With each Big Board article this spring, the BTSC Big Board crew will be publishing a second article complementary to that respective portion of the big board. This week, we are going over this year’s class of offensive tackles and whether or not the Pittsburgh Steelers will want to draft that position in April.
If you have thoughts as to whether or not the Steelers should draft an offensive tackle, let us know in the comment section below. Let’s see what our resident draft analysts have to say.
Ryland B.: Say what you want about Chuks Okorafor, but ever since he signed his contract extension this offseason it seems that the Steelers see him as a lock to start next year. And Dan Moore, despite his flaws, showed enough promise his rookie year to warrant another chance as a starter as well. As a result, I don’t see OT as a first round target unless one of the top three in this class, Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu, or Charles Cross somehow fall to pick #20. But the Steelers’ depth at this position is thin, and I’d like to see Pittsburgh bring in a tackle with some starting upside during the middle rounds.
Andrew Wilbar: In my mind, offensive tackle is one of the biggest needs on the Steelers’ current roster; however, I am not a fan of this tackle class. Trevor Penning is likely the best tackle the Steelers will have a chance to get in round one, but he is likely a right tackle, at least at the beginning of his career. Ideally, I would like to move Dan Moore, Jr. to the right side and find a franchise left tackle, but the Steelers simply do not prioritize the tackle position enough to make such a move. On day three, a player such as Spencer Burford or Matt Waletzko could be intriguing, but I do not see the Steelers addressing this position super early after the signing of Chukwuma Okorafor.
Geoffrey Benedict: Chukwuma Okorafor and Dan Moore Jr. don’t inspire much confidence, but I don’t think we’ll see the Steelers actively look to replace either in the draft. The Steelers don’t usually value tackles highly like the rest of the NFL does, preferring to build their line from the inside out. Maybe with Matt Canada and Pat Meyer that will change, but I’d expect at most a 3rd round pick to be spent on tackle, and I think it is most likely they roll into the season with the guys they have.
Necksnation: Of all the positions on the offensive line, tackle is the one that I most want the Steelers to address in the draft. Although Dan Moore should improve upon his first season, I’m not incredibly confident that he’ll ever become a quality starting tackle. There is plenty of time for him to prove me wrong, but unlike many others, I don’t view him as the long term solution at tackle yet. As for Chukwuma Okorafor, despite receiving a head scratching contract worth 29 million dollars, he still isn’t particularly good. And after having watched him play for four years, I doubt his ceiling is much higher than where he is now, which isn’t a good thing.
It seems like the Steelers are confident in that duo, but it would certainly behoove them to invest in the position at some point during the draft. Unless someone like Charles Cross falls to them, I don’t think this is a position that needs to be addressed in the first two rounds due to some more significant needs, but picks 84 and 138 would be solid places to draft a tackle. If Nicholas Petit-Frere falls to 84, I’d be happy with taking him, but there aren’t a ton of tackles who are good value in that range, so it might be best to take a better player at a different position. At pick 138, a guy who I’d be quite happy with is Kevin Dotson’s former teammate, Max Mitchell. He’d be a steal there, and he definitely has the potential to become a starter. Tackle is probably the Steelers’ greatest need on offense besides wide receiver and maybe quarterback, so I’d want them to take one in the first four rounds, but it’s not the end of the world if they don’t. I just wish that I shared their confidence in Moore and Okorafor.
Do you think the Steelers should acquire an offensive tackle this offseason? If so, when and how should they do it? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll and commenting down below.
How should the Steelers acquire a new offensive tackle this season?
This poll is closed
Don’t sign/draft an offensive tackle