5 things Steelers fans need to know about new draft choice Broderick Jones

Steelers, Broderick Jones
Steelers, Broderick Jones / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Superbowl ended, all eyes were on the draft. After several months of speculation, the Steelers finally selected Broderick Jones as the offensive tackle from Georgia.

While there was lots of speculation about whether the Steelers would take a cornerback or an offensive lineman, they traded up to the 14th selection. At that moment, there was no doubt the Steelers were going after the highest-rated tackle left on the draft board, and they got the man they wanted who will hopefully protect Kenny Pickett for the next decade.

So here are five things you need to know about Broderick Jones and how he will help transform the Steelers offense for the next decade.  

Broderick Jones brings speed to the Steelers offensive line

Offensive linemen are not generally known for their speed. Yet, Broderick ran the fastest 40 of all the offensive linemen at 4.97 at the NFL combine. Jones is 6’5 and 311 lbs. The key here is that he does not look 311 lbs when you look at him. He’s tall and muscular barely an ounce of fat on him.

Jones can move quickly, which will help him in his run blocking; he can get out in front of the running back quickly and plow the road. His speed keeps him from being beaten by the quick defensive backs coming in to stop the rusher.

His speed will enable him to open up holes for Najee Harris, which he has not had in his first two seasons. Jones’ speed in his run-blocking game could allow Najee to top the NFL in rushing yards in 2023.

Jones is a smart well coached player

Broderick Jones has a certain awareness as a tookie that even many veteran NFL linemen may not have. Mike Prisuta brought up this point as he dissected a play in which the Georgia quarterback ran out in the flat looking for a second or third read. He mentioned it because Jones stayed in position and did not bolt upfield early, which could have resulted in an illegal man downfield penalty.

This is a trait all offensive lineman needs. Mental mistakes on the offensive line either lead to plays being stopped or penalties, which can be costly if a team needs a scoring drive. An illegal man downfield can sometimes be a drive killer, and the Steelers need a smart heads-up tackle that will not make the mistakes that have sometimes plagued the offensive line.

Jones' awareness should help the Steelers offensive line tremendously in that they should make fewer mistakes in 2023 that can cost them points or even the game. In conjunction with Mike Prisuta’s observations, he only had one false start in college. Another example of his awareness on every play.

Jones will not kill the Steelers with holding Penalties

Staying on the theme of mental mistakes, one of the killers every season is offensive holding penalties. How many holding penalties did Broderick Jones have in college? Zero, that’s right, he never held on any play.

This is where his size, power, and quickness benefit him. He never needs to hold; he gets out there and combines his speed and power to bowl guys over. He overmatched all the players he had to block, and they rarely stood a chance.

That said, the NFL is a much higher level of play than college. He won't have the opportunity to crush guys on every play, but no one is going to come in and push him around, either. Not committing holding penalties should give the Steelers more chances to finish drives or at least get into the red zone more often.     

How will Jones need to improve when he comes to Pittsburgh?

While there are things to like, here are some of the things to be wary of. He only started 15 games for Georgia at left tackle and only started 19 of 32 games for Georgia. Thus he has the fewest number of college snaps of all the FBS tackles in the draft class.

Thus he has a certain inexperience and will still have a lot to learn in his transition from college to the NFL. That will come with time; he will have the preseason to help him overcome his inexperience.  

Next. Best Players Remaining for Steelers after NFL Draft Day 1. dark

Regardless of his downsides, he has all the tools he needs, such as movement skills, power, speed, and a certain amount of finishing violence which will give him a fruitful career in the black and gold uniform.