The Steelers trade Broderick Jones of Georgia in the NFL draft

When Mike Tomlin attended Georgia’s pro day in 2022, he spent the night before dining with some of the Bulldogs’ draft-eligible prospects, as is customary when he’s on the March scouting trail.

Tomlin asked the assembled players for the name of a prospect he might want to have lunch with in 2023.

That’s how Tomlin learned about Broderick Jones, the massive Georgia tackle the Pittsburgh Steelers selected with their first-round draft pick Thursday night.

“Overall, Broderick’s name was the one that got there,” Tomlin said. “This was the first time I had actually heard his name. Looking into it, I can see why they held him in such high esteem.

In his lone full season as a starter at left tackle in 2022, Jones and his 6-foot-5 frame became a first-round prospect. The problem was, he developed so well that the Steelers weren’t sure they could draft him.

That all changed when general manager Omar Kahn, overseeing his first draft, traded up three spots to the New England Patriots to select Jones with the 14th overall pick. Kahn sent the Steelers the No. 17 pick and a fourth-round pick (No. 120 overall) to move ahead of the New York Jets to select Jones.

“Broderick was a player we identified as a great addition to our team,” said Hahn. “Once we saw how the draft was going, we started making calls to get a chance to trade up and get him. We are really excited. I think he will be a great Steeler for a long time.

The Steelers can only hope Jones does better than the previous tackle they selected in the first round. It was back in 1996 when the Steelers, with Bill Kufer as coach and Tom Donahoe in charge of player personnel, drafted Jamin Stevens, who was out of the Steelers after two years and 11 starts.

Jones, a redshirt sophomore with just 19 starts in his college career, turns 22 in May.

“He’s got big-time upside,” Tomlin said. “I also say he’s a really good player right now.”

As a rookie, Jones is expected to compete for the starting spot with two-year starter Dan Moore Jr. at left tackle or incumbent right tackle Chuks Okorafor. Jones had limited experience at tight end in games, but said he switched positions every day in Georgia’s practices.

He played in two games as a freshman reserve and then started the Bulldogs’ final four games at left tackle in 2021 before cementing his role as the starter last fall.

The Steelers met with Jones at the NFL combine and again at Georgia’s pro day. They also hosted him on an official top-30 visit on April 15 at UPMC’s Rooney Sports Complex.

However, Jones wasn’t sure where he would land in the first round.

“I didn’t expect anything,” he said. “I was waiting to be called. The Steelers did everything they could to get me. I’m glad it happened.”

When Jones left the Steelers practice room that day, he said he had a good feeling about the organization.

“I felt at home,” Jones said. “Felt like I was at UGA. It felt like there was energy there. Everything that was talked about was needed. … After all, I was in love with the Steelers when I went and became one.

With valuable cornerbacks Christian Gonzalez and Joey Porter Jr. still in the game, the Steelers traded up to acquire a tackle to protect the blind side of second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett. At that point, three quarterbacks had already been selected: Ohio State’s Parris Johnson Jr., Tennessee’s Darnell Wright and Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski. Cornerback Devon Witherspoon of Illinois was long gone after being selected with the No. 5 overall pick.

With Wright going to the Chicago Bears at No. 10 and the Tennessee Titans followed by the Skoronski pick, Jones was left as the only viable tackle option with a high first-round pick.

The only question was whether the Steelers could get a deal done to get him.

“You make phone calls and get a feel for what people want to do,” Khan said. “Some people aren’t, some might be. You stay close to the phone and keep in touch with clubs who might be interested.

The cost of trading places with the Patriots was also small.

“We had a high level of preparation,” Tomlin said. “We weren’t willing to pledge more than anything beyond the third-day pick.”

Jones was surprised the Steelers were willing to move up to get him.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “I can’t wait to get to Pittsburgh and start the journey. It’s a whole new journey. I can’t wait to start the process.”

Joe Rutter is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. You can contact Joe at or via Twitter .

#Steelers #trade #Broderick #Jones #Georgia #NFL #draft

Russia commits to extending the ISS until 2028

Russia commits to extending the ISS until 2028

Scientists capture the first image of a jet emerging from the edge of a black hole

Scientists capture the first image of a jet emerging from the edge of a black hole