The Steelers seem to be in the market for offensive tackles, but not just any type of offensive tackles after Kevin Colbert retired, opening up the door for some new additions.
However, the key new addition to speak of when it comes to offensive tackles seems to be assistant general manager Andy Weidl. He came over from the Philadelphia Eagles last offseason, but there seems to be a familiar theme developing among the offensive tackles the Steelers are taking a peek at in free agency.
For one, let’s start this entire trip through hogs lane back in Philadelphia. Their starting tackles are currently Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, two players who have become cornerstones for the Eagles throughout the last two seasons. Here are the key measurements to look at when it comes to these players — height, weight, and arm length.
Johsnon: 6-foot-6, 303 pounds, 35 1/4-inch arms
Mailata: 6-foot-7, 346 pounds, 35 1/2-inch arms
Then, when looking at the guys that the Steelers have taken a close look at this offseason, it is hard not to track the movements of these guys above. For one, they signed Le’Raven Clark, who was a former Philadelphia Eagle. He fits the trend of huge tackles with great length. So too does Joshua Miles, who recently signed with the Atlanta Falcons. But Pittsburgh was clearly interested in him. If they were in on Orlando Brown truly, that fits the bill, too:
Clark: 6-foot-5, 316 pounds, 36 1/8-inch arms
Miles: 6-foot-5, 314 pounds, 35 5/8-inch arms
Brown: 6-foot-7, 345 pounds, 35-inch arms
So, it is clear to a degree that the Steelers are likening themselves to some bigger bodies who can get significant movement in the run game. Then, when tracking Pat Meyer’s pro-day movement on top of their formal meetings with NFL Combine prospects, a trend begins to emerge — they want a massive tackle in this class.
At the NFL Combine, they had formal meetings with Dawand Jones, Paris Johnson, Darnell Wright, Broderick Jones. and Peter Skoronski. The two that stick out here aside from the other two are Wright and Skoronski. Why? They lack the length requirement that the others listed above have, but let’s just break that down:
Skoronski: 6-foot-4, 313 pounds, 32 1/4-inch arms
Wright: 6-foot-5, 333 pounds, 33 3/4-inch arms
Broderick Jones: 6-foot-5, 311 pounds, 34 3/4-inch arms
Johnson: 6-foot-6, 313 pounds, 36 1/8-inch arms
Dawand Jones: 6-foot-8, 374 pounds, 36 3/8-inch arms
Outside of Skoronski, all of these guys are big and long players. Skoronski has been subject to guard talk as well, so it’s possible you could loop him in with the other interior prospects. However, the other guys are massive players. Simply put, the Steelers want their own version of an absolute monster at tackle.
It’s clear what they are trying to do here. They want to stick to a strong running game but not have a net negative in pass protection. Meyer’s pro-day movement suggests that, as well. This team is not just going to add another tackle for any reason, but rather add one that is a true upgrade and fills what they think they need. It seems Wright, Johnson, and both Dawand and Broderick Jones fill that bill. The question is when the Steelers feel comfortable pulling the trigger on those players and how badly they want to upgrade the position.