NFL Draft

Study: What Pittsburgh Looks For In Outside Linebackers

We are back to do one of my favorite, and hopefully useful, studies during the season. Last year, we began to look at the type of prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers gravitated towards in each draft under the Tomlin/Colbert umbrella. We’ll reevaluate this year, tweak the numbers, and do the same. Like last year, we’ll list all the outside linebackers and see who matches up.

Couple of caveats you need to know before we start this process. Any timed event, like the 40 or short shuttle, I take from the Combine only. Pro Day times can, and often are, better, but where they come from is unreliable and they’re all hand-timed, meaning you know every team has a different number. At the Combine, things are a little more reliable, even if teams do hand-time too. I will use the better Pro Day number for untimed events, like bench press or vertical. That’s the process we began with last year and we’ll stick with it.

Our cutoff for this year will be 75% of the picks have to meet the criteria. That creates the Steelers’ threshold. So if 7 of 10 players meet “X,” we can’t use it. If 8 of 10 do, that can be our threshold. And I do leave some breathing room, normally. If the threshold for the broad is 10’1, I’ll round it down to 10 foot even. Just to make things a little less rigid. You might disagree but I just want to be transparent in how we’re going about this.

2017: T.J. Watt

Height: 6’4/2
Weight: 252
Arm Length: 33 1/8
Hand Size: 11
40 Time: 4.69
Ten Split: 1.59
Vert: 37
Broad: 10’7″
Short Shuttle: 4.78
Three Cone: 6.79
Bench: 21

Keion Adams

Height: 6’2
Weight: 247
Arm Length: 33 1/4
Hand Size: 9 1/2
40 Time: N/A
Ten Split: N/A
Vert: 36
Broad: 10’4″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three Cone: N/A
Bench: 27

2016: Travis Feeney

Height: 6’3/5
Weight: 230
Arm Length: 33 3/8
Hand Size: 9 1/2
40 Time: 4.50
Ten Split: 1.58
Vertical: 40
Broad: 10’1’0″
Short Shuttle: 4.42
Three Cone: 7.20
Bench: N/A

2015: Bud Dupree

Height: 6’4
Weight: 260
Arm Length: 32 5/8
Hand Size:9 3/4
40 Time: 4.56
Ten Split: 1.60
Vertical: 42
Broad: 11’6″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three Cone: N/A

2013: Jarvis Jones

Height: 6’2/3
Weight: 245
Arm Length: 33
Hand Size: 9 1/8
40 Time: N/A
Ten Split: N/A
Vertical: 30.5
Broad: 9’3″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three Cone: N/A
Bench: 20

2011: Chris Carter

Height: 6’1
Weight: 248
Arm Length: 33
Hand Size: 9 3/8
40 Time: 4.67
Ten Split: 1.64
Vertical: 36
Broad: 9’6″
Short Shuttle: 4.34
Three Cone: 6.98
Bench: 27

2010: Jason Worilds

Height: 6’1/2
Weight: 254
Arm Length: 32 7/8
Hand Size: 9 1/4
40 Time: 4.72
Ten Split: 1.62
Vertical: 38
Broad: 9’6″
Short Shuttle: 4.29
Three Cone: 6.95
Bench: 24

Thaddeus Gibson

Height: 6’2
Weight: 243
Arm Length: 33
Hand Size: 8 3/4
40 Time: 4.79
Ten Split: 1.69
Vertical: 32
Broad: 9’7″
Short Shuttle: 4.27
Three Cone: 6.84
Bench: 32

2008: Bruce Davis

Height: 6’3
Weight: 245
Arm Length: 34 1/4
Hand Size: 10 1/8
40 Time: 4.50
Ten Split: 1.50
Vertical: 33.5
Broad: 10’3″
Short Shuttle: 4.03
Three Cone: 6.70
Bench: 19

2007: LaMarr Woodley

Height: 6’1/4
Weight: 266
Arm Length: 32 7/8
Hand Size: 9 7/8
40 Time: N/A
Ten Split: N/A
Vertical: 38.5
Broad: 9’9″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three Cone: N/A
Bench: 29

The team drafted T.J. Watt and Keion Adams last season. The only change to our criteria is going from a 4.35 to 4.5 short shuttle.

6’1+ (10 of 10)
240+ (9 of 10)
Arm Length: 32 1/2 (10 of 10)
4.75 better (6 of 7)
1.65 ten split (6 of 7)
33+ inch vert (8 of 10)
9’5″+ broad (10 of 11 )
Sub 4.5 short shuttle (5 of 6)
Sub 7 three cone (5 of 6)
Bench: 20+ (7 of 8)

Unlike last year, there was one player who hit every bar.

Name Height Weight Arm Length 40 Time 10 Split Vertical Broad Jump Short Shuttle Three Cone Bench
Harold Landry 6’2/3 252 32 7/8 4.64 1.59 36 9’11” 4.19 6.88 24

Man, it’d be nice for Landry to fall in the first round. I just don’t see it happening.

Here are the others who were one category away. There were several.

Bradley Chubb/NC State: Three Cone (7.37)
Marcus Davenport/UTSA: Three Cone (7.2)
Kyle Fitts/Utah: Vert (32.5)
Sam Hubbard/Ohio State: 40/10 Split (DNP)
Trevon Young/Louisville: 40 (4.78)
Leon Jacobs/Wisconsin: Three Cone (7.14)

Fitts was a half-inch in the vert away and someone I’d love to see come into Pittsburgh in the mid-rounds.

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