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Comparing the size of the Steelers’ draft picks to other players at their position

Whether or not it’s a player they are replacing or competing against, how do the Steelers’ draftees stack up size-wise with others on the roster?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Arkansas at Georgia

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 the last two years, it has almost become a tradition to specifically look at the size of the Steelers draft picks to see how they compare. This year it seems the Steelers hit both ends of the spectrum depending on the position

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.

Broderick Jones: 6’4” 310 lbs

Dan Moore Jr.: 6’5” 258* lbs
Chuks Okorafor: 6’6” 320 lbs
Le’Raven Clark: 6’5” 319 lbs

*This is obviously a mistake. Moore is listed as 315 lbs. on the Steelers website.

Assuming these are still all the correct numbers for every player, Broderick Jones is the shortest tackle on the Steelers roster. Additionally, the only one he has a weight advantage over is Dan Moore Jr. In all, Jones fits in size-wise with the rest of what the Steelers had a tackle and his addition is more about skill set.

Joe Porter Jr.: 6’2” 198 lbs
Cory Trice Jr.: 6’3” 215 lbs

Patrick Peterson: 6’1” 198 lbs
Levi Wallace: 6’0” 179 lbs
Ahkello Witherspoon: 6’2” 195 lbs
James Pierre: 6’2” 185 lbs

According to these numbers, Joey Porter Jr. is the same height as Ahkello Witherspoon but a few pounds heavier, and the exact weight of Patrick Peterson but one inch taller. So this makes Porter the biggest cornerback in the room with the exception of Cory Trice. So the Steelers definitely went bigger at the position in the draft.

Keeanu Benton: 6’4” 315 lbs

Cam Heyward: 6’5” 295 lbs
Larry Ogunjobi: 6’4” 305 lbs
Montravius Adams: 6’3” 304 lbs

This year, the Steelers added a defensive lineman that was the prototypical size. Benton is listed at 315 lbs. even though at the combine he weighed in at 309 lbs. which was likely an attempt to get a faster 40 time. Either way, he’s not in danger of being considered under-sized.

Darnell Washington: 6’7” 270 lbs

Pat Freiermuth: 6’5” 260 lbs
Zach Gentry: 6’8” 265 lbs
Connor Heyward: 6’0” 230 lbs

The Steelers definitely got bigger at tight end with the addition of Darnell Washington. Although Zach Gentry is slightly taller, Washington’s 270 pounds is the most in the tight end room.

Nick Herbig: 6’2” 228 lbs

T.J. Watt: 6’4” 252 lbs
Alex Highsmith: 6’4” 242 lbs
Cole Holcomb: 6’1” 240 lbs
Elandon Roberts: 6’1” 238 lbs

While the Steelers went bigger with a number of draft picks, this is one where concerns are raised based on Herbig being undersized for the outside linebacker position. I compared him with the Steelers starting edge rushers as well as the projected starting inside linebackers just to show the difference. Herbig is two inches shorter than the OLBs but an inch taller than the guys playing inside linebacker. Additionally, he is significantly lighter at either position. To give a comparison not currently on the Steelers, Devin Bush was listed at 5‘11“ in 234 pounds which has Herbig taller yet lighter in that regard. I understand why this concerns many Steelers fans, but we’ll have to wait to see how the Steelers utilize him and if the size difference will matter.

Spencer Anderson: 6’5” 320 lbs

Isaac Seumalo: 6’4” 303 lbs
James Daniels: 6’4” 327 lbs
Mason Cole: 6’5” 298 lbs
Kevin Dotson: 6’4” 321 lbs
Nate Herbig: 6’4” 334 lbs
Kendrick Green: 6’4” 315 lbs

I put Anderson on the interior of the offensive line and listed the players in the mix there. If you are one who believes he could still be a tackle, simply scroll up and check out the breakdown with Broderick Jones. But based on these numbers, Anderson fits in just fine in regards to size with this group of players.

So there’s the comparison for the Steelers draftees from 2023 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.