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With the 219th Pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers Select… Derwin Gray, OL Maryland

With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ final pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, coming in the seventh round, Derwin Gray out of Maryland has been selected at 219 overall.

Notes on Name from NFL.com:

Teams love big tackles with movement skills, but Gray offers a little more challenge for evaluators. His lack of bend causes deficiencies in sustaining blocks and in landing blocks on the move. However, in pass protection, he makes good usage of his size and his length and he might be able to hang in as a left tackle rather than the assumed push to the right side because of his size. He could go from solid to good as a starter if an offensive line coach can improve his consistency in the run game.
Strengths
  • Massive human with broad chest, long arms and good thickness through thighs
  • His size equals power
  • Takes defenders on a short ride when he centers the block and runs his feet
  • Able to match brute strength with brute strength at the point of attack
  • Battering ram power on down blocks to blow the run lane wide open
  • Surprisingly rapid slide quickness in his pass sets
  • Shows adequate ability to redirect his weight and engage inside counter rushers
  • Pass sets feature flat back, balanced feet and his chin tucked
  • Efficient punch timing and able to make opponents catch his full length
  • Heavy hands force edge rushers into an early regroup when he lands first
  • Uses length and power for recovery to bully rushers beyond the pocket
  • Active in re-setting hands into defender’s frame and cinching up the jersey to secure and end the pass rush.
Weaknesses
  • Production as run blocker not as consistent as scouts would like
  • Tightness in hips and knees prevents leveraged initial strikes and allows defenders to slide laterally away sustained contact
  • Can improve post-contact positioning to kick out and seal B-gap in run game
  • Initial lateral movement is sluggish and he could struggle with slants and reach blocks
  • Tall and lumbering in climb to second level
  • Effectiveness wanes when asked to move behind tight quarters
  • Opens outside hip and shoulder too quickly versus wide-9 looks, allowing for easier inside counters
  • Below-average awareness to recognize when he’s being “gamed” by twists and zone blitzes

That’ll do it for all of the Steelers’ picks this year! Let us know how you think the team did in the comment section below!

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