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Steelers Analysis

Titans C Aaron Brewer Could be Perfect Fit for Steelers in Free Agency

Titans center Aaron Brewer could make plenty of sense for the Steelers if they want to shore up their need in free agency.



Pittsburgh Steelers C Aaron Brewer
Tennessee Titans center Aaron Brewer warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Nov. 2, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers hear a lot about Jackson Powers-Johnson, Zach Frazier, and others in the NFL Draft’s center class. But the free agency class is sneakily a very good one, too, and there is one player with an obvious connection to new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. That would Titans center Aaron Brewer, who was undrafted in Smith’s last season in Tennessee, but his connection there could be the link to get him to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers have a need at center, with Mason Cole struggling in 2023 and entering the final year of his contract. It seems like a solid draft class, but if they’d prefer to get that spot locked up ahead of time, they could do a lot worse than Brewer. An undrafted free agent that Smith helped pluck out of Texas State in 2020, Brewer started one game as a rookie, five in 2021 and then became a full-time starter in 2022. He had his best year in 2023, with PFF giving him a 71.6 grade over his 17 starts. He’s better in run blocking than pass blocking, but would be an immediate run-blocking upgrade over Cole while still possessing some upside as a relatively young free agent. This is a player to watch for the Steelers.

But why? Well, it’s not hard to see why. Brewer is a freak athlete for the position. Brewer’s ability to cut off angles and make some downright elite blocks in space stands out for a team that will run as much wide zone as the Steelers likely will under Smith. And for his pass protection weaknesses, the lack of a true dropback passing game can mitigate that for Brewer. He’s a smaller player but fits beautifully into the scheme and loses slowly enough to make him a solid starting center in the league.

When getting enraptured in someone like Frazier or Powers-Johnson, Brewer is an under-the-radar guy, has the connections, and is coming off a career year. The Smith scheme demands its center to be an alien visiting from another planet. Frazier and Powers-Johnson just so happen to be those guys, but Brewer is a special athlete for the position, too.

And Brewer is not expected to break the bank. The projected contract is around $6.5 million, which is starter money, but it’s not breaking the bank money. With Cole maybe not returning, that is an affordable deal for a center that is only getting better.

Take it from the Steelers one way or another: They will add an athletic center that can make a difference. But Brewer makes more sense than most of the candidates out there than others. The Smith connections are real; he’s a glove-like scheme fit and will not break the bank. All of that adds up to someone to watch very closely in the free agency process.