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Dan Moore Jr. ‘Could Potentially Not Be On This Roster’ If Draft Breaks Right Way, Fittipaldo Says

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Dan Moore Jr. has started 49 games at left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers over three seasons. During that time he’s logged 3,193 offensive snaps, and has never sat out except when injured. And Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests there’s a draft scenario that results in Moore not even making the 53-man roster this season.

The tackle position currently appears to be the betting favorite as the Steelers’ most likely first-round target. You likely have heard the name Amarius Mims quite a bit, and perhaps J.C. Latham as well. Given that they already drafted one first-round starting tackle last year, Moore would be in trouble with another brought in.

“They had to start him as a rookie. He wasn’t very good, got a little bit better each and every year, but he’s still not a guy that I want as my blindside protector”, he said on 93.7 The Fan yesterday. “I think he’s a guy who has the respect of Mike Tomlin and Pat Meyer. I think he’s worked hard to achieve that. But he’s certainly a guy who could be over-recruited, and he’s a guy who could potentially not be on this roster in 2024 if things break a certain way with the draft and how these guys come along”.

Unfortunately, Fittipaldo did not explicate his hypothetical, but I’ll try to offer one of my own. Say the Steelers draft Mims, and they feel good about him playing right away—on the right side. The Steelers know that Moore struggles to play on the right side, so Broderick Jones is on the left and Mims is on the right.

They don’t want a swing tackle who is only capable of playing on one side. And Moore gets a pay raise as well due to the Proven Performance Escalator. Like Kevin Dotson last year, perhaps they work out a trade to recoup some draft compensation instead. A player like Dylan Cook is a dark horse to emerge as a potential swing tackle candidate, then.

A fourth-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2021, Moore started his first career game. However, they planned for him to serve as the swing tackle at the time. The Steelers moved Chukwuma Okorafor from right tackle to left tackle and intended to start Zach Banner on the right.

Banner, however, struggled to recover from a torn ACL the previous season, forcing them to turn to Moore. They lacked so much confidence in his ability to play on the right side, however, that they moved Okorafor back over to the right side despite practicing the entire offseason on the left.

“I don’t want to disrespect Dan”, Fittipaldo insisted, about the fourth-year veteran. “I think he’s worked hard, and he’s gotten better, but he’s definitely someone that they can move on from and improve at that position if they have a chance to, for sure”.

With such a deep tackle class, perhaps we shouldn’t even rule out the possibility of the Steelers doubling down there. They know Moore isn’t likely to re-sign next offseason, so they need to find a third tackle anyway.

Of course, the scenario in which Moore starts all or most of the season is probably as likely as his not being on the team at all.

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