Even Seventh-Round Picks Are Exciting…

By Jess Costello

Just because there isn’t a lot of buzz around his name, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about him. It’s been just over a week since the Pittsburgh Steelers have added some talent to the roster for the season, and there are more reasons than one to be excited for seventh-round pick, Derwin Gray.

“Derwin Gray was the starting left tackle for Maryland,” General Manager Kevin Colbert said. “Derwin is a big, thick guy. He’s always been a tackle at the collegiate level. Coach can address it as well, but he’ll start off at tackle for us. His body type means that he can probably move inside and be a guard.”

This means that the Steelers saw Gray as a potentially-versatile player. His build and athleticism gives him the ability to be flexible at different positions for Pittsburgh. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive tackle was also a standout at Maryland. Gray was named the University of Maryland’s best offensive lineman in 2017.

Mike Tomlin felt the same way about Gray.

“He’s been a tackle but definitely has some guard physical characteristics that we would be interested in looking at, as well,” Tomlin said.

Gray also had his eye on being drafted by the Steelers, knowing they had faith in him made Pittsburgh a top candidate.

“It was always great with the Steelers,” Gray said. “They always believed in me. They trusted in me. They believed in my ability, that I’m going to get the job done. I’m excited about the opportunity to come to Pittsburgh and contribute early at whatever position I’m needed at.”

Gray’s versatility is also something that he’s recognized since he started playing at Maryland.

“I’ve played both left and right tackle,” he said. “I haven’t played inside (at guard) at Maryland before. But again, I’m willing to play either one as needed.”

Another good quality that the Steelers locker room could never turn down is the leadership role that Gray’s teammates have vowed that he possesses. According to his teammates, Gray carried himself like a ‘veteran leader’ in all aspects of the game.

According to Draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Gray stays engaged with rushers and can be a mauler in the run game. He is projecting as a backup swing tackle who will fight for starting reps.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments on seventh-round pick, Derwin Gray, Steelers fans!


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