Steelers should try to turn Kendrick Green into the next Patrick Ricard

Steelers, Kendrick Green
Steelers, Kendrick Green / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

From the time the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Kendrick Green with the 87th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, I questioned whether or not he was going to work out on the offensive line. Green was a bulldozer in space at Illinois and offered an impressive highlight reel of pancake blocks and finishing at the second level. However, his anchoring strength was a major concern.

Now we are entering year three of the former third-round pick, the Steelers coaching staff still hasn't figured out a role for Green. After beginning his career as the hopeful fill-in for Maurkice Pouncey, Green struggled often as a rookie. In year two, things got even worse when he made the transition to guard as he routinely failed to anchor in pass sets and was often rag-dolled.

In a last-ditch effort to salvage his career, the Steelers elected to move him back center in 2023, but there's a position that makes even more sense for a player like Kendrick Green.

Steelers should take a play from the Ravens playbook

If the Steelers have been following the Baltimore Ravens closely since 2017 (and they have), then they know there's one way a player like Kendrick Green could potentially be used to benefit the team: they could turn him into a fullback.

This seems like a ludicrous thought at first, but I want to give you a brief history of Patrick Ricard -- who is arguably the best fullback in the NFL. Richard was a former defensive tackle at Maine. At his 2017 Pro Day, Ricard measured in at 6'3'' and 300 pounds.

After going undrafted, Ricard signed with the Baltimore Ravens and spent time playing both offense and defense. Eventually, Ricard landed a spot on the 53-man roster as a fullback. Now, despite being listed at 311 pounds, Ricard has earned 4 straight Pro Bowl appearances thanks to his dominance as a lead blocker from the backfield for the Ravens.

The fact that we are currently seeing a player with a similar skill set and body type to Kendrick Green working out beautifully for a competitor means that this transition is possible. If you recall, Green was a former defensive tackle in high school who quickly transitioned to the offensive line at Illinois.

However, Green was actually a slightly better testing athlete than Ricard coming into the NFL, so if you are worried that he wouldn't have the speed and foot quickness for the position, just remember that Ricard tested significantly worse coming out of college.

For a team that wants to run the ball as much as possible, it theoretically makes sense to consider Green in such a role. Though fullbacks are a dying breed and they are still very unlikely to get third-round value out of him, it could help salvage his otherwise fallen NFL career.

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It seems highly unlikely that the Pittsburgh Steelers are willing to try experimenting with him like this. But I do think that Kendrick Green would have a chance to make it as an oversized fullback thanks to his foot quickness and ability with a head of steam in space. I would love to see them give Green the Patrick Ricard treatment.