With the Pittsburgh Steelers opening Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers, rookie offensive tackle Broderick Jones might face his biggest test of the year in the first game of his NFL career. If Jones is able to win the starting job, he’ll likely be matched up against reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa. After rookie minicamp today, Jones acknowledged his potential matchup against Bosa.
“Something to prepare for, something to look forward to, put my best foot forward every day…just trying to get there, to that point, hopefully be the best version of me,” Jones said via video posted by Josh Rowntree of 93.7 The Fan on Twitter.
Jones seems like someone who embraces competition. I’m pretty sure most offensive linemen in the league don’t view a matchup against Bosa as something to look forward to, but Jones apparently does. Coupled with the fact that it would be his NFL debut, it could certainly be an exciting day for Jones.
To get the opportunity to face Bosa, Jones is going to have to beat out Dan Moore Jr. at left tackle. While Moore has been average to below average over his two seasons as a starter, he does have NFL starting experience and in turn a little bit more polish than Jones has right now. Jones has more athleticism than Moore, and if he can harness that athleticism and refine his technique to play the way Pat Meyer wants, particularly in pass sets, he’ll likely win the job. But it’s no sure thing as of now, even if it may be likely.
Things don’t get a whole lot easier for Jones if he does win the job. After going up against Bosa Week 1, he’ll face Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns Week 2 and Chandler Jones of the Las Vegas Raiders Week 3. While hopes are high for Broderick Jones and he’s a player who could blossom into one of the best tackles in football, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of those three pass rushers gave him his first big “welcome to the NFL” moment.
With rookie minicamp getting underway today, we’re just a little bit closer to the 2023 NFL regular season. It’s an exciting time to be a Steelers fan with a good young core on offense and a defense that should be among the league’s best. There’s a lot of hope in Pittsburgh, and the start of minicamp plus the schedule release yesterday is where that hope can blossom into legitimate expectations. It’s going to be fun to see and hear from Pittsburgh’s rookies throughout the weekend. Hopefully, they’re all as confident as Jones is.