Oct 19, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw (14) is injured as he is sacked by Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman Marlon Walls (58) and defensive lineman Daniel McCullers (98) during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Dri Archer and Daniel McCullers, Does Size Matter For Steelers?

 

One of the smallest players and one of the biggest players in the 2014 NFL Draft both found themselves on the Steelers’ roster. Does their size tell us anything?

Archer stands at 5’8″ 174 pounds and his big play ability while at Kent is what attracted the Steelers. His dynamism was so feared during his collegiate career that few teams dared kick to him outright. He won’t be asked to pound the rock between the tackles, and he’ll likely do most of his damage on the edges and in the return game. With his quickness and straight line speed Dri Archer has all of the tools to overcome his diminutive stature. He will have to stay healthy and will never be a 1,500 yard rusher, but with a defined role on offense and special teams this small player could have a huge impact.

Standing almost a foot taller than Archer and weighing twice as much, McCullers will likely be a sight to behold should he find himself next to the running back at this weekend’s mini camp. An absolute behemoth, the DT from Tennessee is what Bill Parcells would have called a “planet player” –there are only so many human beings in the world that pack 352 pounds onto a 6’7″ frame. Defensive line coach John Mitchell said that he thought that McCullers was two players when first watching his game film.

2013 showed that the Steelers’ defense sorely missed its resident immovable object. With no Casey Hampton to provide an imposing mass of human being at its center, the front seven could not make opposing offenses as one-dimensional as in the past. At first glance, McCullers has the tools. However, consistency with weight, technique, and effort will be his biggest hurdles. There is a reason that his rare size lasted to the 6th round–he is far from a finished product. As with many players his size, McCullers’ challenges could be too great to overcome.

It would be great to see McCullers create a place for himself as the next in line of a great but unheralded group of space eaters. He’ll have a tough time seeing the field in his first year and he’ll need to develop his flexibility and technique to be a difference maker.

5’8″ and 174 pounds are numbers that can make you worry while 6’7″ and 352 are numbers that can make you drool, but the miniature RB’s skill set should translate immediately, while the mammoth DT has an uphill battle before he can be a contributor. Both players ooze with potential no matter how you size it up.

 

 

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