Did Steelers make right move by trading up for Broderick Jones in the NFL Draft?

2023 CFP National Championship - TCU v Georgia
2023 CFP National Championship - TCU v Georgia / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

With their first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Broderick Jones, an offensive tackle from Georgia. Jones became the starting left tackle for the Bulldogs near the end of the 2021 season and held that role in 2022, helping them win their second national championship in as many years. He earned All-SEC 1st-Team honors in 2022 after starting all 15 games. 

Jones is a younger prospect (turns 22 in May) and an athletic freak. He has elite movement skills in both pass protection and run blocking. Jones is still developing into his body, so he will continue to get stronger. He’s also violent and aggressive in the run game, routinely finishing his blocks into the ground.

However, given Jones' age and relative lack of experience, there is some projection involved for him as a prospect. He makes some mistakes in pass protection with his hand usage and footwork (less so with the latter). He’s relatively lean for a left tackle and will need to put on/learn how to keep weight on. 

Did the Steelers do the right thing trading up for Broderick Jones?

But did the Steelers make the right move trading up for Broderick Jones to the 14th overall pick? They traded up, but only surrendered their fourth-round pick; therefore, I would say absolutely. He has an incredibly high ceiling and provides the Steelers with a blindside protector to pair with Kenny Pickett for the rest of their rookie contracts. Jones is a bit raw technically, but he has all the necessary physical tools to develop into a dominant player. 

Broderick Jones will most likely compete with Dan Moore Jr. for the starting left tackle job. While Jones’ technique needs refinement, getting on the field early should help. Plus, his athletic ability grants him a greater margin for error when he makes mistakes. His speed and explosiveness allow him to recover more quickly than a player like Moore.

When all is said and done, the Steelers needed to find help protecting their franchise quarterback. They found that in Broderick Jones.

Next. Steelers mock draft: Wishes come true in final mock. dark