Ex-NFL GM Rick Spielman Impressed With Omar Khan’s First Draft, Calls Trading Up For Broderick Jones ‘A Brilliant Move’

Mike Tomlin Omar Khan Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Draft

The 2023 NFL Draft was the first in which general manager Omar Khan and head coach Mike Tomlin ran the show together. It has been lauded as one of the best in recent Pittsburgh Steelers history, garnering many A+/A grades. One reason for such high grades was the move to trade up for Georgia tackle Broderick Jones in the first round.

Today, former NFL general manager Rick Spielman joined The Cook & Joe Show on 93.7 The Fan and raved about the trade up for Jones.

“I thought those two [Khan and Tomlin] together for the first draft had a great draft,” Spielman told hosts Ron Cook and Joe Starkey. “And, just, it started off knowing that the Jets needed an offensive tackle, the offensive tackles were coming off the board and I thought it was a brilliant move to jump one pick up ahead of the Jets to go get Broderick Jones from Georgia. Because if they weren’t able to do that there’s no way that Broderick Jones, in my opinion, was going to fall or going to fall down to them where they were picking at 17.”

With tackles Paris Johnson Jr. and Darnell Wright off the board by the time the Steelers were in a realistic range to trade up, Jones was the only tackle that would have been reasonable to take in the teens. It was talked often how while the tackles who were projected to go early, like Johnson, Wright, and Jones were good and could become great and that after them there was a decent drop off in talent. Because of this Khan and Tomlin knew they had to trade up to get in front of the New York Jets to get their guy, and they did just that.

What made the trade up even sweeter was that they were still able to grab cornerback Joey Porter Jr., on whom they had a first-round grade, in the second round.  The Steelers got two top-level talents with their first two picks and it was because the new leadership this year decided they wanted to get aggressive.

Khan is driven to return the Steelers to Super Bowl glory and he obviously sees the way to do that is to be aggressive. What is great about his aggressiveness so far though is that he isn’t mortgaging the future like the Los Angeles Rams did a couple of years ago. Instead he is being strategic as he traded up to get the Steelers’ guy in Jones and was still able to recoup the pick he lost by trading back in the third round.

Under Khan’s leadership the Steelers are being aggressive, yet smart, and it ended up landing them two of their first-round targets in Jones and Porter Jr. There is likely many years of the Khan-Tomlin duo coming. if the two follow the same script as their first draft it should lead to overwhelming success.

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