The Steelers could be in the market for a left tackle when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around and there are some names to watch.
Getting the offensive line to a level where it is a strong point of the team is something the Steelers should want to accomplish. They have been putting in the work to try and retool the front group over the past couple of years. Things seem to be showing signs of improvement, but there is still a long road in front of them before they become elite.
The interior of this offensive line is not the most stable, but they do not need immediate action for replacement. Chuk Okorafor is off to a good start after getting a contract extension, so that only leaves the left tackle spot as the focus. Dan Moore Jr. does not seem cut out to be a starting tackle, but he would be a great swing tackle for this group if the club could draft a starting left tackle in the draft.
Paris Johnson Jr. would make a lot of sense for the Steelers
This Ohio State product could be one of the top tackle prospects taken in the draft when springtime rolls around. Paris Johnson Jr. has flipped back into the left tackle spot for his college team after needing to play elsewhere last year. The team needed to kick him inside to guard and he held his own.
There is still a lot to prove for this former five-star prospect coming out of high school. He has all of the potential in the world, and he needs to show it all this season. Johnson has done a nice job going back to tackle thus far and he will need to keep up his workload to impress scouts enough to remain a top prospect in this class.
Peter Skoronski provides position flexibility at the next level
Northwestern is not a powerhouse program right now, but they have put out some of the premiere tackle prospects in recent drafts like Rashawn Slater. Things look to be shaping up for Peter Skoronski to be one of, if not, the top tackles in this draft when all of the dust finally settles. This should probably be the guy the Steelers target if the draft would happen tomorrow.
Another thing working in this player’s favor is his consistency since coming into the college ranks. Skoronski took over when Slater left for the NFL and has done a great job in both blocking for the run and pass. He is highly athletic and continues to grade out well in his collegiate career, the biggest knock on him are his short arms.
Zion Nelson could provide big upside for a team that drafts him
Miami of Florida has not been the same powerhouse program that they were a decade ago, but they still produce NFL talent. Zion Nelson is currently working on proving himself to NFL scouts again after he decided to return to Miami to get a better draft stock. Many Steelers fans might see project here, but do not write him off yet. He could have come out after last season, and many thought he could have been a day two prospect at the time.
Instead, he decided to return to school for another season and work on himself to try and become the best tackle in this class. Nelson does well against the pass rush and continues to show signs of improvement since arriving in Miami. His biggest issue is his lack of blocking in the run game and that is where he needs to show the biggest sign of improvement to hear his name called on the first night of the draft.
Honorable mentions for Steelers fans to keep an eye on
Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Broderick Jones is another former five-star recruit that needs to prove himself as the top dog at Georgia this year. He has not gotten much playing time, but that offensive line will be relying on him heavily as their starting left tackle this season. His draft stock could skyrocket if he can put an entire year of solid play on tape, which could lead to him becoming a member of the Steelers.
Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
Here is a smaller school guy that is a true Senior heading into this season. His giant stature at 6’8 will have many scouts intrigued throughout the year. Blake Freeland started off at right tackle before performing at a monster rate in 2021 when he switched to the left side. He has all the ability that everyone looks for in a tackle, but you cannot teach size.
Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
We have made it to the point where a prospect would need development and coaching when he gets to the NFL. Anton Harrison could make sense for the Steelers if he can develop in a physical sense. He has a lot of experience at the left tackle spot, but he needs to fill out his frame more before he is deemed the top guy in this class.
The Steelers could be looking to upgrade their left tackle spot in the 2023 NFL Draft. There are some interesting prospects that could fit into what the team is looking for at the future at the left side.