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Steelers Made Best Trade Of First Round For Broderick Jones, Charles Davis Says

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not a team known for making many trades up and down the draft, especially in the first round, though it has happened on occasion. They made a move this past Thursday, however, moving up three spots to 14 in order to secure Georgia tackle Broderick Jones. NFL analyst Charles Davis believes it was the best trade of the first round.

That was his assessment on an NFL Network Path to the Draft segment, during which the panel was asked their opinion on which team made the best trade in the first round. There were half a dozen draft-day trades made in the first round, as well, so it’s not as though there wasn’t competition. Here’s what he said about the move:

How about the Pittsburgh Steelers? They made a move up the draft number to make sure they got an offensive tackle, something they haven’t done in a long time, in the first round, to help out their young quarterback Kenny Pickett, to help out running back Najee Harris, to help out the overall run and pass game in Broderick Jones out of Georgia.

And not only do they go up and do that and take care of business, they also played a little Hollywood Squares and blocked the New York Jets, who were expected to try and go get Broderick Jones with the very next pick. So a big-time move for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This offense got immeasurably better by picking up this big offensive tackle from the University of Georgia.

The last time the Steelers took a tackle in the first round was in 1996 with the selection of Jamain Stephens. They’ve used some second-round picks on tackles since then, including in back-to-back years in 2011 and 2012 with Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams, respectively, but had not used anything higher than a third-round pick since.

Their current starting tackles are 2021 fourth-round pick Dan Moore Jr. out of Texas A&M on the left side and 2018 third-round pick Chukwuma Okorafor out of Western Michigan on the right side. Moore has started every game in which he has played over his first two seasons, while Okorafor has been the primary right tackle for the past three years.

Jones is expected to compete for the starting left tackle job right away, which one would imagine to be the case for a team trading into the top half of the first round in order to get a player. Though he is still raw, with just 19 collegiate starts and 1,396 snaps played, he has an extremely high upside and all the physical tools you could want in a prospect.

He is by far the most talented player the team has had at the tackle position in quite some time from an all-around perspective. Arguably the player who might come the closest in recent memory would be Alejandro Villanueva, a college free agent who served several tours of active duty in between his college graduation and his first meaningful snaps in an NFL game.

For me, the biggest question with Jones is just how soon we see the return on investment. Regardless of whether or not he starts from day one, he is going to take some time to fully develop into the player who merited a 14th-overall selection. But it only cost the Steelers a fourth-round pick to move up, and as Davis mentions, there’s a very good chance he wouldn’t have been available at 17. It’s hard to argue against this trade for me.

The other trades, by the way: 1) Texans trading 12 and 33 and 2024 first- and third-round picks to the Cardinals for 3 (Will Anderson Jr.) and 105; 2) Cardinals trading 12, 34, and 168 for 6 (Paris Johnson Jr.) and 81; 3) Eagles trading 10 and a 2024 fourth-round pick for 9 (Jalen Carter); 4) Giants trading 25, 160, and 240 to Jacksonville for 24 (Deonte Banks); and 5) Buffalo trading 27 and 130 to the Jaguars for 25 (Dalton Kincaid).

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