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Getting to know the Steelers 2021 UDFAs: Donovan Stiner

The former Flordia Gator played more in the slot in recent seasons.

Auburn v Florida Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected nine players in the 2021 NFL draft, they continued to adding to the roster with eight undrafted free agents. With many draft profiles focusing on those players towards the top and middle of the NFL draft, it is time to get to take a look at these other members of the Pittsburgh Steelers who will have just as much opportunity to make the roster in 2021 as those who were selected in the draft, despite the more difficult path.

Remember, some draft profiles for these players are quite harsh as they are looking at them as a draftable prospect. Taking a flyer on an UDFA is a completely different story as many times the potential the player shows is what lands them on an NFL offseason roster.

Next on the list is safety Donovan Stiner.

Donovan Stiner

6’2” 210 lbs

In four seasons at Florida, Stiner appeared in 41 games. He totaled 145 tackles with 4.0 being for loss as well as 1.0 sacks. Stiner also had six interceptions and three passes defensed. Although he logged him more tackles as a senior with 58, four of Stiner’s interceptions came during his junior year.

Current Steelers at the position:


  1. Minkah Fitzpatrick
  2. Terrell Edmunds
  3. Antione Brooks Jr.
  4. Arthur Maulet
  5. Lamont Wade
  6. Donovan Steiner

Draft Profiles:

Here is a recent breakdown following the 2020 season from


Interchangeable safety carrying good weight on a long frame. He was tasked with more slot coverage this past season, which worked against him from a ball-production standpoint. He’s much more effective breaking downhill than laterally and appears to be better suited in coverage as a split zone safety, where he can range and use his ball skills playing over the top. One concern will be his inconsistency as a last-resort tackler when playing from the post. He’s a good tackler and striker near the line of scrimmage, so figuring out how to play him and where to play him could be critical, but he has NFL backup talent and traits.


Intelligent with accomplishment-oriented mindset.

Angular frame with desired pro size and length.

Displays range and recognition to make plays off the hash.

Springy leaper elevates to the highest point of the catch.

When it’s go time, he’s ready to strike.

Runs the alley with bad intentions for runner.

Uncoils hips into contact for added tackle strength.

Generally looks to wrap and finish.

Played on kick and punt cover teams.


Declares leverage early, but doesn’t get route break squeezed.

Will need better eye balance to read the quarterback.

Below-average twitch in driving to close on throws.

Waits too long in run-support flow from the post.

Shaky angles/leverage coming downhill at running backs.

Too much lunging as open-field tackler.

Allows broken tackles when he doesn’t run his feet through contact.

Needs to activate hands sooner in attacking blocks.

Here is another breakdown courtesy of

Donovan Stiner NFL Draft Scouting Report | Safety

Positives: Nice-sized safety who plays with good instincts. Quick to read and diagnose, quickly comes up the field defending the run, and keeps the action in front of him. Drives his shoulders through ball handlers and wraps up tackling. Fluid turning his hips in transition, possesses a closing burst, and explodes to the ball out of his plant. Immediately recognizes assignments and chases the action hard.

Negatives: Lacks great speed to the sidelines despite playing faster than his 40 time. Better playing downhill.

Analysis: Stiner is a tough, run-defending safety who shows solid ball skills between the numbers, but he lacks great range. He’s a traditional strong safety who can also line up in a zone system while helping out on coverage units.

Finally, here is on last breakdown of Stiner from



Possesses a long, lean build and looks the part of an NFL safety. Highly aggressive coming up in run support, showing the burst to zip through gaps and make tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Good speed in pursuit with the chase skills to track down the ballcarrier.

Can deliver the big hit and isn’t afraid to jump inside to slow the ball.

Reads and deciphers quickly, reacting in a flash with a nose for the ball. Jumps routes and drives fast on plays in front of him.

Often asked to drop down and crowd the line, showing good feel for timing the snap and the ability to elude blockers in tight quarters.


A downhill defender whose shortcomings athletically are exposed in coverage. He is a much better player facing the action.

Will slip off tackles and needs to finish more consistently.

Has a lean, narrow frame and needs to get stronger.

Has tight hips, plays stuff and struggles to turn and quickly change directions. Needs to be a more technically-sound tackler, often going for the knockout hit or forced fumble instead of wrapping up.

Has a high backpedal and loses a step in transition. Plays with adequate speed but there are concerns about his ability to handle the truly explosive speedsters of the NFL.


To finish off the breakdown of Donovan Stiner, no evaluation is complete without film:

(WARNING: Audio could contain explicit material)

Previous Breakdowns: