One of the two new additions to the Pittsburgh Steelers roster is defensive end Caushaud Lyons. I must admit I knew little about the rookie UDFA initially. So we’ll treat him like a scouting report. There’s less tape to go off of, I watched all of his preseasons snaps but that still only totals somewhere between 50-60 snaps, making the evaluation a little tougher. Much less interested in college tape for someone who has played in the NFL.
Caushaud Lyons/DE Tusculum – 6’4/4 295
– NFL measurables, ideal height and weight who tested extremely well
– Displays a powerful punch capable of knocking lineman off balanced upon contact
– Array of pass rushing moves, active hands and works hard at disengaging as a pass rusher
– Good enough motor that could be a little more consistent but overall runs to the football
– Adaquate first step for the position
– Three year starter
– Burst onto scene with tremendous production in senior season
– Appeared to show some scheme versatility in college
– Sits too tall in his stance, hurts his first step and causes him to play high off the ball
– Struggles to stay square to the line of scrimmage against the run, teasily turned and washed
– Capable work off blocks but unable to finish plays
– Will have to adjust to new scheme and position, played three technique in Tampa Bay almost exclusively
– Making big jump from a small, Division II school that almost never produces NFL players
– Three year starter at Tusculum
– 2014: 89 tackles, 19 TFL, 9 sacks (all led team)
– 2014 Gene Upshaw Award Finalist for best D2 defensive lineman in the country
– Ran a 4.84 40 and jumped a 30.5 inch vertical during his Pro Day
– First name is pronounced “kuh-shawd”
– Nickname is “Big Country”
– Will wear #99 for the Steelers
Like I wrote, I’m looking at a relatively limited number of snaps, making this report more incomplete than I’d like. Lyons was always the third string. Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald would start while William Gholston and Tony McDaniel filtered in as the second string.
In the Tampa Bay Buccaneers first two games, Lyon didn’t enter until the third quarter. He only played three series in the tune up game before finally logging heavy playing time in the last contest.
Lyons is an effective pass rusher who wins with a strong initial punch and a variety of moves. He lacks the strength to show an effective bull rush, but will use a swim and a dip/rip with success.
Here he is against the Minnesota Vikings winning with his punch against the right guard. Lyons wore #68 during his time in Tampa. Unfortunately, Lyons couldn’t stay on his feet, but provided pressure that forced the quarterback to flush the pocket.
And again against the Miami Dolphins, punching and dipping under the left guard to generate pressure. Had the running back not been so open on the wheel route, Lyons likely comes away with a sack.
A screenshot of him gap shooting and getting penetration on this 4th and 1. He couldn’t make the tackle, however, a recurring issue for Lyons. Based on what I saw, he was only credited with one tackle in the preseason.
I am no John Mitchell but Lyons seems to sit too high in his stance. Needs to get his butt down so he can be more explosive out of his stance. You can see it in the two screencaps below, especially in the second. Some technical work that isn’t surprising for a rookie coming out of a tiny school.
He is the LDT in each clip. I didn’t want to circle him for fear of it being harder to compare him to other players.
Lyons struggled to hold the point of attack against the run. Had trouble staying square and was easily turned and washed. Maybe some of that is due to scheme, the Bucs still try and penetrate more often than the Steelers, but it still isn’t something any defensive line couch could be happy with.
Here he is getting turned out of the hole by the right guard.
He mainly played the three technique but logged two snaps at right end in Week Three against the Cincinnati Bengals.
It was a little surprising to see the team add a DL, possibly signaling Stephon Tuitt will be unavailable Thursday though Mike Tomlin seemed optimistic. It’s the first time the Steelers have carried seven defensive lineman since 2012, though they did it in 2009 and 2011.
Lyons is a project, not that dissimilar from L.T. Walton, who is going to have to become much sounder against the run before he’s ready to have an impact. And that’s probably two years away. Hopefully he’s still in a Steelers’ uniform.