After the 2021 NFL draft, I tackled the question posed to me about if the Steelers specifically looked to draft players who were larger than the players they would possibly be replacing. While larger is not always better when it comes to specific positions, it was interesting to see how the height and weight of the Steelers draft picks compared to players who were recently with the Steelers or who they would be fighting for playing time. After doing so last year, I thought it would be interesting to specifically look at the size of the Steelers 2022 draft picks to see how they compare. If anything, it appeared the Steelers may be going in the opposite direction this season.
The biggest issue in tackling the question was getting a correct height and weight for the newly drafted players. I decided to trust my go-to source who hopefully has the most accurate information. Therefore, all heights and weights of every player listed are coming directly from Pro Football Reference and their player profiles.
So how do the newest Pittsburgh Steelers compare to other players at their given positions? I’ll give the data, but ultimately it will be up to you to decide. For multiple players drafted at the same position, I combined them for the comparison.
Kenny Pickett: 6’3” 220 lbs
Chris Oladokun: 6’2” 195 lbs
Mitch Trubisky: 6’2” 220 lbs
Mason Rudolph: 6’5” 235 lbs
Ben Roethlisberger: 6’5” 240 lbs
While neither Kenny Pickett nor Chris Oladokun have the height of a Ben Roethlisberger or Mason Rudolph, Pickett is at least in stride with the likes of a Mitch Trubisky making his size (apart from his hands) a non-factor. As for Oladokun, he’s a little light for an NFL quarterback and virtually the same weight as Tyler Huntly, the only quarterback to play in 2021 under a reported weight of 200 lbs.
George Pickens: 6’3” 200 lbs
Calvin Austin III: 5’9” 162 lbs
Chase Claypool: 6’4” 238 lbs
Diontae Johnson: 5’10” 183 lbs
JuJu Smith-Schuster: 6’1” 215 lbs
Although George Pickens does bring the height factor, it’s not that he is a “huge” receiver when it comes to his weight. As for CA3, Steelers fans were well aware of his smaller stature the moment he was drafted, but had he been a larger player he would not have been available in the fourth round.
DeMarvin Leal: 6’4” 290 lbs
Stephon Tuitt: 6’6” 303 lbs
Chris Wormley: 6’5” 300 lbs
T.J. Watt: 6’4” 252 lbs
I included T.J. Watt in this comparison because some Steelers fans aren’t exactly sure where the team is going to use DeMarvin Leal. On the lighter side for a defensive lineman, Leal would be on the larger side as an outside linebacker. The Steelers obviously have something in mind, even if it is a hybrid role, but fans may have to wait a while to see exactly the plans on the defense, whether it be utilization or weight fluctuation.
Connor Heyward: 6’0” 230 lbs
Pat Freiermuth: 6’5” 260 lbs
Zach Gentry: 6’8” 265 lbs
Derek Watt: 6’2” 234 lbs
Since he is listed on the Steelers website as a TE/FB, I went ahead and compared the younger Heyward to both positions. Seemingly an under-sized tight end, Heyward is likely to not truly fit into any position group if he is going to be utilized the way some hypothesize.
Mark Robinson: 6’0” 220 lbs
Devin Bush: 5’11” 234 lbs
Myles Jack: 6’1” 244 lbs
Robert Spillane: 6’1” 229 lbs
Buddy Johnson: 6’2” 240 lbs
Marcus Allen: 6’2” 215 lbs
Slightly on the smaller side when it comes to NFL linebackers, Robinson is within the parameters of what a rookie linebacker should be. He is bigger than converted safety Marcus Allen, if that means much. More than his size, his experience at the position will be a bigger factor.
So there’s the comparison for the Steelers draftees from 2022 and how they compare to other players when it comes to height and weight. It doesn’t seem that the Steelers got noticeably smaller with any of these positions, it does appear they drafted more than one hybrid player based on where they fall between multiple position groups.