Steelers Draft Jerald Hawkins in 4th Round, Bolster Offensive Tackle Depth

Having addressed their top three needs of cornerback, safety and defensive tackle in the first two days of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers turned to selecting their value picks on day 3. The fourth round saw the Steelers draft Jerald Hawkins, an offensive tackle out of LSU.

The 2016 Steelers Draft Needs Matrix rated offensive tackle as Pittsburgh’s 7th most pressing need to address in the 2016 NFL Draft, although the operating principle behind that matrix is to pick the best player available, only resorting to need when necessary.

Jerald Hawkins was a three year starter at LSU, logging 25 starts at right tackle and 12 starts at left tackle. Dale Lolley has suggested that Hawkins could also slide over and work at guard if necessary….

…Although as Lolley indicated, at the point the Steelers are planning to keep Jerald Hawkins at tackle

Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak has said he does not yet know whether the Steelers will focus on developing Hawkins as a right or a left guard. The Steelers current starting guards are Marcus Gilbert and Alejandro Villanueva, with newcomer Ryan Harris and Mike Adams returning.

  • On the face of it, Mike Adams appears to be most threatened by the Steelers selection of Jerald Hawkins.

Mike Munchak looks forward to the competition

That’s a good problem to have. For me, I’m excited because I have a lot of options on what we can do. We’re just going to get better having the type of guys that we have. There’s no plan right now on who is playing where. It’s more or less just bringing them in, letting them compete, getting them reps and kind of see who rises to the top, who pushes the envelope.

Every position coach says this at draft time, but anything that brings out the best in the men charged with protection Ben Roethlisberger is a positive.

Welcome to Steelers Nation Jerald Hawkins.

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