Who will the Pittsburgh Steelers take in the third round of the NFL Draft?
In our latest mock draft, I had the Steelers picking safety Karl Joseph out of West Virginia. Now that the secondary is beefed up with the first two picks in the draft, where will the Steelers go from there?
One area of need for the Steelers is the defensive line. Losing Steve McLendon was not a huge loss, but the team would benefit by adding another interior linemen. South Carolina’s Javon Hargrave would be a perfect add to an already impressive group.
Hargrave comes into this draft as one of the most dominate defensive linemen from the FCS level. In his 3 seasons, he racked up 35 sacks, an incredible number for a 3-technique. The last 2 season Hargrave earned FCS first team All-American honors and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan award in 2015. This high-level of play earned him an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game. Even against FBS linemen, he continued to dominate both practice and the game, causing his draft stock to soar.
So how does a 300 pound interior lineman get to the quarterback so frequently? Hargrave launches himself off the ball, using a combination of quickness and strength to blow past opposing linemen. He is a true one gap penetrator, collapsing the pocket even if he doesn’t reach the quarterback. The small school lineman also has one of the best motors of any defensive player in the draft.
The problem with Hargrave is size. Despite being over 300 pounds, he is only 6’1 with short arms and small hands, something you do not want in a defensive lineman. He may struggle at the beginning of his career while acclimating to the NFL style of play.
Drafting a guy from a small school like South Carolina State always has a high-risk, high-reward scenario attached to it. If the Steelers bring Hargrave along slow, he could be a force to be reckon with on the defensive line.