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Steelers 4th Round Draft Pick – Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington

The Steelers traded up in the 4th round in a great move to pick up a much needed NT and a great pick on day 3 of the draft, Alameda Ta’amu. A huge space eating NT at 6’3″ 348 lbs, he can be the next Casey Hampton 34 type NT. His primary job is going to be stop the run, being a 2 down type of player.

Steelers Defensive Line coach John Mitchell on his newest player: He’ll have to double-team blockers to keep them of the linebackers. “He did that very well at Washington.”

Kevin Colbert gave the Redskins their 6th round pick in this draft in to swap spots with them and move up to the 109th overall selection to get Ta’amu. The Steelers still have their 5th round pick and their 7 rounders (including compensatory picks which aren’t able to be traded.

Ta’Amu is a stout, powerful run stopper who will occupy space and eat up double teams, exactly what you want in a NT in a Steelers defense. With Casey Hampton still recovering from offseason ACL surgery, the only healthy player left is Steve McLendon. It was imperative for the team to sure up this position. If you’re talking value in the 4th round then this is your guy, many experts had him rated as high as a 2nd or 3rd round talent. If you were watching the NFL Network during and after the draft, nearly every one is calling this pick by the Steelers as potentially the biggest steal of the entire 3 days.

Also according to Mitchell; he doesn’t know if Casey Hampton will be healthy enough to open season on 53-man roster. “No one knows but Casey. (via Scott Brown, Pittsburgh Trib)

Twitter: @MEDATAAMU74

Breakdown via NFL.com

Ta’amu was a big-boned, powerful inside force for Washington who projects to play the nose tackle position in a 3-4 defense at the next level. He has the ability to hold up linemen and clog lanes to keep linebackers clean, which boosts his value. He has been so effective with the Huskies that there have been some arguably “less-talented” players at Washington who have been extremely productive because of his presence inside on the line.

Strengths

Ta’amu is a forceful player against the run who can quickly get off the ball and into a lineman’s face. He can hold two blockers to create lanes for his linebackers. He is big-bodied and understands his role within the defense. He can engulf running backs by using his long, strong arms or by pushing the interior of an offensive line into the backfield.

Weaknesses

Ta’amu is a slow-mover who struggles to rush the passer and chase down ball carriers. He lacks pass-rush moves and doesn’t use his feet or hands to get off blocks. He has little value in a 4-3 defense given his shortcomings.
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