tackle are low and if the Steelers have a chance to take a stud left tackle at #17, it’ll be hard to say no. It would mess with the current continuity of the group but good talent always wins out in the end.

Elsewhere in his mock, Alabama EDGE Will Anderson goes #1 to the Chicago Bears. QBs Bryce Young and Will Levis both go in the top five while Utah TE Dalton Kincaid is a surprise pick, mocked 14th overall to the New England Patriots.

Check out our full report of Jones below.

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