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Kendrick Green Steelers’ Non-Day 1 Rookie ‘Who Could Shine’

Kendrick Green snapping to Ben Roethlisberger

Though he remains unsigned at this point, Pittsburgh Steelers’ third-round draft pick Kendrick Green has plenty of high expectations entering the 2021 season.

His latest expectation from the national media is to become a rookie breakout player, according to CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso, who pegged the Illinois product as the Steelers’ rookie who could shine in 2021 as a non-Day 1 draft pick. 

Green edged out tight end Pat Freiermuth, linebacker Buddy Johnson, tackle Dan Moore Jr., defensive back Tre Norwood, defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk, and punter Pressley Harvin III for the distinction from Trapasso.

“I viewed Green as the best pure center in the 2021 class — he has the ideal body type for it, destroyed interior rushers with a Steelers-like combination of pop and quickness, and consistently won the angle/leverage battles inside,” Trapasso writes. “Pittsburgh is in a weird spot offensively. They have late-30s Ben Roethlisberger in the shotgun and a group of a young receivers. But the offensive line is undergoing a massive overhaul. Green will fill the vacancy left by Maurkice Pouncey’s retirement. He’ll be up for the challenge.”

Trapasso is the first one I’ve heard state that he viewed Green as the best pure center in the 2021 class, which is bit odd considering Green was a guard coming out of school and had a limited number of snaps on tape at Illinois, where he didn’t allow a single sack in 2020.

Regardless, it’s good to hear that a guy like Trapasso, who is so well-known in the NFL Draft industry, believes that Green will be up for the challenge of replacing Maurkice Pouncey and should play at a high level in 2021 and beyond.

While I still have some concerns with Green’s lack of height and length, he brings the necessary mentality to the position, looking to bully and bury defenders inside. Pairing that type of center mentality next to budding left guard Kevin Dotson should help reshape the Steelers’ identity up front, especially if right tackle Zach Banner is healthy and performs up to expectations coming back from his knee injury.

Green is the logical choice here for CBS Sports when it comes to the Steelers, especially when you consider he has the best chance of being a true “starter” for the Steelers aside from Harvin, and should be a key focus from the media in 2021, considering who he’s replacing and who he’s snapping to.

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