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Steelers Offensive Line Deemed “Shakiest” Group In NFL; Ranked 32nd By ESPN Insider

Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Steelers Offensive Line Deemed “Shakiest” Group In NFL; Ranked 32nd By ESPN Insider

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line is the clear and obvious weakness of the team. The same was the case in 2021, but the front office made efforts this off-season to improve the blocking in 2022. While they didn’t use a draft pick on a lineman, James Daniels and Mason Cole were seen as significant reinforcements from last year’s starters at center and right guard. The duo were brought in on multi-year deals to try and stabilize a young OL room, bringing some veteran leadership in the process.

Steelers center Mason Cole

Credit: Jordan Schofield/SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

In training camp, as well as the lone preseason game, it’s been mixed results on the offensive line. Figured to step in as the team’s best lineman upon his signing, Daniels has experienced some surprising struggles to start his tenure in Pittsburgh. ESPN’s Mike Clay ranked every position group 1-32 and for the offensive line, the Steelers sat dead-last. Tabbed as the “shakiest” group, Clay had this to say on the black and gold’s front:

“The Steelers top this list for the second year in a row after failing to make enough impact additions during the off-season. Dan Moore Jr. is back at the all-important left tackle position after posting an ugly 77% pass block win rate in 2021. Right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor has ranked poorly in PFF grade, pass block win rate and run block win rate each of the past two seasons. Left guard Kevin Dotson also checked in below average in each category last season.”

While some of the metrics point to Dan Moore Jr. not having a great rookie year, he showed immense progression as the season went on. Despite being a fourth-round selection, Moore was thrust into the fire immediately in his first season in the pros. He started 17 games at left tackle, including the lone playoff game. The Texas A&M product held his own against the likes of Myles Garrett toward the end of the season, showing the improvement and maturity he had made in just a few months. Fast forward to the off-season, and Moore was one of the standouts from training camp in Latrobe.

Credit: Jordan Schofield/SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

The Steelers are waiting for Kevin Dotson to live up to his massive talent, as injuries and inconsistencies have derailed his first few seasons. The talent is there though, but he’s not even locked in as a starter, as former center Kendrick Green will start at left guard in Saturday’s second preseason game of the year against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dotson has once again been plagued with injuries in camp, but luckily for him, Green has been mostly uninspiring. Clay did offer some positives to the offensive line, mentioning the names of the newcomers, Cole and Daniels.

“On the plus side, Mason Cole is a potential upgrade from Kendrick Green at center and new right guard James Daniels is immediately the team’s best lineman,” Clay said. “No help seems to be on the way, as Pittsburgh spent none of its seven picks in the draft on the offensive line.”

There’s no disputing that the Steelers offensive line remains a work in progress. It’s nowhere near the talent level they had a few years ago either. Offensive line coach, Pat Meyer, has shown signs of being an improvement over Adrian Klemm though as he heads into his first season in the new position. Time will tell if the line will make improvements.

 

Do you think the Steelers have the worst offensive line in the NFL? What are your expectations for the OL group this season? Who do you most look forward to seeing progress? Let us know your thoughts on the team’s OL in the comment section below.

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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!

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11 Comments

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