The Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to the 14th overall pick to draft a franchise left tackle, and based Broderick Jones’ confident words, he believes he’s capable of being just that.
On the Not Just Football podcast live draft special with Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward, Jones agreed with a comparison to San Francisco 49ers All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams.
“I do. Just because of the way he plays,” Jones said. “He plays physical, he plays fast. He’s very athletic. I see a lot of that in my game.”
Needless to say, if the Steelers have indeed landed the next Trent Williams, quarterback Kenny Pickett, Steelers fans and the front office in Pittsburgh will all be exceptionally pleased to have found him in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Georgia product doesn’t just mold himself after Williams. While he did drop two former Bulldogs names in his list of players he watches, including Los Angeles Charger Jamaree Salyer and New York Giant Andrew Thomas, he was sure to add the highest-paid left tackle in the NFL, Houston Texan Laremy Tunsil, to the list of players he admires.
Heyward asked the behemoth offensive tackle what he will do to protect the quarterback that was seated to his left. In tune with mentioning that he studies these great players, Jones acknowledged that tackling the mental aspect of the game is priority number one so that he has can protect Pickett.
“First of all, I’m going to come in and give 110% every day,” Jones said. “That’s where it starts at. I got to learn the playbook like the back of my hand, because without that I can’t be able to play and be on the field to protect my guy. That’s first and foremost, to soak up all the knowledge I can from the older cats.”
It may be an obvious answer, but he’s far from generic in his understanding that he’s got a task ahead of him to win a starting position. While he’s expected to be an upgrade over Dan Moore Jr in time, he has to beat out an incumbent who has started for 33 of the past 34 games in Pittsburgh. At the end of the day, Jones is a bit of a raw prospect with more athletic potential than experience.
Still, boasting a confidence standing as strong as his 6’4”-311-lb frame while possessing the understanding that he still has to work to get to that point both mentally and physically is a wise ground floor for the 21-year-old.