Buy Or Sell: Broderick Jones Will Be Day-One Starter

With the Steelers’ 2023 offseason well underway following a disappointing season that came up just short of reaching the playoffs, it’s time to begin reloading, through the free agency process, through the draft, and perhaps even through trade.

This is now a young team on the offensive side of the ball, though one getting older on defense. Both sides could stand to be supplemented robustly, including in the trenches—either one. Changes have been made to the coaching staff, even if not all of the desired ones, as the roster continues to renew with the weeks ticking by.

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: Broderick Jones will be the starting left tackle when the regular season begins.

Explanation: The Steelers used the highest draft pick on an offensive tackle 1992 when they drafted Broderick Jones 14th overall in the first round. They obviously believe he will be a long-term starter. But he’s also an inexperienced player and in some ways remains on the raw side. Dan Moore Jr. has two years of starting experience in the Steelers’ system, knows what offensive line coach Pat Meyer wants him to do, and Pittsburgh doesn’t necessarily give jobs to rookie easily. Remember, Kenny Pickett sat for the first several games just last year.


We can talk ourselves out of black and white and into gray all we want, but deep down I think we all know Broderick Jones is going to be starting from day one. His competition, first and foremost, is Dan Moore Jr. I don’t care what kind of strides he made last year, he’s at best a replacement-level starter.

The Steelers have shown in the past that they are willing to go through growing pains with a rookie, including on the offensive line. After all, Moore started as a rookie. That wasn’t the plan, granted. But it was the plan for Kendrick Green, who was even learning a new position, when they had other people who could have played it.

Bottom line. Kendrick Green started a season opener. Broderick Jones will too.


Let’s begin with the fact that it’s very clear the Steelers’ coaching staff has a higher opinion of Moore than do the fans. Much higher, perhaps, even though, yes, they just traded up to draft his presumptive replacement. But that decision was driven largely by the fact that they knew they had a rare opportunity to acquire a top-end talent at offensive tackle.

And that indeed is what Jones is. I have every confidence he will go on to have a long and productive career. But that career will begin with him serving as the swing tackle. He’s still got a lot to learn, and as we saw last year, he’s not going to step into Pat Meyer’s system without warts.

Remember, we’re talking about protecting Kenny Pickett here. Jones needs to be on the buttons before they put him in the lineup or he’s going to get the quarterback hurt.

They’ll start him out as an extra lineman, which in turn would actually make Darnell Washington the seventh lineman, and he’ll gain experience that way before sliding into the starting role. They may even do a snap share like they did with Kelvin Beachum in 2013 before he took over for Mike Adams at left tackle.

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