(Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Steelers had a theme to their 2021 NFL Draft and that was to get players who will help improve their last-ranked rushing offense last year. They selected a top-tier running back in Najee Harris in the first round, the second-ranked tight end prospect in Pat Freiermuth in the second round, a physical and nasty guard in Kendrick Green in the third round and a massive offensive tackle in Dan Moore Jr. in the fourth round. For the first time since 1984, the Steelers selected four consecutive offensive players in the first four rounds of the draft.
Harris is the bell-cow running back that Mike Tomlin has been looking for, but he won't be able to do it alone. The offensive line needs to start imposing their will on defenses and dominate the line of scrimmage. Adrian Klemm replaced Shaun Sarrett as the offensive line coach this offseason and getting players like Green and Moore showcases that the Steelers are trying to change their identity upfront.
"In terms of what we're looking for in the (offensive line) room, these are exactly the type of guys we want," Klemm said. "Guys with position flexibility who played at a high level, who have shown their ability through being healthy, and we've addressed those needs. Just really happy with the results right now."
While Moore is a quiet and polite person off the field, Klemm says he has a mean streak when he's on the gridiron.
"Yeah, I mean guys can be a certain way off the field and can turn it on once they get onto the field," Klemm said of Moore. "This is a guy who is more than capable of being nasty, and playing physically, of finishing, and all of those types of things … The guy has finished and pounded people in the dirt. Sometimes schematically what people are asked to do at the collegiate level or the NFL level, sometimes you can't do certain things because it's not within that scheme, but there are plays where we've seen him finish guys off and do the extra, take guys to the sideline and all that. It's not flashes. He plays consistently at a high level with a high motor. I'm really excited about that."
Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network basically said the Steelers got a steal by drafting Moore in the fourth round.
"This is a good football player in a very deep tackle draft. I think in some other years you're talking about this player being a second-round-type guy," Jeremiah said.
The projected starting offensive tackles for the Steelers in 2021 are Chuks Okorafor on the left side and Zach Banner on the right side. And according to Klemm, Moore will be thrown right into the fire when it comes to competition for a starting spot.
"I don't view him as a project at all," Klemm said. "We're throwing him right into the mix in terms of competing. We haven't decided if it's going to be right tackle or left tackle. He's capable of playing both sides, but he's a guy who's started over 30 games in the SEC. There are a lot of guys in that conference who will be in this league soon or they're in the league now. So I think he's more than ready to compete and accept the challenge that's ahead of him."