NFL rumors: Ben Roethlisberger hints at Steelers NFL Draft plans

Plenty of NFL mock drafts have the Steelers landing a tackle in Round 1. Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t agree with that assessment of Pittsburgh’s intentions. 

Protecting Kenny Pickett is a big priority for the Steelers moving forward. That doesn’t necessarily mean they need to add a top-flight edge protector in this year’s draft though. Former Pittsburgh star Ben Roethlisberger believes his old franchise is satisfied with the starting tackles they already have on the roster.

The recently retired signal-caller recently went on the record with his belief that the Steelers “feel comfortable” with their starting tackle duo of Dan Moore and Chukwuma Okarafor. Roethlisberger was particularly effusive with his praise of Moore’s play protecting Pickett’s blind side.

Will the Steelers listen to Ben Roethlisberger?

Roethlisberger’s opinion on the former fourth-round pick doesn’t line up perfectly with Moore’s statistical results from the 2022 season. He gave up seven sacks and committed 10 penalties which contributed to his mediocre PFF grade of 62.4 on the season. It’s reasonable to think he’ll improve after his first year as an NFL starter, but Moore hasn’t done enough to prevent the Steelers’ front office from strongly considering a tackle in the first round of April’s draft.

The real issue Pittsburgh faces in Round 1 is that the team’s more profound need might be at cornerback. The departure of Cameron Sutton in free agency weakened a unit that was already a problem for Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff. The signing of Patrick Peterson is nothing more than a potential bandaid for the team’s issues in the secondary.

That’s why turning the No. 17 pick into a cornerback like Joey Porter, Jr. could be the right move for the Steelers if they want to hit a home run in the draft. That wouldn’t stop Pittsburgh from adding some depth at the tackle position in the second or third round. It’s even possible that a player on Day 2 could supplant Moore at left tackle after some adjustment to life in the NFL.

Roethlisberger might be right about the team’s opinion of their tackle duo, but the team should spend time scouting the top tackles in this year’s draft class. If an elite potential left tackle falls to No. 17 they shouldn’t think twice about stopping his slide.

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