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Thread: Round 3: Steelers select DE DeMarvin Leal

  1. #71
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    The Pittsburgh Steelers got a great value pick in DeMarvin Leal, or did they?

    DeMarvin Leal looks like the kind of player who should have been selected much higher than he was in the 2022 NFL Draft. Why wasn’t he, though? There are many theories, but it’s still really hard for people to say.

    May 6, 2022

    As is usually the case with this portion of the draft, I had no idea who DeMarvin Leal, a defensive lineman from Texas A&M, was when the Steelers selected him in the third round (84th, overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday night.

    But maybe I should have. According to the experts and big boards, Leal was a much better prospect than the 84th best. In fact, I’m currently looking at a notebook where I wrote down Drafttek’s big board rankings from about a month ago, and Leal was 26th. Did I just write that down wrong? I ask this question because when I checked it just now, Leal was the 57th overall prospect on that site.

    I don’t know what to believe about Leal, other than nobody else seems to either.

    Leal certainly had an accomplished career with the Aggies and was voted First-Team All-American as well as First-Team SEC in 2021.

    Leal finished with 133 tackles and 13 sacks in three seasons and appears to have a good motor. He also went up against the best competition week-in and week-out in the toughest conference in college football.

    So what’s the deal with Leal? Why didn’t he get drafted much higher? Why aren’t the fans celebrating this awesome steal the Steelers got in the third round?

    Maybe because Leal is one of those “tweeners,” a guy who is too small to play in the interior of the line and too slow to play defensive end.

    Case-in-point, according to Leal’s NFL.com Draft profile, he posted a 5.0 for his 40 time at the Combine. As for that competition, Leal evidently struggled while going up against two of the top tackles in the SEC as well as the 2022 NFL Draft—Evan Neal and Charles Cross.

    Does this mean Leal was a bad pick? No, I don’t like to say such things about any of these players when they first turn pro, but if Leal’s lack of explosiveness was what helped to drop him into the third round—it would be much easier to find a “perfect fit” if one’s mearusables jumped off the charts—his ceiling might just be that of a decent and solid starter.

    Is that enough? It remains to be seen. Can Leal help with the run if he’s considered to be too small to play in the interior? Can he terrorize the passer if he’s too slow to consistently win matchups at the line of scrimmage? If that’s a “no” on both counts, well, maybe Leal is just going to be okay.

    But okay isn’t horrible, and it’s not set in stone just yet. That’s the great thing about being a rookie. You get to change a lot of minds and write your own story despite what your pre-draft profile might say.

    Pros: DeMarvin Leal addresses a need along the defensive line.

    Cons: He might lack the size and/or explosiveness to fill that need.

    Pros: The Steelers are going to give Leal a good chance to fill it anyway.

    https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.co...nfl-draft-news

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    The Pittsburgh Steelers got a great value pick in DeMarvin Leal, or did they?

    DeMarvin Leal looks like the kind of player who should have been selected much higher than he was in the 2022 NFL Draft. Why wasn’t he, though? There are many theories, but it’s still really hard for people to say.

    May 6, 2022

    As is usually the case with this portion of the draft, I had no idea who DeMarvin Leal, a defensive lineman from Texas A&M, was when the Steelers selected him in the third round (84th, overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday night.

    But maybe I should have. According to the experts and big boards, Leal was a much better prospect than the 84th best. In fact, I’m currently looking at a notebook where I wrote down Drafttek’s big board rankings from about a month ago, and Leal was 26th. Did I just write that down wrong? I ask this question because when I checked it just now, Leal was the 57th overall prospect on that site.

    I don’t know what to believe about Leal, other than nobody else seems to either.

    Leal certainly had an accomplished career with the Aggies and was voted First-Team All-American as well as First-Team SEC in 2021.

    Leal finished with 133 tackles and 13 sacks in three seasons and appears to have a good motor. He also went up against the best competition week-in and week-out in the toughest conference in college football.

    So what’s the deal with Leal? Why didn’t he get drafted much higher? Why aren’t the fans celebrating this awesome steal the Steelers got in the third round?

    Maybe because Leal is one of those “tweeners,” a guy who is too small to play in the interior of the line and too slow to play defensive end.

    Case-in-point, according to Leal’s NFL.com Draft profile, he posted a 5.0 for his 40 time at the Combine. As for that competition, Leal evidently struggled while going up against two of the top tackles in the SEC as well as the 2022 NFL Draft—Evan Neal and Charles Cross.

