Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

One key number for each of the Steelers 2024 draft picks

On the most recent episode of the Steelers Stat Geek podcast, I looked at a wide variety of numbers for each of the Steelers 2024 draft picks. But rather than report on everything, it was suggested that I focus on one number that I found the most interesting for each player. These statistics aren’t any big secret and may not be a shocking revelation to anyone, but they are the things that I thought stood out the most for each player before they join the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Troy Fautanu: 0

When the Steelers selected Troy Fautanu with the 20th overall pick, one of the biggest things he brought to the table was “five position versatility.” Not sure exactly what the Steelers had in mind for Fautanu in the moments following this section, Coach Tomlin nipped other speculation in the bud and said that Fautanu is a tackle in their eyes. What wasn’t answered, and will likely be debated for some time, is which side of the line Fautanu will settle in at tackle: the left or the right.

With my first inclination being Fautanu could ultimately be a right tackle, I found the numbers interesting of where he actually played in college. In his four seasons at Washington in which he appeared in games, Fautanu had 31 starts, all of which were on the left side of the line. In all, the starts broke down as 29 at left tackle and two at left guard. So while Fautanu may have the ability to play multiple positions across the offensive line, his college experience is on the left side with the majority of it tackle. Of course, there is the potential that Fautanu played some on the right side yet had no starts, but I was not able to find that data at this time.

Zach Frazier: 37

Looking at a similar stat as Fautanu, Zach Frazier has the experience playing at the center position unlike almost any other top prospect in this year‘s NFL draft. Over the last three seasons, Frazier started 37 games all at center. Comparing this to other players who were selected at center in 2024, it blows them out of the water. Graham Barton had zero starts at center over the last three seasons while Jackson Powers-Johnson had 13 starts all in 2023. The next center drafted after Frazier was Tanor Bortolini who had 13 starts at center at Wisconsin over the last three years. So when it came to options with experience, Zach Frazier had more starts at center over the last three seasons than the other three top centers drafted in the first four rounds combined.

Roman Wilson: 1

When looking at all of the receiving numbers for Roman Wilson at Michigan, there were several things that stood out. While I could have chosen his 12 touchdown receptions last season, the bigger number is something which appeared to be Wilson was specifically working on. After having some higher numbers in drops early in his college career, Wilson only had one drop in 2023. With 48 receptions on the season, this has Wilson having a 2% drop rate for his last collegiate season.

Payton Wilson: 138

When it comes to linebacker Payton Wilson, there are several things that will go along with the number I selected. I chose his 138 tackles in 2023, which ranked 5th in all of FBS. Of those tackles, Wilson had 17.5 tackles for loss as an off-ball linebacker, which ranked 7th in all players in FBS. To go along with those 138 tackles, Wilson only had a 3% missed tackle rate which I assume meant he only missed four tackles on the season.

Mason McCormick: 57

Although he was playing at an FCS school, the availability of Mason McCormick should be noticed regardless of the level of hi competition. Setting a school record of 57 consecutive starts, all of which came at left guard, McCormick began with the streak with the final three games of the 2019 season. This means when Mason McCormick first took over as the starting left guard for South Dakota State, Devlin Hodges was quarterbacking the Pittsburgh Steelers. Putting that timeline into perspective, there are no members of the Steelers offensive line who were on the Steelers roster when McCormick began his starting streak.

Logan Lee: 35

One of the biggest things I’m trying to get over with defensive tackle Logan Lee is how much he falls in line from a height and weight standpoint with DeMarvin Leal. To find out exactly where Logan Lee stands, particularly from a weight standpoint, I found a difference of 35 pounds in his reported weight based on various sources. From the Iowa Hawkeyes website, where Lee was a member of the team a mere months ago, has him listed at 251 pounds. While I know sometimes college measurables can be from early years and not updated, typically these numbers change especially when helping players to get drafted. As for the Steelers roster, they have Lee listed at 286 pounds. This is a huge discrepancy when it comes to a defensive tackle. I think the Steelers number may be more in line, but it’s also important to remember that in the not-too-distant past Lee may have been even more undersized from a weight standpoint. But in an interview he did following the combine, Lee stated he lost 7 pounds ahead of Indianapolis, where he weighed in at 281 pounds.

Ryan Watts: 34.5

If the Steelers are looking for length in their secondary, Ryan Watts fits the mold. Whether he’s a cornerback or a safety is irrelevant, even though I’ve believe he fits better in Pittsburgh at the safety position. What can’t be denied is Watts’ arm length of 34.5 inches which was the longest of any defensive back at the NFL combine in 2024. In fact, Watts was one of three defensive backs who had arms reaching at least 34 inches, the measurement of Joey Porter Junior in last years draft. So even along long-armed defensive backs, Watts looks to be at a different level.

To hear more about these individual numbers, check out the most recent episode of the Steelers Stat Geek podcast below:

Share & Comment:


Sign up below for the latest news, stories and podcasts from our affiliates

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.