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Steelers’ First-Round Selection Of Broderick Jones Earns ‘A’ Grade From’s Chad Reuter On Day One Of Draft

We don’t know who the Pittsburgh Steelers would have liked to have selected in an ideal world, even at the same position of their ultimate draft choice, offensive tackle. They ended up with Broderick Jones out of Georgia, and they moved up three spots to get him after watching three tackles—including Peter Skoronski—go off the board in the top 11.

The move, costing them the 120th overall pick, has been met with general praise, with the Steelers providing themselves with a potential franchise piece at left tackle. A young redshirt sophomore with limited starting experience, Jones is a huge upside player whom the Steelers believe is already very good. draft analyst Chat Reuter agrees, giving Pittsburgh an A grade for their choice. He writes:

Pittsburgh gave up a fourth-round selection to move up for Jones, the left tackle they truly needed to patch up a troublesome offensive line. Second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett must be better protected in the pocket. There is no chill in Jones’ game, whether he’s attacking an edge rusher or getting downfield to hit a linebacker on run plays. If he continues to tighten up his technique, the Steelers will be very pleased with this pick.

The Steelers’ current starters at the tackle positions, returning from last season, are 2021 fourth-round draft pick Dan Moore Jr. and 2018 third-round pick Chukwuma Okorafor. They are the highest tackles the Steelers have drafted since using a second-round pick on Mike Adams back in 2012, at least before last night.

Jones is now the highest the Steelers have selected any player at any position, other than Devin Bush in 2019, since they drafted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. And he will be tasked with protecting the only other quarterback they have drafted in the top two rounds since then, Kenny Pickett, their first-round selection a year ago.

After using eight consecutive first-round picks on defensive players (including trading their 2020 selection to the Miami Dolphins as part of a deal to acquire safety Minkah Fitzpatrick), the Steelers have used their last three top picks on offensive players.

First it was running back Najee Harris in 2021, followed by Pickett last year. Now they add Jones, who will be a big help to both of them. The 21-year-old is currently more suited to run blocking as he works to fine-tune himself as a pass protector—something he’ll have to prove this offseason if he wants to start on opening day.

There are other ways the Steelers could have gone after trading up to 14, including the player the Patriots ended up drafting at 17 and seemingly would have drafted anyway in cornerback Christian Gonzalez. But they still have another cornerback. Joey Porter Jr., sitting there waiting for them with the first pick in the second round, so it’s hard to argue with this result.

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