Catastrophe #4: Steelers force Broderick Jones on the field too early
Count me as one of the most excited people to see the Steelers move up for Broderick Jones in the draft. There was a clear cut-off between the top tackle prospects and the second tier, and the team showed enough conviction to move up a few spots and secure the last potential top tackle in this class.
While I am excited to see what Jones can ultimately become, I can also realize the fact that he is an extremely raw prospect. Jones looked dominant at times while at Georgia, but he wasn’t a regular starter until last year. While he plays with a lot of power and burst, his technique is also raw.
Due to this inexperience and general rawness, the Steelers should be in no rush to get Jones onto the field. Their early season schedule is filled with elite pass rushers, and if Jones is ready to battle with them, great. If he isn’t, he could quickly get demoralized and the fan base, who is never overreactive, could turn on him.
On top of this, the Steelers still have Dan Moore around. While I know many will scoff at the idea of him retaining his starting role, he is a safe player to work with. He won’t ever provide elite play, but he has progressively improved every season and can hold his own. Frankly, I’d love to see him start on the right side, but if Jones is still too hot and cold, Moore can man the right side.
Will this be a long-term plan? No, Jones should get his shot at the left tackle gig sooner than later. That said, the Steelers shouldn’t force Jones onto the field if he isn’t ready. They have other options that can start, so Jones doesn’t need to be forced into a starting gig right away if he isn’t ready.
The Steelers should be in store for a better season than last year. They have a strong defensive unit built as well as an offense that knows its identity. That said, things can unravel quickly if some issues pop up. The team must avoid these four catastrophes if they want to have a shot at being a top team this season.