Following their narrow Week 10 win over the Green Bay Packers, fans have been quick to point out the performances of both Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris. On the ground, the Pittsburgh Steelers combined for 205 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns. This running back duo just had their best game of the season, but there's a reason things were operating so smoothly on the ground.
The morning after the win, I did a deeper dive into the film from the Steelers vs. Packers game in Week 10. What I found is that Broderick Jones seemed to jump off the screen in just about every play. NFL Draft expert, Daniel Jeremiah, had the exact same thought on Monday morning.
Jeremiah thinks this was a home run pick by the Steelers, and I'm starting to agree. I had Broderick Jones as my 12th overall player on my 2023 draft board and, somehow, he is already outperforming expectations.
Jones was brilliant against the Packers in Week 10. This was just his third NFL start and his second start at right tackle. Despite flipping to the right side of the offensive line on a moment's notice, it didn't seem to matter.
In the running game, Jones had some excellent pulling plays in which he leveled a Packers defender and paved massive roads for Harris and Warren to run through. His pass protection was also strong. Thanks to his incredible athletic traits and recovery speed, Jones makes up for some mechanical flaws and was able to keep pass rushers at bay.
Of course, the performance wasn't perfect. I did notice a couple of sloppy reps in pass protection in which Jones took a false step and allowed his edge defender a path to the quarterback. However, this was a fantastic game overall from the rookie OT. He gets my game ball for the win.
The difference is night and day when Broderick Jones isn't on the field for the Steelers
Now over the past two contests, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been able to compile a whopping 371 yards on the ground. It's an obscure stat, but this team is now 3-0 when Broderick Jones starts.
What's really insane is the splits when Jones is on the field compared to when he's not. The first-round pick has played 50+ snaps in four games this season. He combined for just 9 total snaps in the other 5 games. The numbers speak for themselves.
The Steelers are literally twice as effective running the football when Jones has been on the field this year. While the strength of schedule plays a factor here, it's very easy to see how impressive Broderick has been on film early in his NFL career.
Fans should be thrilled with the performance that Broderick Jones has put together despite having fewer than four full games played through the first half of his rookie season. The sky is the limit for his potential, and he has given us a very bright spot to look forward to on the Steelers roster.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.