We've heard a lot from most of the Steelers draft picks, but what about the undrafted rookie free agents (UDFAs) who were signed after the draft concluded? In the second part of this series, we'll give you more info about these players who are hoping to make the Pittsburgh Steelers final 53-man roster.
Today I'm taking a look at the UDFA guards.
Name: Reese Dismukes
Superpowers: Dismukes was considered to be one of the best centers in the country last season, and was initially predicted to go in a mid-round of the draft. Coach J.B. Grimes of Auburn said, via AL.com, "He is the smartest offensive lineman I have ever coached, by far."
Not Super: Dismukes struggles with pass blocking and has small hands. Walterfootball.com reported that he might be a poor fit in the locker room and could struggle with being a good teammate. I'm usually skeptical of alleged character issues since so many problems can fly under the radar, and since there are many problems that fall under the character umbrella that really have other explanations.
Bottom Line: Since it was initially thought that he would be picked up in the draft, he could end up being a steal. (Or a Steeler- see what I did there?)
Name: Miles Dieffenbach
College: Penn State
Superpowers: Dieffenback is strong, powerful, and sharp. He exhibited draft-level play when he wasn't injured. At 6'3" and 303 lbs, Dieffenbach is a behemoth.
Not Super: He missed most of 2014 due to an ACL injury. Not sure if durability will end up being an ongoing problem for him, but it certainly limited his contributions last year. Scouting reports indicated he struggles some with balance and his stance in pass protection.
Fun Fact: If you look up "baby face" in the dictionary, there's a picture of Dieffenbach. I'm mostly kidding. And, even if I weren't there are plenty of menacing baby faces in our history from gangster and bank robber Baby Face Nelson to Baby Face Jimmy McLarnin, a two-time welterweight boxing world champion. Perhaps the one that fits the best is the Baldwin DR-4-4-15, a 1,500 horsepower locomotive nicknamed Babyface.
Bottom line: The Steelers probably know better than anyone how well Dieffenbach has recovered from his 2014 injury and how well he is playing now. If he is healthy and can fully leverage his strength and mental acumen, he could be a nice option to keep on the roster.
Name: Collin Rahrig
Superpowers: His scouting report indicated he has potential in pass protection, good balance, and is technically sounds.
Not Super: At 6'2" and 285 lbs, he is not huge. In fact, by offensive line standards, he is downright small.
Bottom Line: He seems to be the anti-Dieffenbach, with opposite strengths (pass protection) and weaknesses (size).