Rookie Roster Impact: OT Broderick Jones

The NFL Draft is the last major roster-building milestone of the offseason and will dictate much about who we see in a uniform come September. For every rookie who makes the 53-man roster, that means one veteran does not. It’s circle of life as far as professional sports goes—out with the old, in with the new.

This year, we’re going to take a look at each draft pick the Pittsburgh Steelers made and examine how they are likely to impact the 53-man roster. How likely are they to make the team, how will they dictate position numbers, whose roster spot are they likely to take? You get the idea.

The Steelers drafted seven players in 2023, including four in the first three rounds, as well as two picks in the seventh. Each of them has a chance to make the roster, certainly, but I think most would be surprised if any fewer than six were on the team.

Draft Pick Name: Broderick Jones

Draft Slot: First Round (14th overall)

Position: Offensive Tackle:

Roster Outlook And Impact:

The Steelers traded away a fourth-round pick in order to move up from 17 to 14 to make sure they would be able to draft Broderick Jones, the big left tackle out of Georgia. They said without saying that he was the last tackle they rated at the top of the class and didn’t want to miss out on him.

It goes without saying that he is going to make the roster. In actuality, his selection doesn’t impact the roster in terms of positional numbers at all. The Steelers only had three offensive tackles on the roster prior to the draft, and it was assumed all along that they would carry four, as is standard. So he’s not going to be taking the roster spot of anybody already on the team.

And everybody knew that they would be drafting an offensive tackle at some point, if not in the first round, then likely in the second. His selection or one like it was virtually inevitable.

The only question that is really up in the air is how soon he starts. The team does return both incumbent tackles from last season, Dan Moore Jr. at left tackle and Chukwuma Okorafor at right tackle. Realistically, Jones should pose more of a threat to Moore, since he is primarily experienced at playing on the left side, though he told reporters that he spent time practicing on the right side in every practice.

While it’s almost unanimously held that the Steelers needed to find a better tackle than Moore, the reality is that Jones is somewhat raw and inexperienced. He only has one season of college starting experience on a full-time basis, and his technique is going to need more work than the typical first-round offensive tackle.

That could delay his ascent into the starting lineup, though it’s just as likely that he wins a job coming out of training camp. If he does, then Moore is going to have to relearn how to play on the right side. If he doesn’t, then it will be incumbent upon Jones to make sure he is comfortable enough on the right side to occupy the swing tackle role.

At the moment, Le’Raven Clark projects to be the Steelers’ fourth offensive tackle, but anybody they add from this point forward will challenge for that position. That is the only real domino effect of Jones’ selection.

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