    Does this mean Leal was a bad pick? No, I don’t like to say such things about any of these players when they first turn pro, but if Leal’s lack of explosiveness was what helped to drop him into the third round—it would be much easier to find a “perfect fit” if one’s mearusables jumped off the charts—his ceiling might just be that of a decent and solid starter.

    Is that enough? It remains to be seen. Can Leal help with the run if he’s considered to be too small to play in the interior? Can he terrorize the passer if he’s too slow to consistently win matchups at the line of scrimmage? If that’s a “no” on both counts, well, maybe Leal is just going to be okay.

    But okay isn’t horrible, and it’s not set in stone just yet. That’s the great thing about being a rookie. You get to change a lot of minds and write your own story despite what your pre-draft profile might say.

    Pros: DeMarvin Leal addresses a need along the defensive line.

    Cons: He might lack the size and/or explosiveness to fill that need.

    Pros: The Steelers are going to give Leal a good chance to fill it anyway.

    https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.co...nfl-draft-news
    I read: very good fit, very good find... Cam was 4.95, Tuitt was 4.92, so a 5.0 is right in line with the 34 DE times. I think he just needs a season to add some strength. As sold on Pickett as feltdizz is, that is me and Leal... I think he's a 3rd round gem that'll be on this team for a decade (barring injuries and contract issues)
    2013 MNF Executive Champion!

    2022 Final Mock
    1 - Malik Wills, QB, Liberty Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
    2 - Travis Jones, NT, Uconn George Pickens, WR, UGa
    3 - Jalen Tolbert, WR, USA DeMarvin Leal, DE, TAMU


  3. #73
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    Leal is either a horrible wasted pick or a steal in the third, depending on who you listen to. It is almost as if the draft is a crap shoot and picks can either pay off or fail. Who would have guessed?

  4. #74
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    Nice article about Leal:

    https://www.steelers.com/news/leal-i...-in-pittsburgh

    "I bring youth, confidence, I'm extremely disruptive and I'm smart on the field," said Leal. "I am intelligent when it comes to what I see, my instincts and following those, so I feel like that's something to bring to the table."

    That intelligence is something he prides himself on, someone who loves watching film and getting in the playbook to continue to learn as much as he can.
    "I like watching the little things that people do and how consistent they are," said Leal. "With film, you can slow it down, you can speed it up, you can look at so many different ways and different angles."

    One of the main things Leal is going to be doing when OTAs begin, is leaning on veterans like Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu and more to pick up every trick of the trade he is going to need in the NFL.

    "It's going to be amazing," said Leal. "I want to be a sponge. I want to soak it all in, learn as much wisdom as possible from them guys. I am going to listen to them like big brothers. There's always already a standard here. There's already that culture. I want to be part of this and be trusted and the one way to do that is to listen to those guys."

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    Nice article about Leal:

    https://www.steelers.com/news/leal-i...-in-pittsburgh

    "I bring youth, confidence, I'm extremely disruptive and I'm smart on the field," said Leal. "I am intelligent when it comes to what I see, my instincts and following those, so I feel like that's something to bring to the table."

    That intelligence is something he prides himself on, someone who loves watching film and getting in the playbook to continue to learn as much as he can.
    "I like watching the little things that people do and how consistent they are," said Leal. "With film, you can slow it down, you can speed it up, you can look at so many different ways and different angles."

    One of the main things Leal is going to be doing when OTAs begin, is leaning on veterans like Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu and more to pick up every trick of the trade he is going to need in the NFL.

    "It's going to be amazing," said Leal. "I want to be a sponge. I want to soak it all in, learn as much wisdom as possible from them guys. I am going to listen to them like big brothers. There's always already a standard here. There's already that culture. I want to be part of this and be trusted and the one way to do that is to listen to those guys."
    He is saying all the right things. Getting excited with these first 4 picks.
    Tomlin’s coming back so what can you do?


  6. #76
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    DeMarvin Leal landed right where he wanted in the NFL, with the Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Steelers 3rd Round pick was hoping he’d go to Pittsburgh, and he got his wish.

    May 11, 2022

    The Pittsburgh Steelers as an organization has a reputation, and for the most part this reputation is a good one. Every NFL team has their blemishes, but the Steelers have always been considered to be a gold standard organization in the NFL.

    One of the benefits of this reputation is when players, both NFL Draft prospects and free agents, have the desire to play for the Steelers. Whether it be because of coaches like Mike Tomlin and Brian Flores, or other star players like Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt, there are many players who view the Steelers as a marquee franchise where they hope to end up.

