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2016 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Reaction: Javon Hargrave, DT, SCSU

The Steelers finally take a defensive tackle in round three, and get a player with a motor that won't quit.

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Ponder this number: 1,259.

If the Steelers went with a four-man line at some point, that number becomes significant, and that's all thanks to their third-round pick: South Carolina State defensive tackle Javon Hargrave. It's significant because that's how many pounds of humanity the opposing line would be facing against a line of Cameron Heyward, Hargrave, Daniel McCullers and Stephon Tuitt.

Is it likely to happen much, if at all? Probably not. This is still a 3-4 team. But it could, and that's fun to imagine.

At 309 pounds, Hargrave is a distant second to McCullers' 352 pounds. Mind you, that was after Big Dan lost 40 pounds, too. He's actually smaller than former nose tackle Steve McLendon, but he plays with a bigger motor. It's precisely there where we pick up what makes Hargave such an excellent fit for the Steelers.

If you watch his film, you immediately realize just how hard this kid works on every play. He has the strength of McLendon or Casey Hampton, but the motor of Lawrence Timmons. He goes full-throttle from whistle to whistle, a rare trait in an interior lineman.

How tenacious is he? He runs down plays from behind. At more than 300 pounds he runs down plays from behind. Let that sink in, because that feeling you've got right now is just going to get better the more you think about that.

All of that hype aside, now would be the right time to point out that he played lesser competition in the FCS. But it's also critical to note that he didn't just beat them -- he thoroughly dominated. He had 16 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in 2015. I don't care what level of competition you play, those are great numbers.

From a skill standpoint, Hargrave has a few pass-rush moves, but not a full arsenal. His swim and his punch are great, but they won't be as effective against NFL interior linemen. Aside from that, he tends to rely on simply being stronger and more athletic than his opponents. He does a great job of getting skinny, though, which is a minor miracle for a guy who comes in north of 300 pounds. His first step allows him to get through gaps quickly to disrupt place in the backfield, but he tends to be too aggressive at times and overruns the play.

I would have preferred Andrew Billings here, to be honest, but with rumors of a significant knee injury, Hargrave wasn't just the logical choice, he was the right choice. And he could contribute from day one, which will be important as someone will need to spell McCullers from time to time. And Hargrave can also shift outside if needed.

In the end, this is almost the pick I wanted to see in the first round, and Hargrave was my second choice at nose tackle. They took the long road to get here, but with picks at corner, safety and nose tackle in the first three rounds, the Steelers have already addressed their biggest needs with good, if unexpected, picks. Hargrave follows the early trend as a raw player with enormous upside.

In his case, "enormous" is a bit more literal, though.