Name: Mitchell Van Dyk
College: Portland State
We’ll continue focusing on the new guys by taking a look at the 6’7 offensive tackle out of Portland State, Mitchell Van Dyk.
Van Dyk comes to the Steelers after spending last year’s training camp with the St. Louis Rams.
In college, Van Dyk was the top offensive lineman at Portland State, starting at tackle for three years. During that time, he was the anchor of a unit that led the Viking offense to school records of 6,486 total yards, 3,330 rushing yards, a 277.7 rushing average, 540.5 total offense average and 36 rushing touchdowns (third in the nation). Van Dyk earned First-team All-Big Sky in 2013. Van Dyk did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine.
Van Dyk was selected in the 7th round, 226th overall by the Rams. He failed to make the team, being cut during the 53-man trim his rookie year.
What Does The Tape Say?
Van Dyk is a scrappy player who doesn’t give up on plays. Good cut blocker. Strong at the point of attack during running plays. Gets beat on the outside during a pass rush half the time. Stays upright during inside and power rushes. Can push defensive ends back in the run game. Struggles with positioning and overall footwork. Not a good pass blocker. Limited to the right tackle position or right guard due to pass block ability and footwork.
Van Dyk is not the best at pass blocking. He struggles with edge rushers and speed rushers coming from the outside. Due to this, he is prone to holding penalties because many times he has to try and recover ground, forcing penalties. In addition, his footwork is not very good. Van Dyk has heavy-feet when pass blocking and it further hurts his pass blocking ability. Also, he doesn’t look good on tape against supposedly less-skilled competition, which is always a concern with small-school guys. Finally, he is undersized for a tackle at 300 pounds.
Van Dyk is a classic “project player,” who shows enough ability to bring in for training camp. However, his limited upside and overall limited skills are very concerning and greatly hurt his chance to make the 53 man roster. If Van Dyk is anything for the Steelers, I’d lean towards a practice-squad player who could be brought up if injuries occur on the offensive line, but that’s likely his ceiling. Overall, Van Dyk is an interesting player, but lacks the skills to translate as an NFL-level tackle. It is doubtful we will see Van Dyk past training camp despite the Steelers need for depth at the tackle position.