The pick is in.
The 2023 NFL Draft is Omar Khan’s first year as the general manager and like in past years we evaluate the value of every pick. Based on projections for each player by draft outlets as well as our own reports we want to see if the pick’s value is above or below how they were ranked coming into the draft.
Round 1 (Pick 14) – Broderick Jones OT Georgia
The Steelers were patient and waited. A couple of players they were targeted were falling and with New England on the board they made their move and only had to give up a fourth-round pick. The offensive line was a place they paid a lot of attention to, and adding a tackle that can push the two starters and hopefully take over in the near future is a win.
Daniel Jeremiah had Jones ranked 19th in his Top 150 and had this to say, “Jones is a thick, muscular left tackle with ideal length and power. In pass pro, he operates out of a square stance. He is aggressive to close the space in his pass set, getting his hands on defenders early in the down. He gets beat up field on occasion but uses his length and quickness to recover. He has shown the ability to sink his weight, bend his knees and play with balance. In the run game, he takes excellent angles working up to the second level, and his foot speed jumps off the film when he’s used as a puller. He does have trouble adjusting in space because he’s too aggressive. He has the upper power to turn and torque defenders over his face at the point of attack. Overall, Jones got better every week. I feel like his best football is ahead of him.”
Lance Zierlein at NFL.com gave him a 6.44 grade (will become a starter withing two years. He commented, “Ultra-athletic tackle prospect with the size, length and potential to develop into a plus starter on the left side. Jones’ frame and technique both are in the developmental phase. His entry into block fits can be a little disjointed. He needs to improve his punch accuracy and timing to make the most of his length in pass protection. Jones is very talented at working into space and landing a block to help spring the running game. He has nimble feet to mirror or recover against the rush. Jones isn’t a finished product, but the physical and athletic gifts allow for a projection as a good, long-time starter.”
Dane Brugler had him listed 15th overall on his Top 100 in his draft guide, The Beast. He was Brugler’s number two tackle and he opined, “A one-and-a-half-year starter at Georgia, Jones filled in for Jamaree Salyer in 2021 before becoming the full-time left tackle in 2022 in former offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s balanced scheme. Left tackle for the Bulldogs has become a feeder position to the NFL as Isaiah Wynn, Andrew Thomas and Salyer preceded Jones protecting the blindside in Athens. A former basketball player, Jones displays outstanding feet, coordination and recovery skills and disrupts the rhythm of rushers when he unlocks his hips and transfers power from his lower body to his hands. However, he needs to do a better job of keeping his upper and lower halves on the same page and will require time at the next level for his technique to catch up to his talent. Overall, Jones lacks ideal refinement and experience (fewest number of college snaps among FBS offensive tackles in this class), but with his movement skills, raw power and finishing violence, the necessary tools are there for him to be a decade-long starter in the NFL. He should be one of the first linemen drafted, and his NFL projection ranges from solid starter to Pro Bowler.
CBS.com had Jones as their 23rd player on their board and the number three tackle. It stated, “Broderick Jones is a young, but physically gifted offensive tackle with great strength and good quickness. His technique has improved from 2021, but he needs to continue on that path. NFL opponents have more play strength, so Jones will not be able to solely rely on his natural strength.”
Our profile on Jones by Michael Rochman analyzed his play by saying, “Jones is dependable as a blocker and can be effective in both zone and power-blocking looks. While left tackle isn’t the only position that needs improving on the Steelers’ offensive line, landing someone at the position to play at a high level on a rookie contract would be a huge step towards building a contender, and if Jones is on the board at pick 17, he’s well worth the consideration.”
The value of this pick is very good. Many thought he would not be available at pick 14. Yes, they had to give up a fourth-round pick but with a possible trade down of the top pick in the second round the Steelers should be able to at least recoup that pick. This team showed it want to improve the offensive line this offseason and just stayed true to that notion.