Path to Starter for DeMarvin Leal in Pittsburgh - The Draft Network

6/4/2022 7:00:00 PM

One player who directly benefits from Tuitt’s abrupt retirement is the Steelers third round pick, DeMarvin Leal. Leal was a polarizing...

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With the retirement of long-time Steeler Stephon Tuitt, there is a vacancy on the Steelers' defensive line. A vacancy that could lead to rookie DeMarvin Leal seeing some significant playing time, says Brentley12. FrontOffice33 | HereWeGo

One player who directly benefits from Tuitt’s abrupt retirement is the Steelers third round pick, DeMarvin Leal. Leal was a polarizing...

Brentley WeissmanShareCopiedIt’s been quite the offseason for retirements this year as the NFL has seen several noteworthy players hang up their cleats. Players such as Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Whitworth, Malcolm Jenkins, Frank Gore and Ali Marpet have all played their final seasons. On Thursday, the Steelers were hit again with another retirement of a star player as eight-year veteran defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt called it quits.

Tuitt, a former second round pick back in 2014, enjoyed an outstanding career and was one of the best players on one of the best defenses in the NFL throughout his time in Pittsburgh. An outstanding athlete with size, explosiveness and power, Tuitt was a force to be reckoned with as an interior rusher and was also stout against the run as long as he wasn’t facing double teams. Now, when a player the caliber of Tuitt retires it normally would be a massive blow to the football team. In this case, the Steelers are very well prepared.

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Players such as Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Whitworth, Malcolm Jenkins, Frank Gore and Ali Marpet have all played their final seasons. On Thursday, the Steelers were hit again with another retirement of a star player as eight-year veteran defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt called it quits. But which rookies are flying under the radar? I targeted five late-round rookies who have the upside to drastically help your fantasy team – the keyword there being ‘late-round’. Tuitt, a former second round pick back in 2014, enjoyed an outstanding career and was one of the best players on one of the best defenses in the NFL throughout his time in Pittsburgh. Speaking of, health is the big question mark surrounding Hicks, who played just nine games in 2021, recording 3. An outstanding athlete with size, explosiveness and power, Tuitt was a force to be reckoned with as an interior rusher and was also stout against the run as long as he wasn’t facing double teams. Alas, Allgeier is in a prime situation to burst past his ADP. Now, when a player the caliber of Tuitt retires it normally would be a massive blow to the football team. Luckily, Kmet should have plenty of it.

In this case, the Steelers are very well prepared. Instead, Qadree Ollison and Damien Williams are left to pick up the scraps alongside Patterson. But Hicks is an extremely effective pass rusher when healthy and the Buccaneers’ training staff will do everything within its power to keep Hicks available and on the field. Tuitt missed the 2021 season as he simultaneously dealt with the tragic loss of his brother, who died in a hit-and-run car crash, and knee surgery. Heading into the 2022 offseason, Tuitt’s status with the team was unclear and it is very reasonable to assume that the Steelers saw his retirement coming. Simply put, Atlanta’s running backs aren’t encouraging. Pittsburgh had already been living in a world without Tuitt, as they did in 2021, therefore they’ve essentially had the luxury of being able to plan for his potential retirement. Suh and his representation have failed to reach a middle ground with the Bucs in regards to his worth this offseason. So, while the loss of Tuitt does sting because he is such a dominant player while on the field, the Steelers are very well equipped for his departure. At the very least, he could become the team’s early-down back. Of course, Kmet isn’t exactly an established tight end either, but tight ends typically take longer to develop.

One player who directly benefits from Tuitt’s abrupt retirement is the Steelers third round pick, DeMarvin Leal . Leal was a polarizing prospect throughout the draft process but one who presents a ton of upside. After all, Head Coach Arthur Smith has typically been a run-first coach. Suh’s performances took a step backwards in 2021, but the Portland, Oregon native still recorded 6. Entering his junior season, Leal was widely viewed as a top-10 prospect. He was very disruptive as a sophomore showing flashes of dominant play with an explosive first step, powerful hands and an ability to play up and down the defensive line. Of course, the Titans had Derrick Henry, but the addition of former Titan Marcus Mariota foreshadows more run plays in the Falcons’ future. Evaluators were bought in on this 6’4 290-pound defensive lineman and just needed to see him put another season on tape. It also further cements a period of transition for Hicks’ former team. David Njoku FantasyPros Consensus ADP: TE21 Entering his sixth season, Njoku seems like a perfect post-hype sleeper.

