The Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to replace the skill-set and impact of Ryan Shazier. Mark Barron is as close as the team has gotten, but he is not the long term answer at the mack linebacker position. The search continues as the linebacker position is arguably the team’s biggest need heading into the 2019 season. Today, we may find that replacement in Devin White.
Louisiana State University (LSU)
– Majored in Sports Administration
– 2018 Team MVP
– 2018 Butkus Award Winner
– 2018 Team Captain
– 2018 First Team All-American
– 2018 First Team All-SEC
40 yard dash: 4.42
Vertical jump: 39.5″
Broad jump: 118″
Bench press of 225lbs: 22 reps
3-cone drill: 7.07s
20-yd shuttle: 4.217s
123 tackles (62 solo), 12 TFL, 3 sacks, 6 Passes Defensed, 3 FF, 2 FR, 0 INT
What’s To Like
Relatively young player at 21 years old. Fast on tape, backed up by a 4.42s 40-yard dash. Very quick at the line of scrimmage, tough to block. Experienced and finessed blitzer. Comfortable in coverage, can read the quarterback well. Has experience rushing off the edge. Very quick burst when he reacts, doesn’t need a ton of space to hit full speed. Takes excellent angles to the football. Has experience as a quarterback spy. Fights through blocks in pursuit. Is always around the football in some capacity. Has experience covering the slot receiver. Physical at the line of scrimmage fighting through traffic. Relentless in pursuit, has the shark in him who smells blood in the water. Sifts through traffic well without losing sight of the play’s substance. Has some serious range sideline to sideline.
— Josh Lemoine (@LsuFBallTruth) March 22, 2019
Play strength at the point of attack is concerning, sometimes takes the hit rather than lays it . Can get washed out by offensive lineman if squared up. Inconsistent stacking and shedding. Hustle and effort to the ball is inconsistent. Has Shazier syndrome: runs too fast and can’t break down to make the tackle, flies right past the ball carrier. Tackling technique if fairly high height wise, will need to go lower in the pros. Instincts and mental processing are a tick slower than desired.
The Steelers are very much in the market for a linebacker, but White may be out of their range. Kevin Colbert has hinted about trading up in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they have the ammo to do it. Trading up as high as it may take to acquire White may be too rich for the Steelers. White has the speed, range, coverage ability and physicality highly coveted at the linebacker position. If the linebacker gets an unexpected slide in the draft, the Steelers are a team who can definitely make a trade to get him. White checks all the boxes necessary to fill the gap left by Shazier.
Grade: Round One
Projection: Top 12
Games Watched: 2018 Alabama, 2018 Louisiana Tech, 2018 Georgia, 2018 Auburn, 2018 Ole Miss, 2018 Miami
Credits: Youtube, Sports Reference, LSU website, sports-diary.com (img)