Pittsburgh Steelers GM Omar Khan’s first ever first-round pick came via a trade, the team moving up three spots to select Georgia OT Broderick Jones 14th overall. The team moved up three spots, sending a 4th-round pick (120 overall) to the New England Patriots to select Jones, jumping the Jets, who picked at #15.
Speaking with reporters shortly after making the pick, Khan went through the process of trading up and what he liked about Jones’ ability. Here’s what he said via the team’s YouTube channel.
“When we saw how the draft was going and he was still sitting there,” Khan said, “we started making some phone call to see if there was an opportunity to trade up and get him. And fortunately we were able to make that trade with New England. Really excited. I think he’s gonna be a really great Steeler for a long time. I love his athleticism, love the upside with him.”
Under Kevin Colbert, Pittsburgh rarely moved up in the first round. They only did so three times. Once in 2003 for SS Troy Polamalu, once in 2006 for WR Santonio Holmes, and again in 2019 for LB Devin Bush. Tonight’s trade, though, was a small jump up and a calculated one, getting ahead of the Jets, who reportedly liked Jones.
The Steelers had shown interest in Jones throughout the pre-draft process. They attended his Pro Day, making every first rounder having Mike Tomlin and/or the GM there, and they confirmed a Pro Day dinner with Jones and several of his Bulldogs teammates. Jones came in for a visit earlier this month, likely to meet OL Coach Pat Meyer, who did not appear to be at the Bulldogs’ Pro Day.
While the team also needed a CB, the Steelers knew this year’s corner class was far deeper than the offensive tackle one, which thinned out relatively quickly. Cornerback options will be there at pick 32, something we’ll highlight in a profile tomorrow.
Ultimately, Jones is a young and somewhat raw player. But he’s athletic and has left tackle feet with nasty and aggression in the run game. Under Meyer, who is known as a teacher and prefers length like Jones’ long, 35-inch arms, he’ll be able to learn and develop his game.