With the 2019 NFL Draft in the books, we’re wrapping things up by offering player profiles on all the UDFAs signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The franchise’s history is strong with diamonds in the rough though in recent years, the classes have been weak. Hopefully this crop changes that trend.
#6 Dravon Askew-Henry /S West Virginia – 5’11” 196
- Flexibility where he lines up/coverages
- Solid bump and run when he gets a good jam
- Good timing and acceleration on blitz
- Willing run defender/good tackler
- Good effort to force run back inside from the edge
- At his best close to the LOS
- Special teams coverage experience
- Struggles in off Man coverage
- Doesn’t get off WR blocks quickly
- Ball skills were limited due several reasons
- Gets flat footed in Zone
- Good route runners will get him to commit his hips early
- Career – 208 tackles, 155 solo, 9.5 TFL, 6 INT for 80 yards, 1 TD, 10 PBU
- 2018 – 55 tackles, 38 solo, 5 TFL, 2 INT for 3 yards, 1 PBU
- Started all 51 games of his career; setting WVU career record for most starts
- Played free safety and “bandit” safety
- 2016 – Redshirted after sustaining a season-ending knee injury during preseason camp
- Majoring in multidisciplinary studies
- Cousin, by marriage, to Darrelle Revis
Dravon Askew-Henry (#6) is another of the Steelers UDFA signings and the Aliquippa native comes with a lot of starting experience from his days at West Virginia. He played the “bandit” safety in the Mountaineers 3-3-5 defense which allowed him to be used in different coverages and was primarily lined up like a slot corner.
Against the pass, he primarily lined up over the slot where he went from there varied from play to play along with the coverages. He was used in Zone coverage often, lined up 7 yards off the LOS, where he would attempt to jam the receiver coming through his area and then drop to a curl/flat area. He shows good awareness in Zone keeping his head on a swivel and shows solid quickness and adequate COD to close on WR’s. He also was used to drop to the deep outside Zone in Cover 3.
Vs Tennessee he’s the deep defender over the 3 WR’s he takes a short drop and uses his speed to close on the WR and keep him out of the end zone
Vs Oklahoma, he shows solid mental processing to read the WR screen and get in on the tackle
Vs Oklahoma he’s on the far hash and is dropping into Cover 3. Marquis Brown (#5) does a stutter and go that freezes Askew-Henry enough to get inside of him for the TD.
In Man Coverage, it was used in off Man coverage where he honestly didn’t look very comfortable. He has the speed (4.53 40 ) to run with WR’s but didn’t look comfortable being asked to back pedal and react to his opponent. He did performed better against TE’s in the middle of the field. He didn’t play a lot of Press coverage but looked more comfortable. When he got a jam on the WR he was able to redirect and stay with them in the short and intermediate passing areas. His ball skills were limited due to a number of factors including not being targeted often, located the ball on deeper routes and playing in Zone and off Man with space between him and the receiver.
At Texas Tech he’s bluffing a blitz on the right edge and wiill play a trial Man on the tight slot WR up the seam. There’s too much space between him and the WR allow the QB to get the ball in easily.
Vs Oklahoma he’s in Press against Brown again and doesn’t get a good jam allowing a release and is beat on the deep ball.
His ability to blitz was a strong point for him. He showed good timing and acceleration coming from the slot, apex, edge or middle of the field to get pressure on the QB. He kind of reminded me of Mike Hilton.
Vs Tennessee he’s over the tight slot and is blitzing. He takes on the RB and is able to force and early throw for the incompletion
Vs Texas Texas he’s split toward the slot and gets pressure with timing and speed coming through the B gap.
Against the run he is a solid run defender willing and able to do his part. When he’s on the edge or in the slot he uses his hand well to keep the defender off of him and stay to the outside to force the runner to the inside. He shows good aggressiveness to attack the ball carrier and shows good physical toughness in short yardage/red zone area to press from the edge and get in the backfield. He needs to improve on getting off blocks more quickly.
Vs Tennessee he’s on the end of the LOS to the left. He uses his hands well and keeps his eyes in the backfield to make a stop in the backfield
At Texas Tech he’s on the far hash. He reads the fly sweep and gets upfield, is able to handle the stiff arm and make the tackle for a loss.
Vs Oklahoma, late in a tight game he’s just off the LOS on the left edge. He plays the option well and gets the tackle for a loss forcing a fourth down.
Overall, Askew-Henry is best when he is close to the LOS. Whether it’s in coverage or playing the run his strengths lay in the close quarters, short area parts of the game. He’s undersized to play the box safety position so slot corner may be where he belongs. His coverage skills need to be honed but I can see him playing Press and in Zone. He shows a good ability to blitz and solid skills as a run defender. Get him in the hands of Tom Bradley and Teryl Austin and see what the can get out of him and practice squad could be and option.
Chance of making the team: 2%
Games Watched: Vs Tennessee, At Texas Tech, At Texas, Vs Oklahoma