The Pittsburgh Steelers started the 2023 NFL Draft by selecting Georgia tackle Broderick Jones, and today I start my examinations series looking at and providing stat context for the position using Sports Info Solutions (SIS). The data in this study looks at their final college season in 2022, focusing on the players who heard their names called in the draft, and two players who were excluded due to SIS not tracking smaller schools. The goal is to see how Jones stacked up among his peers.
First, let’s look at the tackles regular and postseason snap totals last season:
Through Steelers’ lenses, we see right away that Broderick Jones provided durability in his opportunities with 891 total snaps, ranking second only to North Carolina’s Asim Richards. This is a very important and encouraging element of his 2022 season, amassing 15 starts all at left tackle as a junior, compared to four the prior two seasons combined.
Next, let’s add quality context in run and pass blocking with SIS’s points above average metric (The total of a player’s EPA responsibility while blocking using the Total Points system that distributes credit among all players on the field for a given play. For blockers, this includes accounting for blown blocks, yards before contact on running plays, and performance given by the defenders in the box.):
Tennessee’s Darnell Wright tops the chart comfortably, with the top rank in run blocking along with his pass block number ranking second. He was off the board before Pittsburgh’s pick with as the 10th overall selection. Would have been interesting to see what the Steelers would have done if both players were available to them. In comparison, Broderick Jones fared best as a pass blocker ranking fourth, and his run blocking ranking seventh, making him one of only four players to land comfortably above the mean in both pass and run blocking. He also fared well from a PFF grade standpoint, particularly with an 84.1 pass block grade and a 71.7 as a run blocker, so a similar opinion from both grading services.
To wrap up, let’s look at a more total blocking view with SIS’s points earned metric (The total of a player’s EPA responsibility while blocking using the Total Points system that distributes credit among all players on the field for a given play. Totals are scaled up to map to the average points scored or allowed on a team level, with the player’s snap count determining how much to adjust. For blockers, this includes accounting for blown blocks, yards before contact on running plays, and performance given the defenders in the box.) and which NFL teams made their dreams a reality by selecting them:
Right away we get more of a sense of the total value Broderick Jones added for Georgia last season, ranking third in points earned. Some may assume that was a product of the stellar program, but when comparing to former teammate Warren McClendon’s result, it really highlights the good job SIS does with the metric in my opinion.
So, Broderick Jones provided the second most snaps for his team protecting the all-important blindside, was above the line as both a pass and run blocker (particularly the former) and provided the third-highest total value to his team, highlighting impressive feats such as no sacks allowed last year as an important cog on the Bulldogs’ second national championship team in a row. With this study and all my offseason work at the position, it’s hard to be upset with Pittsburgh’s first selection in a home run draft overall. I’m extremely excited to see how he fares in the black and gold.
Throughout the rest of the offseason, I will dive deeper into the data as we continue to learn about the newest Pittsburgh Steelers. How do you think Broderick Jones will fare his rookie year? What are some of your takeaways across the league? Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts in the comments.