Top 5 draft picks Steelers can select to replace Dan Moore, Chukwuma Okorafor

Paris Johnson Jr. Notre Dame v Ohio State
Paris Johnson Jr. Notre Dame v Ohio State / Ben Jackson/GettyImages
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Aside from cornerback, it seems like the most frequently mocked position in the first round for the Pittsburgh Steelers is offensive tackle. Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor are mediocre starters who could soon be on the chopping block. Moore is still on his rookie contract and still has time to improve, but he’s certainly replaceable, both from a performance and financial standpoint.

Okorafor is slightly better than Moore, but he’s pretty overpaid relative to his performance. He could be cut after the 2023 season to save about $8 million with only $3 million in dead cap. Conversely, he is still young (he turns 26 in August), and the right tackle market is exploding. 

Earlier this offseason, I argued against Pittsburgh using a top-50 selection at the offensive tackle position. However, if the Steelers feel the immediate need to take the offensive tackle position seriously, they need to invest one of their first two picks in the position. Repeatedly using mid-round picks to go from journeyman to journeyman is not an efficient strategy for finding long-term starters.

If they want to make significant upgrades at the position, there can be no half-measures. They drafted Okorafor late in the third round (#92) in 2018 but have not used a pick in the first two rounds on an offensive tackle since 2012 when they drafted Mike Adams in the second round. Pittsburgh last drafted an offensive tackle in the first round in 1996 when they selected Jamain Stephens out of North Carolina A&T.

Given that both tackles are replaceable and the fact that the Steelers desperately need depth at offensive tackle as well, left and right tackle prospects are both on the table in the first two rounds. Most do not have starting experience on both sides, even if they have the athletic ability, strength, and talent to hypothetically start on either side.

While I am not sure if most of these players could supplant Moore and/or Okorafor immediately, especially with how reluctant the coaching staff is to allow rookies to supplant veterans, these five players have the best chances of replacing the current starters and turning into long-term upgrades for the future.