The Pittsburgh Steelers introduced their 2023 first-round pick Friday afternoon prior to the start of Day Two of the draft, having former Georgia OT Broderick Jones speak to the media in his introductory press conference after Pittsburgh traded up to select him 14th overall Thursday night.
When asked if he knew it was the Steelers calling when his phone started to go off, Jones said he didn’t bother to look at the area code before answering the phone.
“I’m not going to lie to you,” Jones said to the media Friday via video from the Steelers YouTube channel. “I’m sitting there…I didn’t even hear my phone ring. I didn’t even look at it. I Just answered it. I didn’t even see who was calling. I just picked it up.”
For any potential draft pick, draft day can be an exhilarating, yet exhausting experience. You wait in eager anticipation to see which team will decide to take a shot on you, trying to have the patience to have your phone ring with that reality on the other side instead of a family member or friend checking in on you out of the blue.
For Jones, the day had been a long-time-coming. He stepped foot on campus as a former five-star recruit at the University of Georgia, knowing the NFL was a possibility if he applied himself and his immense physical gifts. During that time, Jones went on to become a first team All-SEC selection in 2022 as well as a two-time national champion on the Bulldogs, capitalizing on the environment of talent around him to become a premier player on a college powerhouse.
When going through the pre-draft process, Jones mentioned that he felt at home in Pittsburgh when he came in for a pre-draft visit earlier this month. Jones fell in love with the concept of becoming a Pittsburgh Steeler after his visit and potentially playing for HC Mike Tomlin one day. Turns out, that day came to fruition Thursday night.
“When Coach [Tomlin] said his name, and I said, ‘Oh yes,’” Jones exclaimed.