Chad Reuter of NFL.com revealed two ideal picks for every team in a mock draft exercise on Thursday, and in regards to the Pittsburgh Steelers, he sees Omar Khan and Andy Weidl addressing the trenches on both sides of the ball. With their first two picks, Reuter has the Steelers selecting Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones at 17th overall and Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee at 32nd overall.
“The Steelers haven’t selected an offensive lineman in the first round since 2012 (David DeCastro) but need an upgrade at left tackle. Jones attacks his man on run and pass plays — likely endearing himself to Pittsburgh coaches,” Reuter wrote. “With the early second-round pick coming from the Bears in the Chase Claypool trade, the Steelers can add the high-motor Bresee to play 5-technique, eventually becoming the team’s go-to defender once Cam Heyward retires.”
Dan Moore Jr. was a massive liability at left tackle last season, giving up seven sacks and committing 10 penalties, according to Pro Football Focus. Offensive tackle is a huge need for the Steelers, and Jones would certainly fit the bill at 17th overall. He also fits the prototype of big tackles that Weidl likes from his days in Philadelphia. Jones stands at 6-foot-5, 311 pounds and has enormous 34 3/4’’ inch arms. He’s also incredibly athletic for his size, recording a 4.97 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Steelers expressed interest in left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency, which is really telling on how they feel about Moore. Along with David DeCastro being the last offensive lineman selected in the first round by Pittsburgh, the Steelers haven’t selected an offensive tackle in the first round since 1996 — Jamain Stephens out of North Carolina A&T.
Khan addressed the interior part of the offensive line in free agency with signing guards Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig, but has done nothing at offensive tackle. That could change on April 27 when the Steelers are on the clock at 17th overall.
The Steelers added defensive tackles Breiden Fehoko and Armon Watts in free agency, and re-signed Larry Ogunjobi. But with Cam Heyward turning 34 in May and Ogunjobi’s injury history, defensive line is certainly in play for the Steelers in the first few rounds. They’ve also shown a lot of interest in defensive linemen throughout the pre-draft process. And according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers “love” Bresee. In three seasons at Clemson, Bresee recorded nine sacks and 15 tackles for a loss. Bresee is well-built, standing at 6-foot-5, 304 pounds and possesses a relentless motor.
“Bresee isn’t your run-of-the-mill 300-pounder. He can really move and is even capable of playing outside the tackles. He came back from an ACL tear to earn a career-high 82.0 pass-rushing grade this past fall,” Michael Renner of PFF wrote.