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Hall of Famer Believes Steelers Young O-Linemen Will Excel Early



Pittsburgh Steelers OT Troy Fautanu

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach and Hall of Famer with Washington in the 1980s, Russ Grimm, gave the young Steelers offensive linemen drafted last week a ringing endorsement. He thinks Troy Fautanu, Zach Frazier and Mason McCormick all have the potential to make an instant impact in Year 1.

“I get the right type of guys and the right mindset in that offensive line room. I think they’re going to be fine,” Grimm said during a recent appearance on 93.7 The Fan.

Grimm starred at Pitt and was a selected in the third round by Washington in the 1981 NFL Draft. He was an instant starter along with Mark May, Joe Jacoby and Melvin Jones on the offensive line. All four were rookies. Jeff Bostic was a second-year starter at center.

“I remember a team that started four rookie offensive lineman being the Redskins back in 1981, and we seemed to do alright,” Grimm said.

The Steelers new offensive line forming into the second coming of “The Hogs” is lofty expectations, but the upside and potential is astronomical.

It’s clear that the Steelers want to build their identity around the offensive line.

“We just wanna roll people, man, to be honest with you guys,” Tomlin said in an interview with NFL Network during the draft. “We have some backs that we like. We have a good offensive line. We took Broderick Jones a year ago. This draft pool or class we thought was really loaded with some top-end offensive line talent and we just wanted to draw from that well.”

And Pro Football Focus loves it. In fact, they believe it could be one of the most improved units across the NFL after the NFL Draft, which could signal a significant leap.

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick thinks Fautanu, Frazier and fourth-round pick Mason McCormick out of South Dakota State will bring a different dimension to the offensive line.

“This offensive line, let me start there. You see this offensive line being rebuilt. Mike Tomlin told me last year, he said, ‘Look, we need more bullies to go along with Broderick Jones.’ So what did they go out and do? They got three of them. They got three bullies: Fautanu, Zach Frazier, and Mason McCormick. These young cats are nasty.“Now you think about that combined with their running back room with Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris,” Riddick said on First Take.

Riddick believes the success of the Steelers’ 2024 campaign will depend heavily on the O-line.

“The offensive line leads the way,” Riddick said. “The youth leads the way.”