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Tomlin: Broderick Jones’ 2024 Position Still Up in the Air

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said the 2024 position for last year’s first-round pick Broderick Jones is still up in the air.



Pittsburgh Steelers OT Broderick Jones
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Broderick Jones on Nov. 8, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to draft Broderick Jones in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft with the intention of him eventually manning the left tackle position for the team in the future.

That didn’t happen in 2023. After Dan Moore Jr. held him off at left tackle in training camp, Jones got his first NFL opportunity at right tackle when Chukwuma Okorafor was benched in Week 9.

General manger Omar Khan said earlier this offseason, at the 2024 NFL Combine, that the Steelers still see Jones’ future at left tackle, but head coach Mike Tomlin said on Sunday at the 2024 NFL owner’s meetings that his position for the 2024 season is very much still up in the air.

“To be determined,” Tomlin said. “We’ve just got so much ahead of us in terms of player acquisition. Where any specific player ends up is subject to who else is on our roster and the make up of it.”

The Steelers have incumbent starter Moore under contract for one more season in 2024, and it seems likely that the Steelers will want to have move Jones to that slot by 2025 at the latest.

Pittsburgh Steelers Dan Moore Broderick Jones

Pittsburgh Steelers tackles Dan Moore Jr. and Broderick Jones during practice on Oct. 20, 2023. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

What could prevent them from doing it this year is a lack of a better option at right tackle. Okorafor has been released, and since signed with the New England Patriots. The Steelers have not been active in the free agent market at the position.

There is a chance the club could use an early 2024 NFL Draft selection on a tackle, as it is an exceptionally deep class. It’s almost certain that more than one of potential starting right tackles such as Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga, Alabama’s J.C. Latham, Georgia’s Amarius Mims, Washington’s Troy Fautanu and Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton will be available to the Steelers when their turn to pick comes around at No. 20 overall in the first round this April.

There are also second-round options like Houston’s Patrick Paul, Yale’s Kiran Amegadjie and BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia.

But the Steelers currently do not have a starter on their roster at center, or a wide receiver to play across from George Pickens, positions that Tomlin acknowledged need work. So there may not be room to use an early pick on an upgrade at the tackle position, despite the team’s desire to see Jones as a left tackle sooner rather than later.