Steelers Player Preview: Doran Grant


All around, the Steelers have gotten high grades for their recent haul from the NFL Draft, but how do high grades in May translate to production in September?

I’ve already looked at the roles that Bud Dupree, Senquez Golson, and Sammie Coates can expect; here is a look at the immediate future of fourth round pick, Doran Grant.

Grant was a leader on the field and in the locker room for the national champion Buckeyes. He’ll feel right at home alongside fellow Ohio State alumni Cameron Heyward and Ryan Shazier.

Like Senquez Golson, Grant fills a need for this defense. He’ll provide youthful competition at the thin cornerback position.

Will Gay’s play in 2014 should solidify his role as the number one cornerback. Cortez Allen will be given every opportunity to win the number two job–he’s been paid a lot of money and still has a lot of talent, but this could be his last shot.

Antwon Blake outperformed his contract last year and was a good re-signing this offseason. Blake will get first crack at the number three spot, and his knowledge of the defense after a year with the team could make the difference.

Golson likely has a better chance to make waves than Grant does in OTAs and training camp. Golson’s ability to make splash plays is what made him an attractive prospect for the Steelers. If that kind of play translates to the practice field and preseason, then Golson could work his way up the chart.

While Grant might not have the takeaway potential or the quickness and awareness in coverage that Golson exhibited in college, he has his own set of skills.

Grant isn’t too much bigger than Golson, but he is an outstanding tackler. He could make an impact early on special teams and could play an interesting role if given an opportunity in the slot. Defensive backs coach, Carnell Lake, said that Grant’s tackling ability is good enough that he could be considered at the safety position.

It looks like Grant’s early value could come from his versatility and willingness to tackle. If he can back up multiple positions on the defense while also contributing on special teams, he could have a role in 2015.

Grant is an intelligent player that came from a good system at Ohio State. He had the tendency to make plays when they were needed. He might not have blazing speed or great quickness, but if he digests the playbook, he will do well for the Steelers.

Look for him to make some tackles on special teams and fight for some snaps in the defensive backfield.

He might be low on the depth chart now, but the Steelers have had questions at cornerback for several seasons now and anything can happen. In the 2014 offseason, we did not think that Brice McCain and Antwon Blake would be starting cornerbacks during the regular season. Anything can happen.

Next: Steelers' Success Lies with Roethlisberger

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