Matt Williamson is a former NFL scout and current co-host of "SNR Drive" on Steelers Nation Radio Subscribe to the podcast here. Williamson's opinions do not reflect those of the Steelers organization.
The Draft Pick: Dan Moore Jr., OT, Texas A&M
The Draft Spot: Fourth Round, 128th Overall
True offensive tackles are difficult to find and as a result, they are snatched up very early in the NFL Draft process every year. How many times have you heard about a prospect that was "an offensive tackle in college, but ideally should move inside to guard at the next level"? And that moniker was said about many players in the 2021 NFL Draft. But in reality, many of these prospects with shorter arms or less-than-ideal foot quickness are going to have to stay at tackle in the pros. Why? Because there really aren't 64 human beings on the planet right now capable of fitting the offensive tackle prototype (or close to it) and the league lines up 64 tackles every week of the season.
But the 2021 draft class was unusually stocked with promising offensive tackles and the Steelers were able to grab one of them in Dan Moore Jr. with the 128th overall selection in the fourth round. Four tackles were selected in Round 1. Six more were picked in the second frame. Another four tackles came off the board in the third round and another, James Hudson to the Browns, fell in the fourth before Pittsburgh selected Moore out of Texas A&M. That is an unusual amount of depth at a crucial position and that very much worked to the Steelers advantage.
What is Moore as a player? Moore is a true offensive tackle and was an anchor for one of the best offensive lines in college last year. He isn't a projection to tackle or a prospect that is better off kicking inside to guard. Moore stands 6' 5 ½" and weighs 311 pounds. He has the arm length, wingspan, hand size and overall build you are looking for at the position. Moore also excelled as a shot putter, which demonstrates some of his explosive ability for a big man. You love to see that in an offensive line prospect. Moore played eight games at right tackle as a true freshman and then moved to the left side in his second season at College Station where he was a rock of durability and reliability on the left side for the remainder of his college career in the highly competitive SEC. Moore got better and better each season for Aggies but isn't a "Blow you away" type of athlete. He could stand to get stronger and work on better hand technique, but overall, you don't see glaring weaknesses with Moore's prospect profile and he already has a strong understanding of blocking angles.
The last time Pittsburgh drafted an offensive tackle was in the third round of the 2018 draft when they selected Chukwuma Okorafor. Jerald Hawkins was picked in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. Wesley Johnson was a fifth round pick in 2014, but he was an interior offensive linemen as a pro and the Steelers didn't select a player at this position in 2013. Compared to the rest of the league, that really isn't much draft capital at all over the course of eight draft classes dedicated to bringing in and developing offensive tackles. Having a find like Alejandro Villanueva entrenched at left tackle sure made that approach much more palatable, but this year was the right time to get back to bringing in developmental tackle talent.
What can we expect from Moore in 2021? Maybe we shouldn't expect much from Moore this year as he learns and develops. But unlike last year, we are going to have a full preseason to evaluate him, and in the Steelers case, an extra game to make it four preseason games. That is when we should hope to see Moore flourish. And it could be a sign of good things to come down the road.
Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers fourth-round pick Dan Moore