The Steelers signed two more of their draft picks, including offensive tackle Dan Moore Jr, one of the team’s two selections in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the 128th overall pick and linebacker Buddy Johnson, the other fourth round selection, the 140th overall pick, both out of Texas A&M
Moore Jr. was a second-team All-SEC selection in 2020. Moore started 10 games at left tackle in 2020, a key part of one of the SEC’s best offensive lines in rankings in sacks allowed (0.7), tackles for loss allowed (3.8) and yards per carry (5.45) while finishing as finalists for the Joe Moore Award.
“I would describe my mentality as hardworking,” said Moore Jr. “Regardless of the talent you have, you have to work hard every day and prepare yourself for those moments. That is the mindset that I have.”
Moore Jr. started all 13 games in both 2018 and 2019, while playing in eight games his freshman season in 2017. He started off as a guard at A&M but switched to tackle early on.
“I know they drafted for me a reason,” said Moore Jr. “Whatever it is, I am ready to take it on. I started off at guard, moved to tackle my third game of the season. It wasn’t a hard transition at all. It’s the coaching style we have at A&M, the next man up, you have to be ready to play any position.”
Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm likes what Moore Jr. brings to the table, including his versatility.
“I am really excited about getting Dan, an athletic guy that is long,” said Klemm. “He is a very mature player. It’s exciting to get somebody who has position flexibility in terms of playing on the right and left. He is a guy who is focused primarily on playing on the left, but he is capable of playing on the right, that adds depth without adding numbers. I am really excited about this.
“This is a guy who is more than capable of being nasty, playing physically and finishing and all of those things. That guy has finished and pounded people in the dirt. He plays consistently at a high level with a high motor.”
Johnson had 210 career tackles, 6.5 sacks, five pass defenses, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception and was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award in 2020.
“I feel like I can do whatever my coach asks me to do, stopping the run, stopping the pass,” said Johnson. “This league is changing for linebackers. You have to be able to run and move. I look forward to being about to get out there and showcase my talents.
“The way we worked at A&M, if you were a starter you had to play on special teams. It’s so important. I look forward to playing special teams. It’s part of football. I love special teams. I love the defensive side of special teams.
“I look forward to the challenge. I am going to go out and compete. I am blessed to be in this situation. I am going to make sure the Steelers are proud of their draft pick and give it my all.”
Johnson is the kind of linebacker Steelers fans are going to love, as he loves to hit. Really loves to hit.
“I love hard-hitting,” said Johnson. “That is the type of defense I like to play. For me it’s great to be a part of the Steelers defense. This is the best thing that could have happened to me, the best situation. I am excited for what the future holds.
“I am going to work hard, be dedicated and committed 100%. Off the field I am respectful, dependable and accountable. On the field you are getting a leader, a guy who is a dawg. I like the physical part of football, but I am smart in the mental aspect, high football IQ. I love to make plays, special teams, defense, any way I can.”