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2022 NFL Draft: Grading the Steelers third round selection of DeMarvin Leal

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal with the 84th selection of the 2022 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Kent State at Texas A&M Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Great news, Steelers Nation. The 2022 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Every rabid football fans version of Christmas in April.

I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.

There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal with the 84th selection of the 2022 NFL Draft.

DeMarvin Leal is a talented young defensive line prospect from Texas A&M, a school that has recently become a talent pipeline of sorts for the Steelers. At 6'4" and 290 lbs., Leal has been considered by some scouts to be a man caught between positions entering the NFL. The great news for Leal and the Steelers is the fact he appears to be a good fit as a Steelers 3-4 defensive end, a role filled by Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt to perfection. Both standouts are asked to stop the run, and then drop inside to pass rush from the interior.

Leal is a powerful athlete who lacks ideal explosiveness. He doesn't possess the quick twitch abilities necessary to excel as a pass rushing defensive end. He has heavy hands and a non-stop motor necessary to create consistent pressure from the interior, but lacks the closing burst to complete the play. An excellent tackler, he engulfs ball carriers and rarely misses opportunities to do so.

Leal finished his 2021 junior season with 8.5 sacks, and was named to the All SEC First Team and a Consensus All American. He decided to forgo his senior year and enter the 2022 NFL Draft. He is a 21 year old young man with loads of upside, but should be viewed as a rookie project, one hopefully capable of contributing as part of the defensive line rotation.

Based on the criteria mentioned earlier in this article, I give the Steelers third round selection of DeMarvin Leal an initial draft grade of B.

Leal was given a third round grade by most projections, and he definitely fits in an area of need for the Steelers. With the Stephon Tuitt situation still far from settled, and with all three projected starters across the defensive line getting a little long in the tooth, the Steelers desperately needed to get younger and deeper at the position. Leal has NFL caliber talent, and plenty of room for substantial growth at the position.

Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.

I am pleased to welcome DeMarvin Leal to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC staff and community. Go Steelers!


What initial draft grade do you give this Steelers selection?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    A = Excellent selection
    (278 votes)
  • 48%
    B = Above average selection
    (631 votes)
  • 25%
    C = Solid selection
    (334 votes)
  • 3%
    D = Below average selection
    (47 votes)
  • 0%
    F = Terrible selection
    (9 votes)
1299 votes total Vote Now