Dan Moore Jr. Has Hall of Fame Potential, Insists Ex-Steelers Lineman

Myles Garrett vs Dan Moore Jr

Nick Cammett/Getty Images Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns rushes against Dan Moore Jr. of the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 31, 2021.

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Dan Moore Jr. had a solid but unspectacular rookie year in 2021, one of five starters on an offensive line that allowed 38 sacks and finished with the fourth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL. Still, one could argue that the former fourth-round pick (No. 128 overall) dramatically exceeded expectations, as he was named the Week 1 starter and went on to start 16 consecutive games before an ankle injury forced him to the sidelines for the regular-season finale.

While there have been repeated calls for the Steelers to look outside the organization to upgrade the position, those calls aren’t coming from inside the house. Former No. 1 pick Eric Fisher and 2020 Jets first-round pick Mekhi Becton may be compelling potential replacements, but Mike Tomlin and new offensive line coach Pat Meyer seem sold on moving forward with Moore. Never mind that he earned a 57.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021, having allowed seven sacks over the course of 1,079 offensive snaps.

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Ben Roethlisberger, Ramon Foster Have Sung Moore’s Praises

More notably, still, several ex-Steelers players — including recently-retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — have spoken highly of Moore and highlighted his long-term potential. In January 2022, Roethlisberger publicly praised Moore during an appearance on WDVE (102.5 FM Pittsburgh), saying: “He’s got heart, he’s got passion, he’s smart and he’s very, very good. He’s going to be the left tackle of the future for this football team, and he’s going to be very good at it.”

Then, earlier this month, former Steelers offensive guard Ramon Foster went completely next level when talking about Moore, going on record as saying that the Texas A&M product has the potential to become a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

“I know a lot of people probably weren’t impressed by him,” said Foster during DK Sports’ Ramon Foster Show on July 6, one reason why he expects significant pushback about this particular assertion.

Foster went on to say that he puts a lot of stock in seeing a 22-year-old rookie being able to hold his own against the NFL’s best edge rushers, including the likes of former No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett.

“As far as what he did in year one, the sky’s the limit for a kid like him,” added Foster, noting that Moore — who is listed at 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds — only committed five penalties last season.

Following those statements, Foster and co-host Dejan Kovacevic turned to talking about Steelers players who already have earned first-time All-Pro honors multiple times, like free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt.

But Foster’s assertion was so bold that he and Kovacevic returned to the topic two days later.

“You threw in Dan Moore, and pretty much knocked me off my chair,” reprised Kovacevic on July 8. No doubt, most all Steelers fans had the same reaction, and truth be told, either Foster got completely carried away or he was going out of his way to be provocative. That said, it’s probably best if Moore wins Pro Bowl honors a few times before anyone starts talking about him in the same sentence as Minkah Fitzparick, not to mention the likes of Cam Heyward or T.J. Watt.

On the other hand, it is a positive sign that Moore held up as well as he did during his rookie season.

“I’m excited for him,” said Foster. “He is able to get in space, which gives him highlights. He finishes well. His technique has been good, too, and his knowledge of the game will just continue to evolve the more and more he plays,” all of which prompted Kovacevic to jump in and talk about how “bright, ambitious (and) thoughtful” Moore has been during their one-on-one interactions.

“I’m not backing off the Dan Moore thing,” said Foster. “Just because a young guy starting this soon … the last person we saw do this was Maurkice,” he concluded, referring to former Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who retired following the 2020 season in the wake of a 10-year career that saw him make the Pro Bowl nine times, with two first-team All-Pro nods. Pouncey seems a stellar Hall of Fame candidate, though at least one analyst believes he is undeserving.

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