NFL Draft

2020 UDFA Player Profiles: Baylor OLB James Lockhart

With the 2020 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. Hopefully the can find some who may have been overlooked in this year’s group.

#9 James Lockhart/EDGE Baylor – 6015 263

The Good

  • High motor, high effort on every play
  • Good quickness at the snap
  • Shows a variety of pass rush moves and pressures with quickness and power
  • Used a nice dip and rip move to the inside and outside
  • Hand placement and strength to set the edge vs run
  • Strong tackler and takes on pull/lead blocks to constrict lanes

The Bad

  • Upper body is bit stiff
  • Must improve consistency of counters when in initial pass rush move doesn’t work
  • Wasn’t used in coverage
  • Dips his head tacking on blocks losing sight of the ball
  • Must improve on disengaging on blocks
  • Needs to stay square on the backside of run plays


  • Career – 54 tackles, 30 solo, 12.5 TFL, 7 sacks, 2 PD, 1 FR, 1 FF
  • 2019 – 31 tackles, 17 solo, 8.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FR, 1 FF
  • Played 43 games, 16 starts
  • Spent first two years at Texas A&M before transfer and red shirt season
  • Earned bachelor’s degree in May 2019; pursuing master’s degree in sport pedagogy

Tape Breakdown

He was part of a defense that set school records for sacks and played along draft picks Bravvion Roy (6th round, Carolina) and James Lynch (4th round, Minnesota). He played defensive end in a 3 man front with experience on the left and right side. He has a rocked up physique and has lined up from the 3 tech out to the wide 9.

Against the pass, he has good quickness at the snap and gets up field quickly playing primarily with his hand in the dirt. He has a high motor and plays with good aggressiveness on every snap.  He a show a variety of moves and had success using a speed to bull rush, quickness to dip inside of tackles and showed a dip and rip under the tackle from the outside. He shows good quickness and acceleration as the looping to the inside on stunts. His numbers may have been limited by facing two blockers often when the Bears only rushed three however he was able to stress the offensive alignment enough that he was held a few times a game that went uncalled.

Vs Iowa State, he’s on the left side and will dip and rip to get a forced fumble and close out the win for Baylor.


Vs Texas, on the right side he’ll use a speed to bull rush and take the left tackle right back to the QB. I saw this type of play at least 3 other times and if he can improve disengaging this is probably a sack.


Vs Oklahoma, as the DE on the right he shows an impressive rush. He’ll head fake to the inside before rushing outside using a chop (that missed) followed by a dip and rip under the left tackle with solid bend around the edge for the sack.


Against the run, he has good hand placement and play strength to reset the line of scrimmage on runs his way. He shows good pursuit on runs away and when chasing downfield.  He’s a good tackler limiting yards after contact. Solid taking on pull or lead blocks to clog the lane and shows good effort to fight through double team blocks.

Vs Texas, on the right side he’ll use hand placement and leverage to move the tackle back 4 yards before disengaging to the inside for the tackle


Vs Oklahoma, he’s on the right side and will swim inside of the left tackle getting depth into the backfield before leaning back inside to make the TFL.


Vs Georgia, from the right side showing the agility on the stunt to slide laterally inside that puts him right in the hole to make the tackle.


He is a bit stiff up top and doesn’t seem very flexible above the waist. He needs to improve his counters when rushing the QB often getting stuck on blocks.  In 6 games, I saw him drop into coverage once so that is a skill that will need to be learned. When facing a RB trying to block him I’d like to see him go through him rather that around him. He dips his head tacking on blocks and will lose sight of the ball through the mesh point. When taking on blocks against the run he needs to stay square and not get turned toward the sideline. He lacks the urgency and use of hands to get off blocks consistently to get in on run plays. Lacks the anchor vs double team blocks but that shouldn’t happen as much as an OLB.

Vs Texas, on the right side he needs to stay square on the backside here. He gets turned toward the sideline, misses reading the mesh point and chases the RB before realizing the QB has the ball running behind him. You have to love him not giving up and the chase downfield to get in on the tackle.


Lockhart played primarily in 3 and 4 point stance but his reps on his feet increased as the year went on and he looked capable of doing that going forward.  He showed positives as both a pass rusher and run defender. There were a couple pass rush moves that really got my attention and showed the potential he does possess. The strength this there to set the edge and with improved technique could become a strength. Lockhart’s high motor and effort could fit on special teams as well.  He needs to work on countering during his pass rush, not losing sight of the ball and must improve getting off block.

At outside linebacker the Steelers will likely have Ola Adeniyi, Tuzar Skipper, Dewayne Hendrix and Lockhart fighting for one roster spot and one practice squad spot. He is intriguing enough to keep as a developmental OLB and I wouldn’t be surprised if he earned a practice squad spot but the circumstance of this offseason may work against him.

Chance to make the team: 3%

Games Watched:  2019 – Vs Iowa State, At Oklahoma State, Vs West Virginia, Vs Texas, Vs Oklahoma, Vs Georgia.

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