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The Steelers made a trade in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, moving up to the 14th overall spot to select offensive tackle Broderick Jones from the University of Georgia. The Steelers swapped spots with the New England Patriots in the first round and gave the Patriots a fourth-round pick (120th overall) in the 2023 NFL Draft.
General Manager Omar Khan said things worked out well for the trade and is happy to add the competition to the offensive line, something he said is his job.
"By the time we get to the opening game the best five offensive linemen will play," said Khan.
Jones started every game in 2022 for the Bulldogs and was an Associated Press All-SEC first-team selection.
"He is an extremely talented guy," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We were excited about him at every step of the process. We had dinner with him the night before their pro day. We had the chance to spend time with him in their environment. It was interesting. I was in Athens (Georgia) a year ago and took a group of his former teammates out and said to them give me a name that we are going to be back for in 12 months. Universally Broderick's name was the guys' name we got 12 months ago. That was the first time I heard his name. In investigating I see why they held him in such high regard. He is a really good player right now, but the upside is tremendous. He is a 'Diaper Dandy.' We're excited about getting him in the fold.
"In terms of the division of labor and who is going to do what, those things will be decided in the team development process. But make no mistake we are excited about having a young man of his talent.
"He's got big-time upside, but I also say he is a really good player right now. He's got a competitor's mentality. He is wired for this line of work. He's got a desire to be great. He's highly competitive. He has been a part of a winner. He understands we are in a winning business. He values that. Sometimes you can't really value that unless you've been a part of it, and obviously the run that that university has been on with their football program, and they have won about as much as you can win over the time they spent playing a significant role for them."
Jones, who said he is 'physical, fast and dominant,' has played mainly at left tackle but said he hasn't been given any indication as to where he would fit on the Steelers line yet.
"They told me I am a football player," said Jones. "It doesn't matter where they stick me on the line, I am going to give my best effort, my best shot and just fight until the end. They can use me wherever. I am willing to work, continue to push and just help the team wherever I can."
He made a pre-draft visit to the Steelers and said he liked Tomlin right off the bat when he met him.
"I feel like he understands me," said Jones. "I am ready to get to it."
He also left Pittsburgh loving the atmosphere and is thrilled to be coming back to a place he fell in love with.
"I felt like I was at home. I am not going to lie," said Jones. "I felt like I was at Georgia again. The energy was there. At the end of the day, I was in love with the Steelers when I left and, I became one. That is the end of that story."
Jones started one full season at Georgia and feels like he has plenty of room to grow.
"I am ready to get to Pittsburgh and continue to grow and continue to be the best person I am," said Jones. "I just can't wait to get to Pittsburgh and start the journey. It's a whole new journey. I can't wait to keep growing and reach the peak of my growth. I am not done yet. I am not close to the end goal. I am ready to get back to work and continue to perfect my craft.
"Just being able to hear my name called tonight is such an amazing feeling. I am glad I am a Steeler. Hearing my name called was a blessing."
2022: Started at LT in all 15 games to date...Associated Press All-SEC First-Team selection.
2021: Coaches' Freshman All-SEC Team...played in every game, starting the last four games of the regular season at left OT...played every offensive snap in win over Missouri and Tennessee...played most of the Bulldogs' win at Auburn at left tackle, in relief of injured starter Jamaree Salyer.
2020: Saw his first collegiate action at right tackle in fourth-quarter drive at South Carolina...also played as a reserve in win at Missouri.
High School: Lithonia, coached by Marcus Jelks and David Edwards...selected to represent Team Pressure in the 2020 Under Armour All-America Game, where he was regarded as one of the top offensive linemen...247sports.com composite five-star prospect...ranked as the #11 prospect nationally, the #2 offensive tackle prospect and #3 prospect from the state of Georgia...ESPN.com five-star prospect, the #9 prospect nationally, #1 OT prospect nationally, #5 prospect in the Southeast region and #3 in Georgia...PrepStar Magazine five-star prospect, ranked #18 prospect nationally, the #2 OT and a member of the Team 150 Dream Team...rivals.com five-star prospect, #5 prospect nationally, #2 OT nationally, #2 player from Georgia....named a unanimous selection to the 2019 Class 5A All-State First Team offense by the Georgia Sports Writers Association and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution...as a senior, he led the Bulldogs to wins in three of their last four region games to claim a No. 3 seed in the GHSA Class 5A playoffs...paved the way for a Lithonia offense that averaged 25.1 points per game in the regular season, as well as 3,106 yards of offense (282.4 yards per game)...registered 11 pancake blocks on the line, as well as 17 tackles, five tackles for loss and four sacks for 36 yards lost as a defensive tackle...2019 AJC Super 11 selection, joining 28 previous Super 11 honorees to play under head coach Kirby Smart at Georgia...named to the USA Today 2018 ALL-USA Georgia First Team offense following his junior campaign, as well as a Class 5A first team selection by the Georgia Association of Coaches...tabbed for the 2018 MaxPreps Preseason Junior All-American Second Team offense...competed at the 2019 Under Armour Future 50 event as a junior, emerging as one of the nation's top offensive linemen...skilled post player on the Lithonia varsity basketball team, helping lead the Bulldogs to the Class 5A Final Four with a 21-10 record (10-3 in Region 5) as a junior...earned the Metro Atlanta Montlick & Associates Athlete of the Week in November 2019.
Personal: Full name BRODERICK BERNARD JONES...intended major: Sport Management...recipient of the Heyward Allen Football Scholarship.
Take a look at photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 1st round pick, OT Broderick Jones