Steelers Eyeing OL Draft Additions

The Steelers have been active on both sides of the ball in free agency, but a few notable vacancies remain on their roster ahead of the draft. That includes the offensive line, a unit which could see multiple rookie additions later this month.

Mark Kaboly of The Athletic notes Pittsburgh is interested in drafting a center and offensive tackle, which comes as no surprise given the team’s current setup along the O-line. The decision to release Mason Cole left the Steelers without an experienced option in the middle, and as such the team has frequently been linked to a center being selected in the first two rounds. The same holds true at the right tackle spot, particularly on Day 1.

“I can’t tell you the player, but I can tell you it’ll be an offensive lineman,” a Pittsburgh source informed ESPN’s Matt Miller regarding the team’s first-round pick (No. 20). A number of options will be available amongst blockers at all positions at that point, even with a number of the top tackles likely to come off the board before the Steelers are on the clock.

Graham Barton (whose stock is on the rise) has positional flexibility based on his usage at Duke, but he is expected to play at center in the NFL. He, along with the likes of Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson and West Virginia’s Zach Frazier could be in play for Pittsburgh. The right tackle spot, meanwhile, currently belongs to 2022 first-rounder Broderick Jones. The Georgia product could move to his more natural spot on the blindside with the addition of a new RT prospect.

Miller names Tyler Guyton (Oklahoma) and Amarius Mims (Georgia) as options who could still be on the board when the Steelers are due to pick. Both players have drawn praise for their athletic upside, although limited playing time in the latter’s case in particular could be a cause for concern – something which was also the case for Jones last year. Mims’ injury history is also seen as a red flag.

The Steelers are viewed around the league as being content to wait until Day 2 to select a receiver, Miller adds. Pittsburgh has generated a reputation for finding valuable players at the WR spot beyond the first round, and continuing along that path could pave the way to a high-profile addition up front. It will be interesting to see if general manager Omar Khan follows through with the internal expectation an offensive lineman will be the team’s first addition.

Steelers Sign K Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright is set to begin another stint with the Steelers. The journeyman kicker signed with Pittsburgh on Wednesday, per a team announcement.

Wright originally joined the Steelers as a UDFA in 2019. It was one year later that he made his regular season debut, one which came after a brief spell in the XFL. The Central Florida product played in three games in 2020, making each of his kicks.

That led him to the Jaguars, the team with which he spent the 2021 campaign. Wright played 14 games with Jacksonville, but he found himself on the move once again in 2022. After beginning that season with Kansas City (and appearing in a pair of games), Wright was signed off the Chiefs’ practice squad to return to Pittsburgh. Filling in for an injured Chris Boswell, a the 28-year-old connected on 12 of 14 field goal attempts and went seven-for-seven on extra points.

This past season, Wright continued to bounce around the NFL, finding himself on the active roster and practice squads of the Chiefs, Panthers, 49ers, Falcons and Patriots. His lone regular season action came with Carolina. For his career (24 games), Wright has a field goal accuracy of 85.1%. He has made all but two of his 37 extra point attempts.

Pittsburgh still has Boswell on the books for the next three years, and the 33-year-old posted a field goal accuracy rate above 90% for the sixth time in his career last season. The reunion with Wright is therefore simply a depth addition which will give the Steelers another option at the position during training camp.