PFF's OT rankings are proof that Broderick Jones and Troy Fautanu must earn respect

Steelers offensive tackles have rarely been recognized throughout NFL history. Broderick Jones and Troy Fautanu could change that.
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You have to earn respect in this league. It's not just going to be handed to you. Broderick Jones and Troy Fautanu have their work cut out for them. For the first time in history, the Pittsburgh Steelers took offensive tackles with their first-round pick in back-to-back years. Their decision to select Jones in 2023 marked the first time this team has taken a tackle in Round 1 since Jamain Stephens in 1996.

But talent evaluators care little about draft status and much more about performance on the field. Recently, Pro Football Focus comprised their rankings of the top 32 offensive tackles in the NFL ahead of the 2024 season. No Steelers OT made the cut.

Interestingly, Darnell Wright, who was drafted just four spots ahead of Jones in the 2023 NFL Draft, was the final name on the list.

The decision to leave Jones and Fautanu off this list shouldn't be surprising considering their lack of experience (Fautanu has yet to step on the field for an NFL game). They will get their chance soon enough.

Steelers offensive tackles will earn recognition soon enough

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a rich history at many positions, but offensive tackle is not one of them. For most of their history, they have not had offensive tackles who were considered among the best in the league at their position.

In fact, in my lifetime, Marvel Smith and Alejandro Villanueva are probably the best tackles to wear the black and gold. Broderick Jones and Troy Fautanu will have a chance to change the narrative.

Both Jones and Fautanu are tremendous athletes. Jones has prototype traits at 6'5 3/8'' and 311 pounds with 34 3/4'' arms. He tested in the 95th percentile among all NFL offensive tackles, according to

Fautanu's Relative Athletic score of 9.62 was even higher -- ranking him in the 96th percentile. Though he's short for an NFL offensive tackle (6'3 3/4''), Fautanu is 317 pounds with 34 1/2'' arms.

The impressive athletic traits and physical demeanor of both Jones and Fautanu could help them develop into one of the better OT pairings in the NFL if all goes well. That all starts with a good season in 2024. These tackles could excel in Arthur Smith's wide zone offense thanks to their lateral movement skills.

It's only a matter of time before Broderick Jones, Troy Fautanu, or both are cracking PFF's list of the top 32 offensive tackles in the NFL. The Steelers have seldom received recognition at one of the game's most important positions, but that's about to change.