Steelers Film Room: Breaking Down Jesse James’ Blocking From 2014

When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Jesse James in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, they knew about his shining positives and glaring negatives and were comfortable with them. We already broke down tight end James’ touchdowns from his 2014 season, now it’s time to analyze another facet of his game: blocking.

#18 – Jesse James/ TE Penn State: 6070, 261lbs

Against UCF:

Good base, footwork needs work, upper body strength needs increased

Does enough to take the ensuing defender out of the running lane, needs to work on getting in front of the defender and engaging

Against Ohio State:

Aggressive, physical, and engages well on the defensive end (#88)

Looks for defenders to block, engages and washes defender out of the play

Washes out #88

Looks a tad lazy, just extends his arms and doesn’t engage

Really lacks technique, overextends and ends up on the ground

Assists in the double team, washes out Joey Bosa

Gets pushed aside easily the next play by Bosa, who makes the tackle

James needs some work as a blocker. He is nowhere near a finished product and the blocking facet of his game is definitely is one of his worst skills. With his massive frame, you would expect more strength and physicality from him but there’s much more to be desired. He’ll need to add some upper body strength if he is to contribute as a blocker against bigger, stronger competition. Also, he has poor technique which needs some refinement. Once James establishes a good base and engages, he usually fairs well. The problem is getting to that point. Remember, Heath Miller wasn’t the best blocker coming out in his rookie year. James has the frame to grow into, the willingness and the potential to blossom into a good, well rounded tight end. Hopefully the Steelers tight end coach James Daniel can extract James’ full potential in the long run.

Games watched: 2014 vs. UCF, 2014 vs Ohio State

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