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Broderick Jones Predicted to Be Steelers Week 1 Starting Left Tackle



Steelers offensive tackle Broderick Jones
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Broderick Jones in a game against the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 6, 2024. -- Steelers Now/ Ed Thompson

General manger Omar Khan said earlier this offseason, at the 2024 NFL Combine, that the Pittsburgh Steelers still see Broderick Jones’ future at left tackle, but head coach Mike Tomlin declared at the 2024 NFL owner’s meetings last month that his position for the 2024 season is very much still up in the air.

“To be determined,” Tomlin said. “We’ve just got so much ahead of us in terms of player acquisition. Where any specific player ends up is subject to who else is on our roster and the make up of it.”

Tomlin probably didn’t want to reveal too much, but it’s very plausible that Jones will be put back at his natural position, especially given Dan Moore Jr.’s subpar play over the last three seasons.

Khan’s comments at the combine suggested that they want to put Jones back at left tackle. Why wait? Moore was one of the worst offensive tackles in the league last year. He allowed eight sacks in 2023, which was tied for eighth-most in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Moore’s PFF pass-blocking grade was 39.7, which ranked as the sixth-lowest in the league.

“I’ve said this before, but versatility on the offensive line is important. (Jones) proved he could play right tackle last year but he was drafted to be a left tackle. And eventually, he will be a left tackle. When that is, time will tell, but he was drafted to be a left tackle,” Khan said.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks the Steelers will move Broderick Jones to left tackle sooner rather than later. Very soon in fact. In a recent Q&A, Dulac predicted that Jones will be the Steelers’ starting left tackle in Week 1.

Jones replaced Moore at left tackle during the team’s Week 4 loss to the Houston Texans when Moore suffered a knee sprain, and he started the following week against the Baltimore Ravens.

But when Moore returned to health, Jones returned to the bench until Chuks Okorafor’s outburst gave him another shot. He did not give up that role, becoming a bulldozer in the run game while struggling a bit down the stretch in pass protection.

A 6-foot-5, 311-pound Lithonia, Georgia native, the Steelers traded up three spots in the first round to get Jones, sending the 140th pick to the New England Patriots in compensation. Jones was a two-year starter at Georgia, playing right tackle his freshman year before moving to the left. He started his Steelers career behind Moore at left tackle before getting his opportunity on the right side in practice.

There is a chance the club could use an early 2024 NFL Draft selection on a tackle, as it is an exceptionally deep class. It’s almost certain that more than one of potential starting right tackles such as Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga, Alabama’s J.C. Latham, Georgia’s Amarius Mims, Washington’s Troy Fautanu and Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton will be available to the Steelers when their turn to pick comes around at No. 20 overall in the first round this April.