Offensive tackle talent gets wiped out before Steelers pick in latest NFL mock draft

Steelers, Broderick Jones
Steelers, Broderick Jones / Adam Hagy/GettyImages

The NFL Draft is just around the corner and mock drafts have never been hotter than they are right now. With just over a week until the Carolina Panthers are officially on the clock with the first overall pick, analysts are taking their final cracks at predicting where each player will land on draft day.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers, we have seen the same two names pop up recently. My Steelers mock draft roundup showed that cornerbacks Joey Porter Jr. and Deonte Banks continue to be very popular selections. The NFL Stock Exchange podcast would concur.

Recently, Trevor Sikkema and Connor Rogers conducted their final three-round NFL mock draft. The two draft analysts believe there will be a massive run on offensive tackles early in the first round -- leaving the Steelers without a single viable option at the position.

In this mock, Sikkema and Rogers had a whopping five offensive tackles being taken before Pittsburgh's first selection at pick 17 overall. These included Northwestern's Peter Skoronski, Tennessee's Darnell Wright, Ohio State's Paris Johnson Jr., Georgia's Broderick Jones, and even Oklahoma's Anton Harrison.

Steelers miss out on chance to land starting OT in mock draft

This is pretty unusual from the mocks we have seen in the weeks leading up to the draft. Normally, just three offensive tackles are off the board at this point -- typically leaving the Steelers with a chance to select either Broderick Jones or Darnell Wright. However, this mock leaves them with zero viable options at the position.

The only other tackle they could consider taking at pick 17 would be Ohio State RT Dawand Jones. Unfortunately, this seems like a massive reach at this point. After weighing in at 374 pounds at the NFL Combine, Dawand refused to be weighed at his pro day, and teams feared that he had ballooned up near the 390-pound range. He also elected to skip out on testing.

There are rumors that Jones is the player whom the Steelers canceled their pre-draft visit with, as they were reportedly disappointed with the shape he showed up in at his pro day. If this proves to be the case, not only is there no tackle worth taking with the 17th pick, there won't be one worth selecting at pick 32 either.

In this particular mock, NFL Stock Exchange has the Steelers going with Joey Porter Jr. (who has been the most frequently-mocked pick from the start). While most fans would be good with this, it's impossible to have a scenario to play out where they can realistically nab a starting offensive tackle at any other point in the draft.

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Most fans seem to be hoping for Pittsburgh to find an OT and CB with their first two picks, but if this mock proves true, things won't play out that way if five offensive tackles go this early. Let's hope for a better outcome that lines up with their needs early in the 2023 NFL Draft.