When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted cornerback Senquez Golson in the second round, they surely knew exactly who they were drafting. In addition to the fact that seeking new cornerbacks through the draft had been a stated offseason priority, the reality is that Golson was not by any means a player who fell into their laps and that they did not expect to be available to them when they drafted.
In other words, as you can no doubt decipher where I’m going, they knew just how tall he stood, and how much he weighed, and how high he could leap. They also knew how many passes that he could intercept in his final college season, and they knew the demeanor with which he goes about his responsibilities in the run game in spite of his size.
Standing at a bit under 5’9”, and listed currently at 176 pounds, there is little doubt that the rookie Golson is undersized for the cornerback position. And to deny that these traits will ever be an issue at any point of his career would be foolish. This is a topic that we have no doubt touched upon a number of times in the weeks after he was drafted.
At the age of 21, it doesn’t seem very likely that Golson will be adding much of any height to his frame over the course of the next couple of seasons, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t add some mass, which is, in fact, a process that began in his final collegiate season after determining to dedicate himself to football.
Back in October, after he has already collected five of his 10 interceptions on the season, ESPN writer Edward Aschoff penned an article about his turnaround following a pair of fairly unremarkable seasons, talking about how his ‘highlight’ reel once consisted not of his dazzling takeaways, but rather his broken ankles on a 76-yard touchdown run.
Following his sophomore season, Golson reached out to Mario Edwards and Terrell Buckley, a pair of former NFL defensive backs, in working on improving his technique. He became much more of a student of the game, allowing him to recognize offensive tendencies that he saw in film.
In addition to that, Aschoff writes, he “made the weight room his sanctuary, taking workouts more seriously than ever”, producing a “chiseled” 176-pound defensive back.
Whether or not that weight number is reflective of the current reality is unclear—listed numbers on official rosters are often off the mark—but even though he is short, he does seem to be able to add more mass while he is fairly early into his commitment to weight training and entering a professional program for the first time.
The good thing is that Golson already possesses the proper playing demeanor necessary for a cornerback to successfully play the run. If he continues on an upward trajectory of adding size and strength, then he should be able to at least in part minimize one of his greatest potential weaknesses.