Steelers Draft Grades: Omar Khan scores big in his first NFL Draft as GM

Georgia v Mississippi State
Georgia v Mississippi State / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
1 of 6

One of the things I loved about this draft was new general manager, Omar Khan, didn’t double dip on positions signed in free agency. That was something that used to drive me crazy about former GM, the great Kevin Colbert. This allowed the Steelers to massively upgrade their roster in the remaining positions of need. The only position that wasn’t really a need was tight end but there was no way they could pass on the player who was available.

The knock on the Steelers the last couple of years has been that they were ‘soft’. I dare anyone to say that about them after this off-season. They’ve added very physical players at almost every round of this draft.

On to the grades!

Steelers Draft Grades Round 1:

Round 1 – Left Tackle – Broderick Jones – 6’-5”, 316 lbs.

The Steelers biggest score came in the 1st Rd when they nabbed a great player at the position of most need. Stiller fans the world over are rejoicing that Dan Moore’s reign of ineptitude is over. I thought Jones was the best OT in this draft. I had him as my alternate 1st pick in my Mock Draft. There was no way I thought he would be available. We can thank the Chicago Bears for that. I have no idea what universe you live in where you take Darnell Wright over Broderick Jones. Wright should make a solid pro but Jones projects as a perennial Pro Bowl player.

Hats off to GM, Omar Khan, for having the patience to wait for the Draft to come to him and then making the move up and get him. A 4th Rd pick for a player of this caliber is the bargain of this draft. This is the first time the Steelers have landed a true franchise tackle and it’s way, way overdue.

Pro Football Focus gave Jones an overall grade of 78.2 with 84.1 pass blocking and 71.7 run blocking. In 367 pass snaps, he gave up zero sacks and only five hurries. Jones is a smooth pass protector who makes speed rushers look like easy work. He quickly adjusts to spin moves and stunts. He uses his athleticism to absorb and neutralize power rushers. Jones is so athletic he looks light on his feet out there.

How PFF can give Jones a grade that low in run blocking is beyond me. He can pull and trap like a Pro Bowl offensive guard and reaches the second level with ease. He can get the seal off tackle. He has great leg drive and gets in a pop on almost every block. He will open up a whole new world for the Steelers running game. Jones will immediately be Najee Harris and Kenny Pickett’s new best friend.

Grade: A+