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2024 NFL Draft

Could Steelers, Jets Be in Draft Battle for Tackle Again?

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Oregon State Tackle Taliese Fuaga

The New York Jets could be looking to trade down in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, according to a report by Rich Cimini of ESPN, which could once again put the Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers at odds when it comes to landing one of the top offensive tackles.

Last year, the Steelers traded up from No. 17 to No. 14, leap-frogging the Jets in order to take Georgia tackle Broderick Jones. The Jets ended up taking edge rusher Will McDonald IV with their pick and adding Pitt tackle Carter Warren in the fourth round.

Since then, the Jets have overhauled their offensive line, bringing in left tackle Tyron Smith in free agency and trading for Morgan Moses from the Baltimore Ravens. But that won’t rule the Jets out of drafting a tackle in the first round.

Smith is 33 and has not played a full season since 2015. He missed four games in 2023 and 13 in 2022. He’s on a one-year contract. Moses is 33, and while he’s been more reliably available, he’s also entering the last year of his contract.

The Jets have been repeatedly linked to Oregon State tackle Taliese Fuaga, who is a projected top 20 pick, but may have been a slight reach for New York at pick No. 10.

With the Jets trading for edge rusher Haason Reddick from the Philadelphia Eagles last week, they plugged another potential hole that they could have filled at No. 10.

Cimini reported that the Jets could be interested in trading down from No. 10, preferably with a team that would be coming up to get a quarterback.

HOW WOULD THAT IMPACT THE STEELERS?

If the Jets trade back into the mid-teens, it will likely add a team to what is shaping up to be a mid-round run on tackles. The Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13), New Orleans Saints (No. 14) and Cincinnati Bengals (No. 18).

The Jets may have been hesitant to take Fuaga at No. 10, and a pick of say, tight end Brock Bowers, could have pushed another tackle down the board for the Steelers.

If the Jets can make a trade to sweet-spot their draft pick with the value of their preferred player, then you can pretty well take Fuaga out of contention for the Steelers, and the odds of the team getting to pick from more than one of the top group of tackles starts to look pretty unlikely.

 

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Dave
Dave
April 1, 2024 3:41 pm

Cincy picks right in front of us the whole draft and they value similar players. Expect them to grab a few players we covet.