Pittsburgh Steelers first-round draft pick Broderick Jones has been projected by a national analyst to make the 2023 NFL All-Rookie Team.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com believes that Jones will be one of the top two rookie tackles in 2023, along with Chicago Bears first-round selection Darnell Wright.
“Left tackle was a major issue for the Steelers last year,” Reuter wrote. “It won’t be in 2023 if Jones uses his athleticism to play balanced in pass pro and gets after this man in the run game.”
Of course, Jones has work ahead of him in order to live up to that prediction, including unseating incumbent starting left tackle Dan Moore Jr.
The Steelers have a difficult early schedule when it comes to opposing edge rushers, so it might take some time for Jones to crack the starting lineup. But Reuter is convinced that Jones will be able to.
“It might take the 22-year-old two or three games to get used to the speed and power of veteran edge rushers, but he’ll eventually find his groove,” Reuter wrote.
Jones has yet to consistently take first-team reps, but he impressed the veterans on the Steelers defense at OTAs and minicamp.
“There’s just a lot to like there,” defensive tackle Cam Heyward said. “I love his tenacity. He’s got a good body and he can move well. You know, quick feet. There’s just things he’s going to keep working on. I don’t like to gas the rookie and give him all the keys to the car but he’s setting himself up nice. He’s going to be a big player down the road.”
Jones was the only Steelers player projected to land on the all-rookie team, despite Omar Khan’s first draft as GM being widely praised. Second-round pick Joey Porter Jr. fell behind New England Patriots first-round pick Christian Gonzalez and Chicago Bears second-rounder Tyrique Stevenson at cornerback.
No. 9 overall pick Jalen Carter was the only interior defensive lineman listed, easily precluding Steelers second-rounder Keeanu Benton from being picked.
Detroit Lions second-round tight end Sam LaPorta came in ahead of Steelers third-rounder Darnell Washington.