After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected seven players in the 2023 NFL draft, they continued adding to the roster by coming to terms with seven 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 2023 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 Fresno St. outside linebacker David Perales.
6’3” 255 lbs
Spending one season at a community college followed by another Sacramento State, David Perales transferred to Fresno State his junior season of 2020. Appearing in 33 games in three seasons for the Bulldogs, Perales had 119 tackles with 38 being for loss, 23 sacks, one interception, six passes defensed, and nine forced fumbles. During his final year at Fresno State in 2022, Perales had 47 tackles with 16 for loss, 11.5 sacks, an interception, five passes defense, and two forced fumbles.
Current Steelers at the position:
- T.J. Watt
- Alex Highsmith
- DeMarvin Leal*
- Nick Herbig
- Quincey Roche
- Emeke Egbule
- David Perales
*Could land in this position group as well as Defensive Line
There was somewhat adequate information in the terms of breakdowns for Perales heading into the 2023 NFL draft. Here is a breakdown from profootballnetwork.com:
David Perales, EDGE
Strengths: Undersized and marginally athletic pass rusher who was constantly making positive plays for Fresno State. Used out of a three-point stance as well as standing over tackle, fires off the snap, and plays with proper pad level.
Fights with his hands, easily changes direction, and displays a variety of pass-rushing moves. Stout at the point, stays on his feet, and gives effort defending the run. Slides down the line of scrimmage, redirects to ball handlers, and wraps up tackling. Totals the past two seasons included 25.5 TFLs and 16.5 sacks.
Weaknesses: Lacks bulk and is easily disrupted by the initial block. Possesses average speed.
Overall: Perales has fallen under the scouting radar, but he was very productive at Fresno State and a nuisance for opponents every Saturday. He offers possibilities as a situational pass rusher and plays with a special-teams mentality.
And this overview from si.com:
Originally from Merced, California. Attended Merced High School. Began his college career at Merced Community College. He played in eleven games, totaling sixty four tackles, and fourteen sacks. Transferred to Sacramento State University prior to the 2018 season. As a sophomore, he played in ten games, totaling twenty three tackles and 2.5 sacks. Transferred to Fresno State University prior to the 2019 season. During the shortened 2020 season, he started all six games, totaling twenty eight tackles, which was ranked second highest on the team, nine tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles, which was the most in the Mountain West. Named to the 2020 Second Team All-Mountain West. As a senior, he played in all thirteen games, totaling forty five tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, which ranked first on the team, and three forced fumbles. He decided to use his extra year of eligibility. He had an outstanding 2022 season, playing in fourteen games, totaling forty seven tackles, sixteen tackles for loss, which ranked first on the team, and 11.5 sacks, which was also ranked highest on the team. Also had two forced fumbles and one interception.
To finish off the breakdown of David Perales, no evaluation is complete without film.