The Pittsburgh Steelers believe that Dan Moore Jr. has the positional versatility to play more than just left tackle, general manager Omar Khan said on Thursday.
That’s a good thing for Moore, who will likely be out of a starting job at left tackle with the team selecting Georgia’s Broderick Jones with the No. 14 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
“I’m confident he can play multiple positions, I believe that,” Khan said during an appearance on 93.7 The Fan on Thursday.
Moore has been the team’s starting left tackle the last two seasons, playing 44 straight games at the most important spot on the offensive line, but it hasn’t always gone smoothly.
Of the 34 tackles that played at least 1,000 snaps last year, Moore ranked 30th in his overall grade by Pro Football Focus. Steelers right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was 32nd.
That leaves the possibility that Moore could play right tackle, guard, or be a versatile backup for the Steelers in the last two seasons of his rookie contract.
“Our job is to bring in as much competition as possible and then when it all shakes out, I’m confident that the top five offensive linemen will be playing,” Khan said. “The one thing about our group, if you look at it, there’s a lot of versatility there. There’s players that can play guard, players that can play guard and tackle, players that can play center or guard, guys that can play on the left side or the right side. We have a lot of respect for Dan. Dan’s been an awesome Steeler for the last couple of years. It’s all gonna shake out here before the first game of the season.”
Moore moving to right tackle to compete with Okorafor would be especially interesting, since Okorafor has one of the highest salaries on the team. He is set to count for $13.1 million against the Steelers’ salary cap in 2023 and $11.8 million in 2024. If the Steelers release or trade Okorafor after June 1, they would incur a $7.1 million dead cap hit in 2023 and a $3.1 million charge in 2024, but save $6 million on this season’s salary rolls.
Moore playing guard seems a lot less attractive, as the Steelers already have a logjam at that position, with Isaac Seumalo, James Daniels, Kevin Dotson, Nate Herbig and Kendrick Green all experienced options on the roster already.