In traditional Patriots fashion, the team is moving back. The Steelers have acquired the No. 14 pick from New England. The Patriots will be acquiring No. 17 and No. 120, per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter).
The Steelers are using their new selection on Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones. After Mike Tomlin said he was comfortable with his two-year starting tackle tandem — Dan Moore–Chukwuma Okorafor — the Steelers trading up for Jones points to a change at one of these positions.
This marks just the third Steelers first-round trade-up in the past 20 drafts. The team had previously moved up for Santonio Holmes and Devin Bush in that span, but a new GM (Omar Khan) is running the show now. The longtime Kevin Colbert lieutenant decided to pull the trigger and help protect 2022 first-rounder Kenny Pickett.
A report earlier this week connected the Steelers to a potential O-line trade-up, and unlike pre-draft smokescreens perpetrated by the Texans and Colts, Pittsburgh followed through on the effort. Jones, who met with the Steelers on a pre-draft visit, has just one full season as a starter under his belt. He succeeded Chargers 2022 draftee Jamaree Salyer as the Bulldogs’ left tackle and ended up going much higher in the draft; Salyer went to Los Angeles in Round 6 last year.
The Steelers have used Moore, a 2021 third-round pick, as their left tackle over the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus rated neither Moore nor Okorafor as a top-50 tackle last season. Given the investment the Steelers made in Pickett, it is understandable Khan and Co. made this effort to secure a potentially significant upgrade. This marks the first Steelers first-round O-lineman investment since All-Pro guard David DeCastro in 2012 and the first time the franchise has chosen a first-round tackle since 1996.