Steelers offensive line is already being recognized as a top 10 unit in the NFL

Pittsburgh has a much-improved offensive line on paper, and they are finally earning respect from the national football media.
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers don't have all of the kinks ironed out yet on the offensive line, but they have come a long way from the group that we saw in recent years. In 2021, Pittsburgh's offensive line consisted of players like Chukwuma Okorafor, Dan Moore Jr., Kevin Dotson, Kendrick Green, Trai Turner, Zach Banner, J.C. Hassenauer, and Joe Hag.

Thank goodness those days are behind us.

Three years later -- with a new general manager and assistant GM -- the Steelers have made dramatic strides to improve the offensive line. This included signing players like James Daniels, Isaac Seumalo, and Nate Herbig in free agency while spending high draft capital on Broderick Jones, Troy Fautanu, and Zach Frazier.

From left to right, the starting unit has been overhauled in just three years, and Pittsburgh is already being recognized for its efforts.

Recently, Zoltan Buday of Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 offensive lines in the NFL entering the 2024 season. The Pittsburgh Steelers came in 9th on the list -- topping teams like the Dallas Cowboys Chicago Bears, and Los Angeles Chargers. Here's what Buday wrote.

The Steelers spent back-to-back first-round picks on offensive tackles and then selected center Zach Frazier in the second round of this year’s draft. Those investments should pay off soon, and the team already got solid play from its guards in 2023.

Isaac Seumalo, who Pittsburgh signed as a free agent last year, put together a good 2023 season after some initial struggles and finished the year as the 12th-highest-graded guard in the NFL."

Zoltan Buday, via Pro Football Reference

PFF is confident that the Steelers are going to take another leap forward this season, and Buday pointed to spending back-to-back picks on the OL as the reason Pittsburgh's offensive line will take their play to the next level.

Steelers OL will improve, but fans must exercise patience

On paper, it's impossible to argue that this unit is worse than last year. However, that doesn't mean they are guaranteed to be a top-10 offensive line from the gate. Finding chemistry and gaining the necessary experience is going to take some time.

The 2024 Steelers OL has undergone some major changes, and we can't expect things to run like a well-oiled machine right away.

Broderick Jones -- who played his rookie season at right tackle -- will kick back over to left tackle in his first full season as a starter, while rookie first-round pick Troy Fautanu will attempt to play right tackle for the first time at the NFL level.

All the while, Zach Frazier could be inserted as the team's starting center from day one. He has a significant learning curve going from Big 12 competition to a rookie center making all the line adjustments.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Steelers' offensive line looked like one of the best units in the NFL by the end of the season; they have the talent to make that happen. But we need to pump the brakes on early expectations and allow some time for this group to gel before declaring them as a top offensive line in the National Football League.