How does Darius Leonard fit the Pittsburgh Steelers?
One thing all the linebackers profiled this far have in common is they play the position that is the most pressing need for Pittsburgh in the offseason. Pittsburgh needs to find better linebacker depth on top of finding a starting worthy replacement for Shazier.
Leonard has the sideline to sideline speed that allows him to drop into coverage. That speed also allows him to reach and fill run gaps quickly.
His physicality needs to improve along with his size. His frame needs more bulk and he needs to develop a better intensity when attacking the ball carrier.
Leonard has something in common with Shazier. Shazier was also a smaller linebacker entering the league and Pittsburgh believed in him as their linebacker of the future.
Pittsburgh could look to a guy like Leonard in the third or fourth round and see what he has to give. If he can convince the Steelers he can handle the NFL, provided they use a visit on him, he would fit well next to Vince Williams in the Steelers defense.
Leonard will need a great pro day and has to ace his interviews and workouts to help improve his stock. If a team takes this guy, they are getting a versatile linebacker with speed and instincts to help out on defense in many ways.