Steelers Emphasize Interior OL Post-Draft

The Steelers signed some interesting talent after the draft, specifically along the interior of the offensive line. Here's the breakdown:

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed a dozen free agents after the draft and it appears the strength of the class is in the interior offensive linemen. Here are the bullet points for each (decimal points attached to measurements denotes eighths):

* Cameron Clear (6-5.3, 277, 4.94), TE, Texas A&M -- Big man with an 82-inch wingspan started six games in two seasons at A&M. He's not much of a receiver and will likely be moved to tackle. But his blocking hasn't drawn raves, either.

* Nigel Crawford-Kinney (6-4.4, 307, 5.25), DT, Saint Augustine’s -- Out of Washington D.C., Crawford played collegiately in Raleigh for Division II St. Augustine's University. A redshirt senior, he had 7.5 sacks the last two seasons.

* Dominique Davis (6-4.7, 277, 5.29), DE, Liberty -- Here's a quote from USA Today that helps define this young man: "Some people define the college experience as getting drunk and hooking up," said Dominique Davis, a senior defensive end on the football team. "If you come to Liberty and you're looking for that, you can find it. But if you're looking for great people to be around and get you to grow and be around and find the Lord, you'll find that as well. That's the predominant culture here, but it's all about how you view the experience." Liberty, of course, is the Div. 1-AA school in Lynchburg, Va. Davis was a highly respected team captain as a senior -- his first year as starter -- for a team that advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs for the first time in school history. Had 7.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss last season.

* Miles Dieffenbach (6-4.1, 303, 5.34), G, Penn State -- Left guard with 28 career starts, the team captain returned in November from an ACL injury in the spring. From Fox Chapel, Dieffenbach is a finesse zone-style interior player with the potential to add center to his repertoire.

* Reese Dismukes (6-2.2, 296, 5.31), G, Auburn -- Former Alabama schoolboy sensation won the Rimington Trophy as nation's best center last season. Was a four-year starter, two-year captain at Auburn and is known as tough, nasty and "holds teammates accountable," according to Nolan Nawrocki (which, Nawrocki theorizes, makes Dismukes a potential risk in a pro locker room). On downside, Dismukes has short arms and had the smallest hands of offensive linemen at the Combine and doesn't have much of a punch or explosiveness.

* B.J. Finney (6-3.6, 318, 5.31), C, Kansas State -- State football and wrestling champ out of Kansas, former walk-on started 51 games at center and one at left guard in four years under legendary coach Bruce Snyder. Big 12's Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year. A three-time captain who's even seen time at left tackle, Finney is a stout, vocal leader but lacks lateral agility and mobility, is short-armed, and benched only 20 reps at the Combine.

* Tyler Murphy (6-1.4, 213, 4.6), WR, Boston College -- Broke Doug Flutie's school and Woody Dantzler's ACC records for quarterback rushing. But obviously had trouble with passing accuracy and will be tried as a pass-catcher. Here's my previous story.

* Bradon Prate (6-3.0, 288, 4.87), DE, Illinois State -- The defensive star in the 29-27 loss to North Dakota State in last season's FCS National Championship Game. Prate, a fifth-year senior, had eight solo tackles -- including a sack -- as a defensive tackle. Two-year college starter had 11.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss the last two seasons.

* Collin Rahrig (6-2.1, 293), G, Indiana -- Football and rugby star as Indiana prep, walked on at IU and eventually started 36 games: 19 center, 12 left guard, five right guard. Honorable mention All-Big 10 as a senior captain after taking part in a team-high 808 snaps (allowed only two sacks) and helping break school offensive record with 3,163 rushing yards. Three-time IU Player of Week in last two years.

* Eli Rogers (5-10.0, 187, 4.57), WR, Louisville -- Miami Northwestern High teammate of former Louisville teammate and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Rogers caught 176 passes the last four years (11.5 average) and returned 29 punts at an 8.6 clip. Pro day numbers are excellent: 19 reps, 34 1/2 vertical, 6.71 3-cone, 4.1 short shuttle.

* Ross Scheuerman (5-11.7, 204, 4.53), RB, Lafayette (Pa.) -- New Jersey prep was a jack of all trades in the Patriot Conference. Last game broke conference record by rushing for 304 yards in 150th meeting with Lehigh at Yankee Stadium. Finished career with 3,504 yards (5.0 avg.) and 50 touchdowns rushing, 129 receptions (9.3 ypc), and 72 kickoff returns at 23.5 per. He's a smart, competitive team player who has natural receiving skills and would help on special teams.

* Kevin Whimpey (6-5.2, 306, 5.32), OT, Utah State -- If Mike Tomlin couldn't abide Guy Whimper, and changed his nameplate to Abdullah, what will he change this guy's name to? But this big man is far from wimpy. A 3-year starter at left tackle after transferring from Idaho State, Whimpey was a first-team All-Mountain West player last year and did 39 bench reps at his pro day.


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