Unfortunately for Leal, his junior season left a bit to be desired. We shouldn’t anticipate a monster campaign from Allgeier, yet he still has a good chance to provide your fantasy team some serious value. While he was extremely productive from a pass rushing standpoint having recorded 8.5 sacks, he was highly disappointing in the run game. Quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Amari Cooper have (for now) taken the mantle from Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry.0 sacks as a Bear. He showed very little ability to anchor, get off blocks and his effort was often times in question. His lack of consistency made him fall on draft weekend, but his raw athleticism and upside still remain. In other words, we should expect more balanced play-calls than in recent years under Head Coach Kevin Stefanski. But that was without a quarterback of Watson’s caliber.

Speaking to the media Thursday, Leal gave his thoughts on Tuitt’s retirement. “It’s a sad situation when it comes to Tuitt,” Leal said. With Cooper on one boundary and Donovan Peoples-Jones on the other, Bell could have the fast track to starting inside. “I could have gotten some wisdom and knowledge from him. Not having that opportunity to learn from him sucks, but at the same time it gives me an opportunity to learn stuff and have more of a relationship with the older guys. While Kyle Crabbs projected Bell best as an “X” receiver, he also described Bell as a “high-floor, high-ceiling prospect who has the football acumen to make an impact quickly as a rookie. It’s about learning quickly. Albert Okwuegbunam FantasyPros Consensus ADP: TE23 Okwuegbunam was a hot commodity following the Russell Wilson trade to Denver and it’s easy to see why.

” The opportunity for year one production is right in front of Leal. Slot receivers have an edge in fantasy because there’s usually less distance between them and the quarterback, so they rack up easier receptions. Leal’s disruptive potential playing next to stars Cameron Hayward and T.J. Bell’s a great flier to take at the end of deeper drafts. Watt is simply unquestionable and the fact of the matter is if any team can bring out the best in Leal, it’s likely Head Coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers organization. Now, even without Tuitt, Leal will still be facing stiff competition for snaps. Every season is the same story: the 49ers pencil a player into the starting role, he breaks out, everyone rushes to scoop him up… only for the next guy on the depth chart to get hot the next game. That’s why Okwuegbunam isn’t my favorite sleeper on this list, but if Denver’s offense starts clicking, Okwuegbunam could easily become a ‘TE1’ for your fantasy team.

Defensive tackle Chris Wormley started 14 games in the absence of Tuitt in 2021 and enjoyed career highs in sacks, tackles and tackles for loss. He is a solid veteran along the Steelers defensive line but even he isn’t the athlete that Leal is. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan is no stranger to riding the hot hand, which tends to happen often in an offense designed around the run game. The other player who presents an obstacle for Leal is Isaiah Loudermilk, a fifth-round pick back in 2021. Loudermilk played well in a reserve role for the Steelers as a rookie and possess excellent size and power for the position. But it has opened up doors for the Jeff Wilsons and the JaMycal Hastys of the world to have a great week or two. While lacking in pass rush upside, Loudermilk is an outstanding run defender and will certainly play a factor in this rotation. In Tennessee, the Titans can revert back to utilizing one tight end in the passing game as opposed to splitting the work between tight ends like Geoff Swaim and Anthony Firkser – the latter of which is in Atlanta now.

It’s rare for interior defensive lineman to make an impact as a rookie. Davis-Price is a tremendous value at his current ADP because he’s more than just a handcuff in a run-favoring offense. It takes time for players at that position to get used to the power and quickness that interior offensive lineman in the NFL possess and additionally they need to be able to learn how to play fast while also understanding their assignment. Leal has a very real chance to be an exception. Deebo Samuel’s resurgence obviously helped out, though his potential departure would open up even more opportunities for San Francisco’s running backs. He has the physical talent, in the right system, and has a reasonable chance to beat out his competition. With his upside and potential in this defense, if I am a Steeler fan, I am rooting to see Leal early and often in 2022. Consider drafting him as the final running back on your roster, though he’s not worth a roster spot yet in 8- or 10-team leagues. Brevin Jordan FantasyPros Consensus ADP: TE35 Jordan is so much of a sleeper that he’s not even being drafted in most standard-size leagues.

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