The Steelers had 3 compensatory picks in the 7th round. They took the following 3 players: David Paulson, TE, Oregon; Terrence Frederick, CB, Texas A&M; and Kelvin Beachum, Tackle, SMU. These players are normally long shots to the make the team but you can’t rule them out as being a future quality player, given time to develop.
Both Paulson and Beachum visited the Steelers during pre draft interviews.
David Paulson, TE, Oregon
240th overall. 6’3″ 245 lbs. He came to Pittsburgh on a pre draft visit. This will be a tough position to break into with Heath Miller and Leonard Pope on the roster; along with Weslye Saunders and David Johnson but he’ll get his chance to compete.
Paulson has been a reliable pass-catching tight end for Oregon. He struggles to get open, but he makes plays when the ball is thrown. He has been a consistent and durable starter who has always been capable of keeping the chains moving within the offense. He can make the spectacular catch and has sixth-round talent.
Paulson is athletic, although he doesn’t look the part. He is quick to get into his route and understands to how to play to his strengths. He knows how to lean on linebackers or throw a last-second jab at them to get space. He is decent as a blocker to wall off his defender, something he was asked to do a lot in Oregon’s offense.
Paulson will find it difficult to get open at the next level going up against more athletic linebackers. He is a slow mover who struggles to change direction quickly, which could be dangerous as it will allow linebackers and safeties to recover or undercut his routes.
Terrence Frederick, CB, Texas A&M
5’10” 187 lbs, 246th overall.Value here in a position the Steelers addressed heavily last year with Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown. Keenan Lewis is also in the mix to start opposite Ike Taylor.
Frederick won’t do well in man to man but in zone coverage, with help he can be an effective player if he can make the squad and develop.
Frederick is an undersized corner who started for Texas A&M and played a variety of roles throughout his career. He is slow-footed, which can be his defining attribute as he struggles off the line playing close in man coverage; he is much more of a zone player. He often has played in the slot in nickel packages in his career, which will help him early on in his transition to the NFL. He gets the most out of his athletic ability by being a smart player who takes good angles on the ball.
Frederick is a very good zone defender who understands angles. He knows how to diagnose plays and watches his man’s hips and then turns his eyes to the quarterback to make breaks when playing zone. This can get him in trouble at times, but he wins more often than not when reacting to the quarterback and breaking on the ball. Frederick is a solid, good-base athlete who plays that way on the edge when supporting the run. Although he is slightly undersized, he likes to throw his body around and won’t just stick on blocks, which is the knock on some undersized corners.
Frederick is not a man-cover corner and would struggle early if put in that situation in the NFL. He is slow-footed and can get blown by off the snap when in man coverage. He is a bit undersized and struggles on the line against bigger receivers. He is inconsistent and almost bashful when playing man coverage. He appears unsure of his speed when running with a receiver down field.
Kelvin Beachum, T, SMU
6’2″ 303 lbs, 248th overall. Has good size and decent feet to pull when needed or get out in front on screen plays. You can never argue with depth on the offensive line, and he’ll fight it out with J. Scott for a backup Tackle position.
Beachum was a redshirt freshman but started every game throughout the rest of his time at SMU. He is undersized compared to most professional offensive tackles, but improved steadily in college, displaying the kind of athletic ability, body control and footwork that will make him a late-round draft pick. Beachum has significant strength deficiencies; his ability to physically develop as a rookie will likely determine whether he’ll have a future in the NFL.
Beachum is very quick off the ball and plays with an obvious sense of urgency. He has a good first step that allows him to get out in front and gain position. When working upfield, he has very impressive short-area quickness and footwork. He is able to adjust against moving linebackers, and he did well in the limited time he spent working in space. Beachum shows smooth, controlled lateral agility when engaging his pass set.
Beachum is a soft prospect. He comes off the ball and moves quickly, but he is not explosive and has a hard time generating push on his man off the snap. He struggles in the run-blocking game, which doesn’t bode well for his development and projected move inside to guard. SMU’s style didn’t offer many chances to show that he can perform in a classic run-blocking scheme, and NFL teams will have to guess whether he can successfully make that positional shift. Beachum is a mirror and patty-cake blocker who was effective and productive at SMU; whether his skills transfer to the NFL is another question.