NFL Draft

DL Coach Karl Dunbar Says Isaiahh Loudermilk Will Play Along Defensive Line, Not Outside Linebacker

Isaiahh Loudermilk

For a moment, it felt like there was a chance Wisconsin’s Isaiahh Loudermilk could move to EDGE, a la Anthony Chickillo, to provide the team depth on the outside. But after listening to his post-draft press conference, it seems like he’s destined to stay along the defensive line.

Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar confirmed Loudermilk will play along the defensive line. Not outside linebacker.

“Isaiahh is a defensive linemen,” he said via Zoom call. “When I say defensive line, he can play anything from 5 tech to a zero nose.”

Dunbar said he didn’t believe Loudermilk would be there in the sixth round. So the Steelers moved up to take him.

Speaking to reporters in a Zoom call after the Steelers traded up to take him, Loudermilk says he’s been adding weight since his Pro Day.

“Honestly wherever they feel like they want me when I get there, I’m comfortable playing any position,” Loudermilk said in his first press conference. “I feel like that’s what helped me at Wisconsin. I was able to move along the line. Inside, outside, five tech. We talked a little bit about getting my weight back up so I’m assuming D-line. But I’m ready for anything.”

Loudermilk was listed in the 290s, but for his Pro Day dropped down to 274 pounds in an attempt to feel healthier. His testing didn’t match the weight loss, running a 5.08 40 with a 28.5-inch vert, 4.55 short shuttle, and 7.52 three-cone. Definitely defensive line numbers, not outside linebacker.

Since his Pro Day, Loudermilk says he’s gotten his weight back up and he now sits in the 280s, though didn’t name his exact weight. He says he feels most comfortable in the 280-290 range, which profiles him as a classic 5 tech/4i in the Steelers’ system. This draft class didn’t have many guys who profiled that way, and perhaps that’s one reason why Pittsburgh felt compelled to trade up for him. They sent the Miami Dolphins a 2022 fourth round pick to take Loudermilk.

With Loudermilk confirmed to play defensive line, the Steelers still lack depth along the EDGE. The current backup to T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith is Cassius Marsh, exposed in last year’s Wild Card loss to the Cleveland Browns.

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