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2024 NFL Draft

Troy Fautanu Could Bring About Changes for Broderick Jones

Broderick Jones could have a position change, flipping back to left tackle, with Troy Fautanu now with the Pittsburgh Steelers.



Pittsburgh Steelers OT Broderick Jones
Pittsburgh Steelers OT Broderick Jones against the Buffalo Bills, Jan. 15, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

General manger Omar Khan said earlier this offseason, at the 2024 NFL Combine, that the Pittsburgh Steelers still see Broderick Jones’ future at left tackle, but head coach Mike Tomlin declared at the 2024 NFL owner’s meetings last month 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.”

Tomlin probably didn’t want to reveal too much, but it’s very plausible that Jones will be put back at his natural position, especially given Dan Moore Jr.’s subpar play over the last three seasons.

Khan’s comments at the combine suggested that they want to put Jones back at left tackle. Why wait? Moore was one of the worst offensive tackles in the league last year. He allowed eight sacks in 2023, which was tied for eighth-most in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Moore’s PFF pass-blocking grade was 39.7, which ranked as the sixth-lowest in the league.

“I’ve said this before, but versatility on the offensive line is important. (Jones) proved he could play right tackle last year but he was drafted to be a left tackle. And eventually, he will be a left tackle. When that is, time will tell, but he was drafted to be a left tackle,” Khan said.

New first-round draft pick Troy Fautanu could bring about these changes for Broderick Jones. Fautanu played left tackle for a left-handed quarterback at Washington. He’s used to being on the quarterback’s front side. He’s also a little bit shorter and has slightly shorter arms, so he’s therefore a little bit easier for a quarterback see over (perhaps of elevated importance with the short-of-stature Russell Wilson as a passer) and will have a slightly harder time with the best of the best edge rushers, most of which play on the offense’s left.

He’s also very pro ready, so putting him into a place without competition should be an issue. In fact, even with Jones’ one year in the NFL under his belt, I think you could make a pretty good argument that Fautanu is still the more NFL ready of the two right now.

Jones will be more comfortable on the left side, and since he has a very high ceiling, letting him work there ought to help him reach it. Starting him there eliminates him bouncing from side to side throughout the season.