Steelers Urged to Sign ‘Stand Out’ Versatile Lineman

Kenny Pickett Jermaine Eluemunor

Getty Bleacher Report's Joe Tansey argued that the Pittsburgh Steelers should sign veteran lineman Jermaine Eluemunor to improve the blocking in front of Kenny Pickett.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to bring back all five of their starting offensive linemen from the 2023 season. But that doesn’t mean the Steelers won’t be able to upgrade the unit in NFL free agency. Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey argued that one target Pittsburgh should have on its free agency wish list is offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor.

“The offensive line free-agent market is not great, but Eluemunor stands out because of his pass-blocking skills and versatility across the offensive line,” wrote Tansey.

Signing Eluemunor wouldn’t be a big splash like drafting an offensive tackle in the first round would be. But Tansey argued it’s just what Pittsburgh needs.

“The Steelers do not need a flashy name on the offensive interior,” wrote Tansey. “They need someone who can keep Pickett upright and help him distribute the ball to Pickens and Co.

“Eluemunor fits that billing and he will not be as expensive as other top offensive tackle free agents, like Tyron Smith, Trent Brown or Mike Onwenu.”

Eluemunor started 14 games for the Las Vegas Raiders during 2023.

The Versatility Jermaine Eluemunor Could Provide the Steelers

Eluemunor found a home at right tackle for the Raiders the past two seasons. The 2022 campaign was the first season of Eluemunor’s seven-year career where he started more than eight games. Then he did that again in 2023.

Two of his starts in 2023, though, came at left tackle. He also started a contest a left tackle and a game at right guard during 2022.

Eluemunor began his career as a fifth-round pick for the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. As a rookie, he only played left and right guard. Then during his second season, he received snaps at left tackle.

He barely appeared on offense during his first season with the New England Patriots in 2019. But then in 2020, Eluemunor made eight combined starts at left and right tackle.

The 29-year-old could conceivably play any position except center for the Steelers.

According to the Pro Football Focus player grades, Eluemunor has improved with age. The best two PFF season grades of his career were the past two years.

Depending on where he played on Pittsburgh’s offensive line, he could be an upgrade in run blocking and pass protection.

Eluemunor a Stopgap Option for the Steelers?

Outside of the quarterback noise, the most popular rumor circling Pittsburgh’s football team is the possibility the Steelers draft an offensive lineman in the first round.

In mock drafts, the Steelers have been connected to numerous options — tackles Amarius Mims and Taliese Fuaga along with centers Jackson-Powers-Johnson and Sedrick Van Pran.

If the Steelers spend a lot of money on an offensive tackle in free agency, that would probably rule out the team drafting a tackle in the first round. But Eluemunor is likely to be a cheaper free agent option.

PFF projected the veteran lineman to be worth $7.25 million on an average annual basis with a 2-year contract.

So, while Eluemunor could be an upgrade, he would allow the Steelers to keep their draft options open.

Eluemunor would also give the Steelers flexibility with 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones.

Jones is a natural left tackle, but he started mostly at right tackle as a rookie. Because Eluemunor can play both sides, the Steelers could insert him at the position opposite wherever Jones plays.

Signing Eluemunor would likely signal the end of Dan Moore as Pittsburgh’s starting left tackle. Moore has started every game at left tackle but two since his rookie 2021 season. But he’s produced mixed results and probably isn’t a long-term solution.

Moore’s rookie contract expires after the 2024 season.

Eluemunor could be a stopgap at either left or right tackle until the Steelers find a long-term solution to start opposite Jones.

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