In addition to reportedly signing center J.C. Hassenauer, the Pittsburgh Steelers are also expected to ink former AAF defensive back Jack Tocho to a contract, per a report from AL.com’s Matt Zenitz.
Tocho, like Hassenauer, was a member of the Birmingham Iron, an affiliate of the Steelers, so it’s no surprise that’s the team they’re plucking players from.
A 7th round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, he’s yet to appear in an NFL regular season game but has spent time on the Vikings and Washington Redskins’ practice squad. Tocho was essentially a four year starter out of NC State, recording 122 tackles and six interceptions for the Wolfpack.
Standing in at 6’0, 202 pounds, he ran a 4.54 40 at the 2017 NFL Combine, jumping 35 inches in the vert and 21 reps on the bench press. His NFL.com scouting report says he “has good field awareness from bail coverage and shows good pattern recognition.” They also note he’s an “average athlete with below average lateral agility” and it appears in the NFL, made the move from corner to safety. That’s likely where he’ll play for Pittsburgh.
For the Iron, he recorded 19 tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery. He’ll look to stick through training camp and serve as safety depth, perhaps getting the nod over Tyson Graham Jr, another safety reportedly brought in for a visit. Graham, however, was dealing with a neck injury and it’s possible the team didn’t deem him healthy enough to sign at this time.