Ask just about anyone what the Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest need is this offseason, and they will likely tell you it’s quarterback. That could be bringing in a veteran quarterback, taking one in the draft, or doing everything possible to develop Kenny Pickett.
However, a very important part of quarterback play (and improvement) is protecting their blindside. That is why CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr went in a different direction for the Steelers in his article “One Thing Each NFL Team Must Do In The Offseason.”
“Quarterback is the primary concern here, but Dan Moore was the primary starter at left tackle last year,” Kerr wrote. “Broderick Jones could move to left tackle and is a solidified starter heading into Year 2, but the Steelers will have to find another starter in free agency or the draft.”
Moore was a fourth-round pick by the Steelers in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he has started all but two games in his career since then. However, 2023 was not a good season for him. While Pro Football Focus is currently persona non grata to most Steelers fans, it’s hard to deny its 2023 assessment of Moore as being the worst of the worst in pass protection among all offensive tackles.
PFF charged Moore with allowing 55 quarterback hurries and 39 pressures while being responsible for eight sacks. While there might be some disputes over the final total, the overall picture is still incredibly bleak no matter what.
So the Steelers are still faced with an issue at the offensive tackle position despite trading up to select OT Broderick Jones in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft. It seems that the team thought Chukwuma Okorafor would continue to be successful at right tackle and Jones would replace Moore eventually. While Jones played just over half the season, it was at right tackle after replacing Okorafor despite being a left tackle by trade.
That means the Steelers need to add a left tackle in consecutive seasons, add a right tackle and switch Jones back to his natural position, or hope that new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith can make some magic happen. Regardless of how it’s done, solidifying the offensive line will certainly benefit whoever is under center for 2024. While that quarterback will be the ultimate defining piece in just how far the Steelers can go, protecting him will go a long way to making his life easier.