NFL Draft

Study: What The Steelers Look For In Drafting Interior Offensive Linemen

We are rolling right along with our Pittsburgh Steelers “What they look for” draft thresholds, 2021 edition. Yesterday, we identified the running backs who fit best with their draft trends in the Mike Tomlin era (2007-present). Today, we’ll stick with the offense, but move up front to examine the interior offensive line: Guards and centers.

Which players fit best with the team’s draft trends?

First, here are all the iOL drafted by the team since 2007.

2020: Kevin Dotson

Height: 6040
Weight: 310
Arm Length: 33″
Hand Size: N/A
40 Time: 4.80
Ten Split: 1.78
Bench: 33
Vert: N/A
Broad: N/A
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three Cone: N/A

2019: Derwin Gray

Height: 6044
Weight: 320
Arm Length: 34 3/8″
Hand Size: 9 5/8″
40 Time: 5.26
Ten Split: 1.89
Bench: 26
Vert: N/A
Broad: 7’6″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three Cone: N/A

2014: Wesley Johnson

Height: 6053
Weight: 298
Arm Length: 32 1/2″
Hand Size: 10 1/8″
40 Time: 5.11
Ten Split: 1.73
Bench: 26
Vert: 29″
Broad: 9’3″
Short Shuttle: 4.64
Three Cone: 7.40

2012: David DeCastro

Height: 6047
Weight: 316
Arm Length: 32 3/4″
Hand Size: 10″
40 Time: 5.43
Ten Split: 1.84
Bench: 34
Vert: 29.5″
Broad: 8’2″
Short Shuttle: 4.56
Three Cone: 7.30

2011: Keith Williams

Height: 6042
Weight: 318
Arm Length: 32 3/8″
Hand Size: 10″
40 Time: 5.36
Ten Split: 1.89
Bench: 23
Vert: 24.5″
Broad: 7’9″
Short Shuttle: 5.03
Three Cone: 8.42

2010: Maurkice Pouncey

Height: 6044
Weight: 304
Arm Length: 32 1/2″
Hand Size: 10″
40 Time: 5.29
Ten Split: 1.83
Bench: 25
Vert: 27″
Broad: 7’11”
Short Shuttle: 4.92
Three Cone: 7.74

2010: Chris Scott

Height: 6045
Weight: 319
Arm Length: 34 1/8″
Hand Size: 10 3/8″
40 Time: 5.55
Ten Split: 1.93
Bench: 19
Vert: 22.5″
Broad: 7’6″
Short Shuttle: 5.03
Three Cone: 8.24

2009: A.Q. Shipley

Height: 6011
Weight: 304
Arm Length: 29 3/4″
Hand Size: 8 1/2″
40 Time: 5.26
Ten Split: 1.85
Bench: 33
Vert: 31″
Broad: 8’4″
Short Shuttle: 4.40
Three Cone: 7.46

2007: Cameron Stephenson

Height: 6032
Weight: 306
Arm Length: N/A
Hand Size: N/A
40 Time: 5.45
Ten Split: 1.88
Bench: 34
Vert: 28.5″
Broad: 8’5″
Short Shuttle: 4.81
Three Cone: 7.72

Drafting Kevin Dotson didn’t change any of our draft criteria. Dotson is a weird case. He wasn’t invited to the Combine last year and had his school’s official Pro Day cancelled due to COVID. He had a private workout, so I’m using the numbers from that along with his arm length from the East/West Shrine Game he played in.

Anyway, here is our criteria.

Height: 6’4″+ (7 of 9)
Weight: 300+ (8 of 9)
Arm Length: 32″+ (7 of 8)
Hand Size: 9 1/2″ (6 of 7)
40 Time: 5.45 (8 of 9)
Ten Split: 1.90 (8 of 9)
Bench: 25 (7 of 9)
Vert: 24″ (6 of 7)
Broad: 7’5” (8 of 8)
SS: 5.05 (7 of 7)
3C: 8.25 (6 of 7)

Using Dave Bryan’s list of players invited to the Combine (even if it wasn’t actually held), here are the five players who check every single box. Included in this are two players who played tackle in school but could move inside at the next level.

Name/School Height Weight Arm Length Hand Size 40 Time 10 Split Bench Vert Broad SS 3 Cone
Robert Hainsey/ND 6044 306 32 1/8″ 9 3/4″ 5.24 1.80 32 27.5″ 8’8” 4.64 7.53
Creed Humphrey/OU 6042 302 32 1/2″ 9 5/8″ 5.11 1.71 29 33″ 9’4” 4.49 7.50
Rashawn Slater/NU 6042 304 33″ 10 1/2″ 4.91 1.68 33 33″ 9’4” 4.45 7.48
Trey Smith/UT 6054 321 33 3/4″ 10″ 5.11 1.75 32 31″ 9’4” 4.82 7.43
Alijah Vera-Tucker/USC 6044 308 32 1/8″ 9 5/8″ 5.13 1.77 32 32″ 8’10” 4.63 7.70

 

Some interesting names on this list. Humphrey is arguably the draft’s top center. If he slips to #55, he could very much be in play. He’d be a stronger candidate for #24 if Tomlin/Colbert were at his Pro Day, but I can’t discount him entirely for that top spot.

Hainsey is a versatile offensive linemen who could make the full-time switch to center in the NFL. Local, Pittsburgh native. Trey Smith could draw some baseline comparisons to Ramon Foster, while Slater and Vera-Tucker are college tackles who could kick inside at the next level — Vera-Tucker to guard, Slater to center.

Here are the players who missed in just one category:

Larry Borom/Missouri: Bench (21)
Kendrick Green/Illinois: Height (6017)
Jared Hocker/Texas A&M: Bench (DNP)
Robert Jones/Middle Tennessee St.: Bench (DNP)
Alex Leatherwood/Alabama: Bench (DNP)
David Moore/Grambling: Height (6015)
Jimmy Morrissey/Pitt: Height (6032)
D’Ante Smith/East Carolina: Bench (24)

Of this list, Green feels like the most likely name to become a Steeler.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!