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2016 Steelers Roster, 90 in 90 Days: Paul Lang looking to take advantage of shallow TE pool

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In a new feature at BTSC, we are breaking down the Steelers 90-man roster one player, one position, one day at a time. The conclusion of this feature will be the start of the 2016 season.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Michigan State vs Alabama Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Paul Lang

Position: TE

School: Michigan State

Overview: It’s easy for fans to cheer for players that are undrafted to make it to the final roster. After all, everyone loves rooting for an underdog. It gets even easier when that undrafted player is a native of the city where he could potentially play.

That’s the case for tight end Paul Lang, who grew up in Pittsburgh before going to Michigan State for college. Lang appeared in 50 games over three years as Spartan primarily used as a blocking tight end. In his career he caught 15 passes, 11 of which came in his senior year.

Despite the low reception total, Lang actually drew praise for his hands from coaches and scouts alike. What appeared to hold Lang back was his lack of effective route running and inability to create separation from defenders.

Due to his lack of receiving history that puts Lang in the competition for the Steelers blocking tight end. Unfortunately, despite being almost exclusively used as a blocking tight end Lang didn’t receive the best reviews in that department either. He did just enough to get by at the college level but would need a big leap in improvement to get it done at the NFL level. That puts him behind Jesse James, Xavier Grimble, and David Johnson in terms of ability.

As much as everyone wants the local guy to make it with the big club I don’t see the Hollywood ending being a realistic outcome for Lang.

Strengths:
Perfect size for TE -6’5” 240lbs
Experience in Pro-Style offense
Good hands despite limited targets

Weaknesses:
Bad route runner
Does not create separation
Not a physical blocker
Adequate against college competition-likely will be pushed around as a pro

Chances of Making the team: 10%