3 versatile Steelers still trying to find their niche tonight vs Buccaneers

  • Could Kendrick Green's versatility help him stick around?
  • A pair of 2022 draft picks will try to find their role on the team

Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp, Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

2. DeMarvin Leal, Defensive Line/Edge defender

We are entering Year 2 of DeMarvin Leal, and I'm not sure anyone is close to figuring out what he is at this point. I liked Leal a lot entering the 2022 NFL Draft, and I thought he deserved to be a second-round pick, but his fit with Pittsburgh always seemed like an odd match.

Leal has tweener size in a bad way. With 5.00 speed, he's too slow to play on the edge full-time, but he may not be stout enough to hold up as an every-down interior defender. Personally, I think his best role might come as a penetrating 3-technique where he can use his quickness and bend to knife into the backfield and get after the quarterback.

So far, we haven't seen a ton of this. The Steelers have bounced him all over the defensive line and we are anxious to see where he's ultimately going to land more often than not. It didn't help his progress as a rookie when he landed on IR with a knee injury.

Going into his second NFL season, the former third-round pick has a grand total of just 175 defensive snaps under his belt. In some ways, this almost feels like his redshirt rookie season, and I am very interested to see how he is used tonight against the Buccaneers.