2023 Offseason Questions: Who Starts At LT If A Rookie Starts At RT?

The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.

On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.

Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answered, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.

Question: If a rookie were to start at right tackle in 2023, who would start at left tackle?

It’s widely accepted by now that the Steelers’ first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft being an offensive tackle is distinct possibility. A first-round pick at tackle would also have an excellent chance of being a day-one starter in Pittsburgh over one of the incumbents at the starting positions.

Dan Moore Jr. has started every game for which he has been healthy since being drafted in the fourth round in 2021. Chukwuma Okorafor has started nearly every game at right tackle for the past three years. Yet Okorafor was supposed to move to left tackle in 2021, a move that never occurred due to injury.

So let’s say the Steelers draft a tackle—it ultimately doesn’t matter who for this hypothetical, but let’s say, just to put a name on it, Darnell Wright. Let’s say he is the day-one starter on the right side. Who, then, starts at left tackle?

Do they leave Moore in the starting lineup, at the only position he’s ever played a meaningful snap? Do they move Okorafor to the left side, as was their intention two years ago? How would the Steelers approach this?

The first question to ask would be how soon Wright demonstrates the ability to start right away. If you determine early on that he is going to be your right tackle, then you have a wider variety of options. You can simply hold an open competition between Moore and Okorafor, if you want, for the left tackle job.

Or they could hand the job to one or the other in the name of establishing rapport. But regardless of what the process looks like, what is the most likely result? Moore, or Okorafor?

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