Neither of them were top picks, but perhaps the two players that most seemed, or seem, excited to get a glimpse at on the field are third-round pick Dri Archer and sixth-round pick Daniel McCullers.
If you know who those guys are by now, you know that the interest in seeing them stems from very different reasons. Archer is obviously a burner who stands under 5’8”, while McCullers is a giant at 6’7” and pushing the scales upwards of 360 pounds.
Both of them got the opportunity to showcase some of their physical traits last week during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie minicamp, and the big nose tackle McCullers, from the sounds of it, was particularly a sight to see.
Bob Labriola fixated just on his sheer physical presence, saying that “he is big. He is big, but he is not sloppy. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a guy 360 [pounds] without big rolls of fat around him, and this guy doesn’t have it”.
That’s more or less been the understood line about McCullers. Many nose tackles carry similar weight, and are quite hefty, but I’m not aware of any that are 6’7”. Most of them don’t stand much taller than 6’.
The extra half-foot of height gives his frame a lot more room for weight distribution, so just because he may weigh a certain amount doesn’t mean he can’t show a bit of athleticism.
As Mike Prisuta emphasized, McCullers comes to the Steelers with just an 18 percent body fat, which impressed him:
“That’s just unheard of for a guy that size. And that’s one of the things that intrigues the Steelers about him. 6’7”, 352, and yet he went in the sixth round. That tells you that he has not yet maximized 6’7”, 352, with 18 percent body fat, but what if he does”?
Labriola also talked about the enthusiasm that he saw from McCullers during drills:
“Let’s say he ‘forgot’ a couple of times that you’re not exactly supposed to tackle the running back. When they were doing 11-on-11 or 9-on-7, those kind of drills, you kept hearing the coaches have to yell at these guys ‘let them run’. But you like the enthusiasm”.
Prisuta said earlier that McCullers, having fallen to the sixth round, is clearly not a finished product, but he asked the important question that the Steelers are certainly asking, which is whether or not he can put it all together. Labriola gave a vision of a hypothetical future in which he does just that:
You put a man that large over the center, and he comes off the ball, and if he just starts churning his legs…he gets in on that center, he can just push that guy back right into the backfield unless the other team double teams him, just to stop his progress. He doesn’t have to get in very far, puts up his hands at 6’7”, that’s a pretty big obstruction there. The Steelers were looking for size in the middle of the defensive line—they got some with this guy.