Steelers Draft Grade: Javon Hargrave


The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted South Carolina State’s Javon Hargrave in the third round of the NFL Draft.

With their first two picks in the NFL Draft, the Steelers upgraded the secondary with Miami corner Artie Burns and Maryland safety/corner Sean Davis.  In the third round, the Steelers continued to revamp their defense.  This time they took defensive lineman Javon Hargrave from South Carolina State.

Hargrave was dominating linemen on the FCS level.  During his 3 years with the Gamecocks, he tallied up 35 sacks, mainly as a 3-technique.   Hargrave earned FCS first team All-American honors in his last 2 seasons and Buck Buchanan award finalist in 2015.

After his senior season, he was invited to the East-West Shrine Game.  Matching up against Division 1 linemen in the all-star, Hargrave once again was a man amongst boys.  He earned praises from his coaches and scouts for his performances in the practices and the game itself.

At the point of attack, Hargrave launches himself off the ball, using a combination strength and quickness to blow up the offensive lineman. He is your classic one gap penetrator, always trying to collapsing the pocket.  Hargrave may of the best motor of any defensive linemen in this draft, never quitting on a play.

The problem with Hargrave is size.  He is over 300 pounds, but he is only 6’1and has short arms and small hands, which is usually a no-no for a defensive lineman.  Initially, he may  struggle while adjusting to the NFL.

Draft Grade: A

A few weeks back I mocked the Steelers taking Hargrave in the third round.  I loved the pick then I really love it now.  The addition of Hargrave will create a dynamic defensive line that already has two very good young guys in Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt.

Next: Steelers Draft Grade: Artie Burns

Look for Hargrave to get some time in the Steelers sub packages his rookie season.  The team will bring him along slow as they did with Tuitt in his rookie season.