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2024 NFL Draft

First Round or Bust? NFL Draft Analyst Sees Big Drop-Off after Top Group of Tackles



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton
Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyler Guyton (60) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tulsa, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

If the Pittsburgh Steelers — or anyone else — wants an offensive tackle in the 2024 NFL Draft class, one NFL analyst thinks they should make that move in the first round.

The Athletic draft analyst Dane Brugler said during an appearance on the PFF NFL Show on Thursday, that the tackle class is deep in terms of first-round talent, but that there is a big drop-off after that point.

“You look at this tackle class, I think it falls off in the second round,” Brugler said. “… There’s a good chance we see double-digit offensive linemen (taken in the first round.)”

The Steelers are one of the teams that will almost certainly be drafting an offensive lineman in the first round, with tackles Joe Alt (Notre Dame), Olu Fashanu (Penn State), Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State), Troy Fautanu (Washington), J.C. Latham (Alabama), Amarius Mims (Georgia) and Tyler Guyton (Oklahoma) and interior linemen Graham Barton (Duke) and Jackson Powers-Johnson (Oregon) all likely to be taken among the first 32 picks.

There are second-day options at both positions, most notably West Virginia center Zach Frazier. Of the tackles that could be available to the Steelers in the second round of the NFL Draft next Friday, Jordan Morgan (Arizona), Patrick Paul (Houston), Kiran Amegadjie (Yale), Kingsley Suamataia (BYU) and Blake Fisher (Notre Dame) could be options, but Brugler sees a clear distinction between the two groups.

“There’s talent there,” he said. “You can find guys that should be able to start eventually in the NFL. But I do think there is a drop-off that if you don’t get your tackle in the first round, I don’t know that you’re gonna love your options on Day 2.”

Former ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay expressed a similar sentiment, comparing the depth of the tackle position to that of wide receiver.

“Wide receivers and offensive tackles will dominate the first round of the NFL draft,” McShay wrote on X on Thursday. “But WR depth in Round 2 > OT. So will that lead some team with needs at both positions — Chargers, Giants, Titans and Jets — to get their OT in Round 1 and circle back on WR later?”

Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Big Board