Initial grades for the Steelers impressive 2023 draft haul

Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones
Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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With the 2023 NFL draft officially wrapped up, I wanted to provide my initial grades for the Steelers class of picks. While I agree that you need at least a season and a half worth of film to provide an accurate grade for a pick, I like providing my initial reaction to the pick, even if that final grade is subject to change.

Unlike most years, there was a lot that I loved from this Steelers draft class from the top down. I think they got excellent value for most of their picks and they added to key positions of need. It wasn’t perfect, but it is my favorite draft class on paper since I began following the draft over ten years ago. Here are my initial grades for the Steelers 2023 draft.

Steelers first-round pick: OT Broderick Jones

Grade: A-

It was no secret that the Steelers needed offensive tackle help to continue their offensive line rebuild. While Dan Moore and Chukwuma Okorafor are both safe and tested options, neither are great players. Finding a capable left tackle would make this room far more talented and competitive.

The issue was, there were three true top tackles in the class, and two were off the board before pick 14. This necessitated a trade-up (which despite being good value still keeps this pick as a whole from being an A+) so the team could land the last top tackle prospect in Broderick Jones.

Jones has his warts as a player, from being underdeveloped as a blocker and having limited experience in school, but the sky is the limit for him. He sometimes flashes elite blocking and was dominant in the trenches at Georgia. He has the perfect size, length, and athleticism, further adding to himself as a prospect.

Jones should be the early favorite to start at left tackle despite this rawness in his game, and if he truly needs a few games to grow into that role, the team can roll out their other tackles. If Jones is coached up properly, he has an extremely high ceiling. He could easily become one of the top tackles in the league in due time.

This didn’t score top marks because of the small trade-up to acquire him. That said, this was a great way to kick off the first round of the draft. Jones should be a huge upgrade at tackle and has the ability to be great. He also fills a huge need at a premier position. There is a lot to love with this top pick.