Given that a lot of people were eager for the Pittsburgh Steelers to draft a defensive lineman, I’m sure when DeMarvin Lyle’s name appeared next to the team’s logo in the third round last month, most people’s first The response was applause.
But there may be some confusion when they see his size, read his scouting reports and watch his tapes. Leal of Texas A&M, who’s just under 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds, sprints in such a way that Steelers fans can say, “If he loses 15 pounds, he’s Bud Dupri. 6’4″, 269 lbs).”
Or, especially given the Steelers’ need for a young man with depth on the defensive end, a more realistic projection is, “If he adds 10-20 pounds, he could be the next Stephen Tuit (6’6″, 303 lbs) or Cameron Hayward (6’5″, 295 lbs).”
In fact, if you read Pro Football Net Qualifier Scouting Report On Leal, he certainly sounded like a lighter version of the Steelers’ top two stalwarts.
“Lille has the size to defend tackle in the paint, but is explosive on the defensive end. He has extraordinary athleticism, his size, impressive change of direction, and enough speed to be a perimeter rusher.
Leal’s athleticism means he can line up on the outside effortlessly, but can work as a pass rusher on the inside. His lateral agility was one of the most impressive elements of his NFL draft scouting report.
In addition to his size and athleticism, Leal has extraordinary arm length. This allows him to wreak havoc in a number of ways. Leal used his length at the offensive point to cause problems on the ground. In addition, he also uses his arms to stand up to break the ball in the air. ”
With the Steelers lining up in subcontracts as much as they do now, those are encouraging attributes. But does Leal have what it takes to be the main force against running? This is where Tyson Alualu has come off the bench with an injury in the last 15 games with the team out all season.
“I can absolutely stop running. I feel like I’ve proven that with my movie,” Lyle said Saturday at the Steelers’ rookie minicamp. “And then just doing more work on my passing sprint. Trying to fit more into my bag (skills), more into my two-handed technique.”
Leal says he has gained about 15 pounds. So, if that’s the case, based on his 283 pounds at the combine, he’s only 300 pounds short.
Leal said he was “just experimenting” with the added weight and just “touching the water” to see if he could maintain athleticism with the added weight.
But coach Mike Tomlin wants to stress that the organization has not given Lyle any orders to put on weight.
“He’s guessing whether he thinks we want him to gain weight,” Tomlin said. “We’re just here to learn about him and his body and how it works. Usually in draft prep, people hear from NFL guys and they try to do what they think we want to do. The reality is, We are trying to understand the athlete, the lineage of the athlete and how his body works, what is his best condition, etc. So, it’s too early to talk with any of these guys about the weights needed etc. Wait, because we’re just beginning to understand them.”
Lear moved up and down the defensive line during the College Station, apparently with the same job description as the Steelers defensive linebacker.
“Stop running. Catch the QB. Just disruptive. Just make sure I can help my other teammates open up in different pass-rush situations,” Lyle said. “Keep it low. Hands. Get off the ball.”
That’s exactly what Tuit and Hayward did when they were at their best, just as Brett Kessel and Aaron Smith did before them.
As the Steelers hope Leal will do in the future.
If he’s physically mature and strong enough to help at the moment, that’s going to be a big problem for Tomlin and the defensive coaching staff to figure out, as the Steelers have three games — against two run-able division opponents (Cincinnati) Bengals and Cleveland Browns) ball — within the first 12 days of the 2022 season.
Tim Benz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or at Twitter. All tweets can be retweeted. All emails are subject to posting unless otherwise stated.