As we delve further into the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason, our attention has begun to shift towards the draft. Like we’ve done all offseason, these reports will cover the prospects of the 2015 NFL Draft, placing an emphasis on those who could help the Steelers the most.
Breakdown of Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman.
#5 – Jeff Heuerman/TE Ohio State: 6’5 254
– NFL frame with exceptional length and big hands (33 1/4 and 10 1/8 respectively) and capable of adding weight
– Nasty demeanor as a run blocker, great leg drive and seeks to finish his blocks
– Long arms and proper pad level creates space between he and the defender, makes him an asset in the run game
– Shows initial snap out of his stance as a route runner
– Versatile, played all over the field as an in-line TE and standing up as a receiver
– Natural hands who plucks passes away from his body
– Experience and shows competency as a pass blocker
– Quick to the tuck as a receiver, gets upfield immediately after the catch
– Athletic family background
– Regarded as a leader with a strong work ethic
– Sparingly used receiver in a run-dominated offense, doesn’t have much tape
– Lacks upper body strength, making him an inconsistent run blocker, struggles to win at the point of attack
– Capable of sticking initially but has a tendency to fall off his blocks
– Ran a mostly shallow route tree, limited to underneath routes
– Isn’t a crisp route runner who rounds off his cuts and loses speed through breaks, too anxious to look back to the ball
– Lacks a dominant trait
– Statistically, a down 2014 season, and never produced impressive numbers at any level
– Three year starter
– 2014: 17 receptions for 207 yards and 2 TDs
– Named to All-Big Ten 2nd team
– 2013: 26 receptions for 466 yards and 4 TDs
– Team captain senior year at OSU
– Suffered a right ankle injury that didn’t allow him to workout at the Combine
– Father was a basketball captain at Michigan
– Brother plays tight end at Notre Dame
– First love was hockey, played for eight years before joining football in 9th grade
– Football team captain senior year of high school
– Chose from Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Tennessee, chose OSU junior year
Heuerman is a player the Steelers have interest him, reportedly bringing him in for a visit on Monday. He comes from a school the team loves to mine, drafting a Buckeye in four of the last five years, has length, and experience as a blocker with some pass-catching ability.
He isn’t a perfect blocker but man, does he try his hardest. Evident on the field why he’s regarded as a hard worker in the weight room.
My favorite play of the four games I watched. Championship game against Oregon. Lined up at the top of the screen as an in-line tight end. Base blocks and washes the defensive end, taking him out of the play. Nasty demeanor you love from the position.
See it again here. Even though he nearly falls to the ground, he gets under the DE, #86, leverages him, and puts him into the ground. Comes from his lower body and leg drive.
Asked to pass protect quite a bit and became pretty good at it. Arm extension really helps. See it on the play below.
It was difficult to evaluate him as a receiver. Limited opportunities. If a receiver like Devin Smith has a small sample size, just 33 catches, you can bet a tight end is going to have even fewer. Occasionally did show some positive traits. Big hands who extends his arms away from his body.
Lined up on the outside, you can tell he was used in multiple different ways. In-line tight end, in the slot, on the outside, or in the backfield pulling as a lead blocker. He’s done it all.
Leader who has been a captain in high school and college. In some clips, you’ll see him wear number 86. In others, he’ll sport a five. He switched to the latter to honor quarterback Braxton Miller, who missed the year with an injury.
Wouldn’t consider him to have anything better than average upper body strength. Can get knocked around and won’t always hold the POA.
Working in space to crack the linebacker on this swing route to the back, he instead gets blasted and ran over.
Does struggle to stick to his blocks. Inconsistent and can fall off. Wearing #86 in the clip below.
Not an explosive route runner who frequently rounds off his breaks. Runs a seven route but it isn’t crisp and he looks too quickly back for the football and he slows up.
Lately, I’ve been developing a philosophy from others that you have to fall in love with a player to have him on your board. You can recognize his flaws but overall, you’d loudly bang on the table for the guy. I don’t have that with Heuerman. If you want a good blocker, grab a Cameron Clear as a UDFA. Is he going to offer enough as a receiver to warrant a mid-round selection? I don’t see it.
Like Max Valles, a player I’m not as high on but cut from a mold the Steelers really like.
Projection: 4th Round
Games Watched: vs Cincinnati, vs Michigan, at Penn State, vs Oregon (Bowl)
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