The Pittsburgh Steelers’ leaders are making sure to give Broderick Jones a warm welcome. The team’s newest first-round pick has already heard from many of his new teammates. Speaking to reporters in his first official press conference, Jones named some of the Steelers who have spoken with him.
“A couple reached out,” he told reporters in the presser as carried by the team’s YouTube channel. “Kenny, Najee, Cam, a lot of different players. Too many to name, for real. Just thanking me, congratulating me. Telling me, it’s time to work now. I’m ready to get here and get started on my new journey and see what the future holds.”
Of course, Jones is referring to QB Kenny Pickett, RB Najee Harris, and DL Cam Heyward. All three are leaders on the team. Pickett has taken full ownership of being the face of Pittsburgh’s franchise while the Steelers have molded Harris as a leader throughout his young career. At this point, it’s basically a given that Pickett is one of the first to reach out to any new player added, draft pick or free agent addition.
Jones is the first offensive lineman to be taken by the Steelers in the first or second round since David DeCastro and Mike Adams in the 2012 NFL Draft, an incredible drought that no other team has likely been through over that timespan. To be fair, the Steelers’ high draft pick investments and hidden gems allowed them to avoid going o-line early in the past but it still had been ignored in recent years.
He becomes the first offensive tackle Pittsburgh’s drafted in the first round since Jamain Stephens in 1996, a famously terrible pick who was released three years into his Steelers’ career after failing his conditioning test. And Jones is just the fourth player the team has traded up for this century, joining Troy Polamalu, Santonio Holmes, and Devin Bush.
Jones will be joined by several new teammates tonight. Pittsburgh kicks off the draft at #32, though it’s possible the team trades out of the selection. From there, the Steelers hold picks #49 and #120. Round Two begins tonight at 7 PM/EST.