Steelers News

Steelers Earn High Mark From CBS Sports With Selection Of Broderick Jones

After stating Monday during a pre-draft press conference with reporters that the Pittsburgh Steelers would move up if a player they liked was available, GM Omar Khan backed up his comments. The Steelers moved from No. 17 to No. 14 in a swap with the New England Patriots, shipping pick No. 120 overall to the Patriots to acquire Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones.

That move helped shore up the depth chart for the Steelers in the trenches, and earned a high mark from CBS Sports with the selection.

CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin gave the Steelers an “A” grade overall for the trade with the Patriots, while handing an “A-” to the Patriots for the trade down from No. 14 to No. 17 overall, where they ultimately selected Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez.

“Nothing is more important in Pittsburgh than protecting Kenny Pickett as the QB looks to make a leap in 2023. And the Steelers secured one of the most physically talented blockers in the draft by moving up three spots for Jones,” Benjamin writes for CBS Sports. “The tackle prospect may be raw, but his special athleticism could make him a long-time left tackle for Steel City. Better yet, the value of the pick swap checks out in their favor. According to R.J. White’s draft-pick trade-value chart, the Steelers ended up with a 301.06-point pick in return for 278.70 points of compensation.”

A rather busy, aggressive offseason for the Steelers that saw the franchise plug a number of holes afforded Khan and the Steelers the opportunity to potentially move up and acquire their guy.

They did just that with Jones in the first round, getting a potential franchise left tackle to protect second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett, who looks like the next long-term quarterback in the Steel City.

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.

Giving up a fourth-round pick (No. 120 overall) on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft to move up three spots and secure a guy they did extensive work on throughout the pre-draft process seems like a rather reasonable price to pay, especially after addressing an area of need on the roster.

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