Is it time to start worrying about Steelers center Kendrick Green?

Kendrick Green #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Kendrick Green #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Kendrick Green has one major flaw I’ve noticed in his game this summer. Is it too early for Pittsburgh Steelers fans to hit the panic button? 

Mike Tomlin wouldn’t directly come out and say that rookie third-round draft choice Kendrick Green was going to be the starting center for the Steelers in 2021, but we can certainly imply that based on everything we have seen.

Since the start of training camp at Heinz Field, Green has been taking first team reps over veterans J.C. Hassenauer and B.J. Finney. Unfortunately, the results have been less than desirable.

Green is a phenomenal athlete and can already do some things very well. When pulling and run blocking in space, he’s going to be fun to watch this year as he’s remarkably quick off the ball and can get to the second level in a hurry. However, my biggest worry with Green comes with his ability to anchor in pass protection.

This is a knock I had against Kendrick Green coming out of Illinois. While much of his game film looked spectacular, he often struggled with bigger, more powerful defensive lineman who could bull-rush him to collapse the pocket.

At 6’1 7’8” and 305 pounds, Green’s height ranks in just the 5th percentile among all NFL centers, according to, and his arm length and wingspan are well below average. While I won’t say that his lack of size is directly tied to his performance in pass protection, it was a concern I had coming out.

Should Steelers fans be worried about Green?

From everything I’ve seen, I really believe that Green would benefit from sitting his rookie season and getting a year of NFL strength training under his belt before becoming the starter. However, with quality options extremely limited, the Steelers likely believe he’s the best choice on their team to start at center.

So far in practice, Kendrick Green has been humiliated by Tyson Alualu in one-on-one drills. While these drills favor the defensive player, no other offensive lineman has been walked back into the pocket so easily this offseason.

In addition, Green carried a few shakey training camp performances onto the preseason stage. Green was up and down against the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, but the overall results of his tape weren’t pretty. Against the Eagles, Green was walked back into the quarterback with ease on a few plays – something that he can’t afford to let happen in the regular season.

Related Story. 4 Steelers that are running out of time to make the final roster. light

Kendrick Green has elite athletic traits for the center position – a position that he is still very new to. I don’t think Steelers fans need to hit the panic button yet, but we would love to see some improvement over his final two preseason games before being thrust into action as Pittsburgh’s starting center this year.