The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up day-two of the 2016 NFL Draft by selecting South Carolina State defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in the third round and after the selection was made, defensive line coach John Mitchell had a lot to say about the team’s newest player.
“Javon Hargrave is a self-made man,” said Mitchell. “When he graduated, he didn’t have the grades to get into school. He sat out, worked real hard, worked his way in, got there and played very well. If you look at his stats, with anybody coming out this year, defensive lineman or defensive tackle, this guy’s pretty impressive and I think a lot of people passed on this guy because they were afraid of the competition that he played. The thing that I liked about him, every week that I watched him on tape, he didn’t play down to the talent that he played against, he played up to his ability. this kid got better, better, better every week.”
Despite all of the praise, Mitchell admitted that the 309-pound Hargrave needs to learn play with his hands better and that also he needs to become more consistent running to the football.
“That’s not going to be a problem,” said Mitchell. “I can teach him how to use his hands. In the room with Cam, Tuitt and Big Dan, I don’t think we’ll have a problem with him running to the ball.”
As we have written quite a bit this offseason, the Steelers needed to find another defensive tackle in the draft this year who can not only player nose tackle, but help out in the team’s nickel sub package as well. Mitchell believes Hargrave can do just that.
“He’s one of the few big men that I’ve seen that you can leave on the field on third down said Mitchell of Hargrave. “This guy had 37 sacks in his four years. I don’t care what the competition is, you get 34 sacks. He had 211 tackles, assists and solos. This guy is very productive.”