2023 NFL Draft

Senior Bowl Interview: TCU OL Steve Avila Provides Interior Versatility The Steelers Need

The Pittsburgh Steelers have themselves a dilemma as it pertains to the future of their offensive line. Along with the offense as a whole, the line play improved over the course of the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s in an ideal state.

Mason Cole was a pleasant surprise in the 2022 season, and at just 26 years old with two years left on his contract, he may or may not be the future of the center position for this team. At left guard, Kevin Dotson has largely been a frustrating player with up-and-down play. An upgrade there, or at least some better depth, could be just what the doctor ordered to take the line to the next level.

Enter TCU OL Steve Avila.

I got to interview him at the Senior Bowl media breakfast and he made sure to get the point across that he can play either center or guard.

“One of my goals for the Senior Bowl was to show that I am versatile in terms of position and the types of schemes I play in,” Avila said. “A lot of people view me as an inside zone blocker, which I am, but I feel like I am more than that. I can do more.”

He also mentioned that different teams have preferred him at guard while others prefer him at center. I asked him which position he prefers.

“There is some recency bias because I came off a whole year playing left guard and had success there, but hopping back into center, its like riding a bike, you never forget how to do that.”

So he provides positional versatility, but does it matter to him right or left guard?

“No not really,” he said. “Honestly I probably feel more comfortable at right guard”.

He brings that positional flexibility which, at the least, provides better depth at both center and guard, and at best gives you a piece to build around for the future.

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