There’s still a long way to go until the 2024 NFL draft. But the needs the Pittsburgh Steelers will possess heading into draft season are already coming into focus.
The Steelers could use help along the offensive and defensive lines. Like similar years, cornerback and inside linebacker remain needs too. And of course, quarterback is a wild card position Pittsburgh could target depending on how the organization views Kenny Pickett’s future.
On December 9, Pro Football Network’s Dalton Miller projected the Steelers to use their first-round pick to bring in another Georgia offensive tackle — Amarius Mims.
“Reuniting Amarius Mims and Broderick Jones won’t necessarily save Kenny Pickett’s career, but it will give the Steelers a clearer picture of whether they can build a unit around Pickett that can help fix his current issues,” wrote Miller.
“Mims played sparingly in 2022 and got injured in 2023, but he’s been unbelievable when on the field, particularly for his lack of experience. Playing beside James Daniels could help with his developmental curve as well.”
The Steelers drafted Jones at No. 14 overall in the 2023 NFL draft. Miller had the Steelers selecting Mims at No. 23 overall in his latest mock draft.
Jones and Mims started together at left and right tackle, respectively, in Georgia’s two college football playoff games during the 2022 season. The Bulldogs went undefeated and won their second straight national championship in 2022.
What Amarius Mims Could Bring to the Steelers
Similar to Jones, who stands at 6-foot-5 and 311 pounds, the Steelers would land a mountain of a man in Mims. According to the Bleacher Report NFL scouting department, the 2024 draft prospect is 6-foot-7 and 340 pounds.
Behind that frame, Mims displayed unique raw power at times during his career at Georgia.
That didn’t translate into as much production as maybe it should have for the Bulldogs. But Mims dealt with an ankle injury throughout the 2023 season.
Teams looking for an offensive tackle who could be a major mauler in the run game may potentially fall in love with Mims.
“If you want to have some fun, watch UGA OT Amarius Mims vs. Ohio St,” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah wrote on X. “He has so much raw power & he moves really well.
“He missed time this year with an ankle & tape is so/so, but this is what he looks like when healthy.”
If you want to have some fun, watch UGA OT Amarius Mims vs Ohio St. He has so much raw power & he moves really well. He missed time this year with an ankle & tape is so/so but this is what he looks like when healthy. Also, 6’6 340 with almost 36 inch arms…very large human. pic.twitter.com/NesB1JqChp
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) November 29, 2023
If the Steelers picked Mims, or any offensive tackle in the first round of the 2024 draft to pair with Jones, the team could be setting themselves up to have excellent edge protect for the next decade.
Jones didn’t become a regular starter in the Steelers offensive lineup until Week 9. But he’s been impressive since then.
The rookie has earned a Pro Football Focus player grade of 65.2 (out of 100) this season. He’s just behind the top-rated Steelers offensive lineman at PFF, Isaac Saumalo, who has a 68.7 grade in 2023.
Will Steelers’ Broderick Jones Switch to Left Tackle?
The million dollar question, though, if the Steelers target another offensive tackle in the first round is will the team move Jones to left tackle?
Jones may already be the best left tackle on Pittsburgh’s roster. But he’s playing right tackle this season because Dan Moore Jr. plays much better on the left side than the right according to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
If the Steelers draft Mims, that would be a major sign that Moore is no longer part of the team’s long-term plans.
Moore has missed just two games since the Steelers selected him in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft. But Moore has produced mixed results on Pittsburgh’s blind side, particularly this season.
He has earned a PFF grade of 57.5, which is the worst mark among Pittsburgh’s starting offensive linemen in 2023.
Again, a lot will transpire between now and the 2024 NFL draft. But the possibility of replacing Moore with one of Jones’ college teammates will be an intriguing idea for Steelers fans.