Like me, many of you have been wondering just how much Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva weighs now that he’s had a full season to work at becoming an offensive lineman. Thanks to a Wednesday report by Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times, we now have a semi-official number.
Villanueva said Tuesday after the team’s OTA practice that he now weighs around 338 pounds and according to Bradford, that’s 68 pounds more than he weighed when he was signed by the Steelers to their practice squad last year after being waived by the Philadelphia Eagles after attempting to make their 2014 roster as a defensive end.
While we have yet to see Villanueva play a snap on the Steelers offensive line, starting left guard Ramon Foster has, and he had a lot of positive things to say about the former Army captain.
The year that Villanueva has now had learning from offensive line coach Mike Munchak also appears to be paying off and he talked about the parts of his game that he has improved on under his tutelage.
“Now I’m vertical setting against first-round picks and whatnot,” Villanueva said. “Once you get over that hurdle, that you can block those guys and be consistent and be a contributor, then you can come back here and play.”
While the Steelers starting five on their offensive line is presumably already set for the upcoming season, it’s looking like Villanueva will indeed be pushing hard for a spot on the team’s 53 man roster this season and that could include him pushing third-year tackle and former second-round draft pick, Mike Adams, off the roster and out of town depending on the final numbers kept.
Thanks to a recent OTA practice video posted by Steelers linebacker Vince Williams, we are able to see Villanueva working at what we believe is the third-team right tackle spot and there’s probably a good chance that he’s seen a few snaps with the second-team at the left tackle spot as well being as Bradford reports he received first-team reps last week when starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum was absent from practice.
The Steelers will play five preseason games this year so Villanueva ought to be able to log a lot of playing time during those contests and you can bet that we will be breaking down his play quite a bit leading up to the regular-season. Additionally, our very own Alex Kozora is scheduled to attend all 18 of the Steelers training camp practices this year and you can count on him providing a lot of updates on Villanueva over the course of those weeks.