It seems like Pittsburgh Steelers’ assistant offensive line coach Isaac Williams drew the short straw. He had the duty of being the “defender” in one of the offensive line drills during the 2023 NFL Combine. In a screen drill where blockers get their hands on the “defensive lineman” before releasing in space, Georgia OT Broderick Jones, one of the top tackles in this year’s draft, showed off his strength to Williams.
Check Jones tossing Williams aside, nearly knocking him off his feet, before getting out into space. Williams wore a protector but it probably didn’t feel too good to get ragdolled around throughout the drill.
Jones measured in 6053, 311 pounds with nearly 35 inch arms, a bigger frame that listed and he was expected to be come in at. Jones is competing to be the first offensive tackle off the board, battling Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski and Ohio State’s Paris Johnson to be that guy.
Jones had a solid workout, running a 4.97 40 and 1.74 ten split, showing off his athleticism and explosiveness. In drills, he looked light in his feet and athletic in space. He started twelve games at left tackle last season for the champion Bulldogs, named first-team All-SEC.
In our pre-draft profile on Jones, our Michael Rochman noted Jones’ smooth feet and depth he gets on his pass sets, though ne noted he has to keep a solid base and not play over his toes. Ultimately, he gave him a a first round grade.
Williams was hired as the Steelers’ assistant o-line coach last year to assist Pat Meyer. Williams was a bit of an unknown, previously coaching at North Carolina Central with previous stops at Morgan State and Northern Colorado. He played his college football at Alcorn State.
Steelers’ players are already ribbing Williams a bit for the moment.
Pittsburgh could be in the market for a tackle if one of the top names fall to them. But it’s an open question whether or not any of them will make it that far. Currently, Jones is projected to come off the board a few picks ahead of #17 and his solid workout at the Combine will help cement that status.
But at the least, Isaac Williams will have a story to bring back to the rest of the Steelers’ front office. And maybe a couple of bruises, too.