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Steelers Analysis

Could Steelers Find OT Solution in Free Agency?

The Pittsburgh Steelers could look to add Mekhi Becton to the team if they do not get the tackle they want in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Mekhi Becton

The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely have to add at least one more significant contributor before the start of the season in free agency. But it could come after the draft, and perhaps, it could even come at offensive tackle if things do not shake out how they would like them to work out.

One of the top tackles available on the open market is the New York Jets tackle Mekhi Becton. Becton has played both right and left tackle and could fit into the lineup where Broderick Jones would return to left tackle. Still just 24 years old, Becton has some upside and could make sense.

According to Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger, Becton could be had for a one-year, $5 million deal.  Over his career, Becton has struggled with injuries but when on the field has flashed the upside that made him one of the top tackle prospects coming out of Louisville. He certainly can come in and start to be an upgrade over Dan Moore Jr. if the Steelers do not lock down the tackle that they want in the 2024 NFL Draft.

One positive aspect with four picks in the Top 100 and five in the Top 120 is that the Steelers can expect to fill a good deal of their voids, but not all of them. There will be one clear need that likely ends up underwhelming. And I think the post-free agency period will be huge for that. After last year’s draft, they signed Chandon Sullivan, Markus Golden, and Kwon Alexander to bolster their team. Becton could be part of that wave. Omar Khan made it clear that Jones was going to move back to left tackle at some point, so it makes sense to get someone who could do that.

“I’ve said this before, but versatility on the offensive line is important. (Jones) proved he could play right tackle last year but he was drafted to be a left tackle. And eventually, he will be a left tackle. When that is, time will tell, but he was drafted to be a left tackle,” Khan said.

Moore was one of the worst offensive tackles in the league last year. He allowed eight sacks in 2023, which was tied for eighth-most in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Moore’s PFF pass-blocking grade was 39.7, which ranked as the sixth-lowest in the league.

Meanwhile, Becton’s ability to play both left and right tackle add a level of comfort to a potential addition, and his ability to clear lanes in the run game would mesh well with Arthur Smith’s offense. If the team does not find a suitable solution in the NFL Draft, Becton could be a natural player that they would look at to fortify the offensive line.