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Pittsburgh Steelers 4th round pick offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins initial grade

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We provide an initial evaluation of the Steelers' fourth round selection in Jerald Hawkins.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers made their fourth round selection offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins of LSU after selecting cornerback Artie Burns from Miami in the first round, safety Sean Davis from Maryland in the second round and defensive tackle Javon Hargreaves from South Carolina State in the third round.

This article provides an initial grade on that pick as we have done for each Steelers pick in this draft. We will use the same metrics as before. Keep in mind that honest grades at this point cannot be accurate for the long term, based on the fact of not being able to foretell how a player will pan out, but can measure a few key attributes:

Best Player Available: meaning that according to our official BTSC big board, constructed by our own Scott Pavelle, this player was ranked either at the top or close to the top of the remaining candidates. The closer to the top the higher the grade.

Positional Need: meaning that Pittsburgh addressed a key position needed for their depth chart. The bigger the need, the higher the grade.

NCAA Performance: this metric grades the players' reputation based on their performance in NCAA.

Combine Statistics: based on the numbers posted at this year's scouting combine.

Each metric will be measured on a 1-10 scale, ten being the highest and one being the lowest. The total of the scores will average out to a grade that allows for a normal range:

A: 9-10

B: 8

C: 7

D: 6

E: 5 or below.

Best Player Available: 9. The Steelers felt the need to address their depth at offensive tackle in the middle rounds and Hawkins is a solid middle round prospect. Scott Pavelle had him graded as a mid-third round selection and the Steelers were able to pick him up in the late fourth round.

Positional Need: 7. This pick might be the ultimate death knell for any hopes Mike Adams had of keeping a place in Pittsburgh. Marcus Gilbert and Alejandro Villanueva are the presumptive starters, with Ryan Harris added in free agency and now a rookie tackle selected it means that Adams is going to have to fight to keep a backup spot on the roster. As far as the depth chart, Pittsburgh felt the need to prepare should they lose one or two tackles to injury and considering the unreliability that Adams has displayed throughout his career, this pick makes sense.

NCAA Performance: 7.5. Hawkins' college tape shows a lot of inconsistency in that he looks strong and into his game during some games and completely lost in others. Went head to head with Alabama defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson and appeared to hold his own throughout the matchup. Showed inconsistency in fundamentals which should be interesting to see how he develops under the tutelage of Mike Munchak.

Combine Statistics: 6.5. His bench press was not all that high and his combine statistics were very much run of the mill. What impresses about Hawkins on paper is his 6'6" 305 lbs. frame. Hawkins appears to look awkward though in his size as a tall, lanky sort of player that has problems with lateral movements and could use some strength training to improve his punch.

Overall Grade: 7.5 / C+

Hawkins' initial grade does not involve how much he puts into his development under Munchak; instead it gives us a brief look at his stock based on the public information which could be used to analyze him leading up to the draft. He has the physical frame to be a big time offensive tackle but will need to get stronger to improve. The positive parts of this pick is the foresight of Colbert to address depth at offensive tackle and finding a prospect in the fourth round that was projected as a third round talent.