    NFL veterans entering free agency have their choice of teams, but players entering the draft have to just hope they land on a team they find to be a good fit. For a defender becoming a professional, landing in Pittsburgh would likely be viewed as a dream come true. For Steelers 3rd round pick DeMarvin Leal, he was hoping he was drafted by the Steelers.

    “It’s a dream come true and honestly, just pinch me because it’s just so unreal. I was excited because this is the place I wanted to come.” Leal said.

    Was Leal’s desire to come to Pittsburgh because of Cam Heyward? Was it because of Brian Flores? No, it was because of Karl Dunbar, the team’s defensive line coach who attended the Texas A&M pro day.

    “It was mainly because of Coach Dunbar that I was excited,” said Leal. “He’s an amazing coach. I definitely felt like our conversation. It automatically clicked and right away I felt like this is a place I want to play. This is the coach I want to play for.

    “When we first talked, we hit it off, talked good ball, and he talked to my family, and I could tell they were interested as well. Talking to all the coaches at the Combine, a day full of meetings, he was special. I’m genuinely excited to be a part of the organization.”

    The Steelers have long held the reputation for being a family organization. No, not just because the Rooney family still has controlling interest in the team, but because the owners down to the coaches want to cultivate a family environment built on trust. Clearly, Dunbar got that point across in their meetings together.

    “We talked about each other, we talked about family,” said Leal. “We talked about our beliefs. I really liked that. He talked about his story, how he’s came about, how everything has worked out for him. That’s what made it click here. We weren’t just talking X’s and O’s. We were talking football yes, but we were talking family and everything and that is who he is about.

    “He talked about what he sees me doing, how he’s going to be able to help me develop my game as well. It was unbelievable conversation, and I was excited from it and everything he said I was agreeing with. I was telling him, let’s do it.”

    There are plenty of Steelers fans who wonder just what Leal brings to the defense. Some view him as a “tweener” without a genuine position to call home. He isn’t the typical size for a defensive tackle/end in a 3-4 scheme, but also doesn’t have the athleticism of an outside linebacker. However, Leal knows what he brings, and many of these are intangibles.

    “I bring youth, confidence, I’m extremely disruptive and I’m smart on the field,” said Leal. “I am intelligent when it comes to what I see, my instincts and following those, so I feel like that’s something to bring to the table.”

    But for now, Leal knows the job at hand is to put his head down and work. To listen to everything his coaches and teammates tell him to help him succeed at the highest level. Or as he calls it, being a “sponge”.

    “It’s going to be amazing,” Leal said. “I want to be a sponge. I want to soak it all in, learn as much wisdom as possible from them guys. I am going to listen to them like big brothers. There’s always already a standard here. There’s already that culture. I want to be part of this and be trusted and the one way to do that is to listen to those guys.”

    The Steelers certainly need an injection of youth into their defensive line, and Leal provides not only that but an option if the Steelers learn they won’t have Stephon Tuitt’s services next season. With the Steelers leaning more than ever on their sub packages, Leal’s unique size and skill set could be a great asset to the defense for years to come.

    https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.co...rl-dunbar-news

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    Leal is either a horrible wasted pick or a steal in the third, depending on who you listen to. It is almost as if the draft is a crap shoot and picks can either pay off or fail. Who would have guessed?
    But for me, even moreso in this draft. That is why I was meh the day after. Exciting potential from several of them. But all seem to have more of the 'boom or bust' flavor than in past drafts.

    There was a writeup on Colbert's worst draft picks and Jarvis Jones of course was one topic. The writer commented that after that draft the Steelers changed their primary focus from college performance to identifying the best athletes in the draft. We'll see if that holds better promise for these drafts.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    The writer commented that after that draft the Steelers changed their primary focus from college performance to identifying the best athletes in the draft. We'll see if that holds better promise for these drafts.
    Funny, I've been saying for years that since 2016 the Steelers primary focus has been character, and that they fall in love with people. I don't know which is the best way to evaluate potential for success, but FWIW I don't think that NFL front offices have uncovered the secret either.

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

    One of the main things Leal is going to be doing when OTAs begin, is leaning on veterans like Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu and more to pick up every trick of the trade he is going to need in the NFL.
    No mention of learning from Tuitt. Interesting.

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by whisper View Post
    No mention of learning from Tuitt. Interesting.
    Anyone getting the feeling that you can stick a fork in Tuitt?

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