Former Georgia Bulldogs offensive tackle Broderick Jones says he felt at home during his pre-draft visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March.
Now, he is home.
Jones, who was the No. 14 overall selection in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Steelers following a trade up with the New England Patriots, is now a Steeler. Speaking with a reporters Thursday night on a conference call, Jones spoke highly of his pre-draft visit with Pittsburgh.
“I talked to everyone. I felt like I was home,” Jones said, according to the Tribune-Review‘s Chris Adamski. “At the end of the day, I was in love with the Steelers when I left.”
Jones reportedly visited the Steelers’ UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side on April 17 along with Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee. Following the selections of Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. at No. 6 to Arizona, Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright at No. 10 to Chicago and Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski at No. 11 to Tennessee, the Steelers made the move to jump ahead of the New York Jets at No. 14 overall to get Jones.
Pittsburgh was at Georgia’s Pro Day to see Jones as head coach Mike Tomlin, GM Omar Khan, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, special teams coordinator Danny Smith, and Vice President of Player Personnel Dan Rooney Jr. were all in attendance.
Jones is an intriguing left tackle prospect. He certainly looks the part of a potential franchise left tackle, standing 6’5 and weighing 311 pounds with 34 3/4” arms and 10 5/8” hands. Jones tested well at the NFL Combine, running a 4.97 40 while jumping 30” in the vert and 9’0” in the broad. You see that athleticism pop on the tape as he does a great job getting out in space as a run blocker, showing off his movement skills as well as his strength to overwhelm smaller defenders in the ground game.
While Jones didn’t allow a sack last season, the redshirt sophomore is still pretty raw in pass protection. He carries his hands low prior to his punch and can be inconsistent in terms of syncing his hands and feet in pass sets. He is also fairly lean as an OT and will face tougher competition on the edge at the next level. That will challenge his technique as well as his size and frame with power.