2023 Offseason Positional Review – Tackle

It’s that time of year again. Free agency is creeping up in just a couple of weeks, so before we get there, we’ll get going over the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster, position by position, making an assessment of what kind of shape they’re in, trying to figure out how they might, or should, attack the roster on that basis.

The Steelers have several key players due to become free agents shortly, and a number of large contracts could be salary cap casualties, so a lot will be changing in the near future, but this is where things stand, at each position, as of this writing.

Position: Tackle

Total Positional Figure: 4

Additions: 0

Deletions: 0

Players Retained:

Under Contract:

Dan Moore Jr.: Now going into his third season, Dan Moore has started every game for which he has dressed, which is all but one. a 2021 fourth-round draft pick, he has made strides as he has gained experience, particularly in the second half of his second season as he grew more comfortable with new line coach Pat Meyer. With that being said, if tackle were the top position on their board at 17, the front office shouldn’t flinch in pulling the trigger. If Moore is to continue starting, he has to greatly improve on his issue of pre-snap penalties.

Chukwuma Okorafor: Okorafor is a ‘he is what he is’ player at this point in his career. In the starting lineup now for three years, he’s really a fairly average starter who is making fairly average starter money, even if fans don’t want to hear that. He could be upgraded, but he is not a liability, a player they can’t succeed with, either.

Pending Free Agents:

Trent Scott: Scott has yet to play an NFL game without Pat Meyer as his position coach in spite of the fact that he’s played with three different teams now. The 2022 season marked his least involved, making no starts. He only played one snap at tackle since the starters stayed healthy, but he saw a couple dozen snaps as an extra blocker and served as the top swing tackle. He is likely to be re-signed to compete for the same job, this time hopefully with stiffer competition.

Jesse Davis: The Steelers added Davis, a former starter, via trade just before the regular season started. While he dressed for almost every game, he never played offensively. If he is willing to re-sign for the veteran minimum, it would make sense to bring him back and allow him to compete for depth.

Additions: N/A

Deletions: N/A

Offseason Strategy:

The Steelers are surprisingly thin at this point in the offseason at the tackle position, retaining only those they carried on the 53-man roster. Practice squad lineman William Dunkle played tackle in college, but I don’t believe anybody has looked at him as a tackle so far in the NFL. The Steelers only signed him after the preseason was over so we have no insights into whether or not they looked at him as anything but the guard position they list him as.

With that in mind, and considering only their starters are under contract, one has to think that the Steelers will be very interested in adding a tackle at some point this offseason. And it could be as early as their first-round draft pick at 17.

They’re not going to sign a starter in free agency, but they could try to upgrade the depth that way. If they do, odds are it will be somebody who is also capable of playing guard.

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