Sophomore Spotlight: Dan Moore Jr.

Sophomore Spotlight: Dan Moore Jr
(AP Photo/Don Wright)

It’s time for the Pittsburgh Steelers Sophomore Spotlight Series. During this series we’ll be taking a look at Pittsburgh’s second year players to determine their standing with the team, what their role might be in 2022-23, and how big of an impact they can have in year two.

Dan Moore Jr. – Left Tackle

2021-22 Season Review

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Dan Moore Jr. in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Moore had a far more interesting season in 2021 than anticipated when he was drafted. Pittsburgh’s initial plans for Moore were for him to be the fourth tackle on the depth chart. He would be safely on the roster, but likely inactive on game days. This would have given the Texas A&M product time to develop and learn. But this would not be the case.

Instead – due to injuries – Dan Moore Jr. became Pittsburgh’s starting left tackle from day one. Moore started 16 games at the position last season. Moore struggled early on, but improved throughout the season. He ended up with a 57.5 grade from PFF (just below average) but a 59.5 pass blocking grade. These numbers were despite a 0.0 rated game in Week 8 against the Browns, where Moore was matched up against Myles Garrett who had four combined tackles, two tackles for loss, two QB hits, and one sack.

Moore came to the Steelers with good athleticism and good hand usage in the pass game. His quick feet are especially apparent on film getting out into space on runs or in the screen game. This helps him in pass pro where he doesn’t have the best anchor. Moore is a good athlete and is physical, but didn’t generate much of a push in the run game. For a player who was meant to basically redshirt his rookie year, to be a slightly below average left tackle in year one isn’t a horrible result.

2022-23 Season Outlook

Dan Moore Jr. will be Pittsburgh’s starting left tackle again this year – barring injury. But how will he perform? It’s fair to believe he will be better in pass protection. He’s already shown the chops and some positive traits. And with an offseason to get stronger his anchor should be improved. I expect to see him as an above average pass blocker this year.

In the run game, you hope increased strength will lead to better push as well. Pittsburgh hopes to have a better running game overall this season. Moore’s improvement would go a long way in that respect. Moore earned a run blocking grade of just 52 last season. One thing that should help Moore in the run game, is newly signed right guard James Daniels.

Pittsburgh loves to pull their guards. But last season with five starters at left guard, and aging veteran Trai Turner at right guard, that wasn’t much of an option. Daniels comes in and is immediately the group’s best player. If Pittsburgh gets back to pulling their guards and Daniels is coming to the left side on some running plays, that will help both the team, and Dan Moore Jr.

Dan Moore Jr. will start all 17 games for the Steelers at left tackle barring injury. I do expect an improvement from him based on the way he was trending late last season. While he may never be a top ten tackle in the league, he should be an above average starter as early as this year.

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