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2024 NFL Draft

Buccaneers Select Graham Barton at 26th Overall



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect OL Graham Barton

Duke versatile offensive lineman Graham Barton was heavily linked to the Steelers throughout the draft process, but Pittsburgh went with Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu at 20th overall. Barton was scooped up six picks later by the Tampa Buccaneers.

Barton’s projected to be either a center or guard in the NFL. The Bucs need help at center with Ryan Jensen retiring this offseason. Barton played center as a freshman at Duke before moving to left tackle. With shorter arms than a typical NFL tackle, most teams are set to move him inside, and Barton did most of his positional drills at center, the interior position that he has played the most.

“(Snapping the ball), It’s like riding a bike,” he said at the NFL Combine. “You pick it back up. It’s a learned skill. Once you have that skill, you carry on. Definitely obviously going to keep working on that and being ready to go at any position and whatever a team needs from me. It’s certainly something to drill and work on and have ready to go.”

Barton was considered to be a late Round 1 draft pick, with his current NFL Mock Draft Database average at No. 27 overall. He went just one pick earlier.

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger appeared on 93.7 The Fan last week and expressed that Barton’s athleticism is what separates him from the rest of this year’s center class.

“I don’t believe he’s gonna be an elite left tackle. I think he could be a Pro Bowl guard. But I think he could be a really good center,” Baldinger said. “I like him because I think can run better than anybody else. I think he pulls and leads better, and I think he gets to the second level better than all those other centers do. I feel like that’s the position where he’s gonna be best suited in the NFL.”

The Steelers showed significant interest in Barton. They met with him formally at the combine, brought him in for a pre-draft visit and sent offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to his pro day. Fautanu was too good to pass up for the Steelers, however. West Virginia center Zach Frazier and Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson are still on the board. Both are expected to be picked in the second round.