On Friday, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie defensive lineman L.T. Walton became the first of the team’s eight draft picks to sign a contract and the 6-5, 319-pound sixth-round draft pick said Sunday that he’s glad to have that part of the process behind him now.
“It’s a good feeling to get it out of the way, get it signed and everything taken care of and get out here and work, and do what I’m supposed to be doing here,” said Walton after a recent rookie minicamp practice.
While Walton has only gone through a few practices with the Steelers so far, he’s already seeing that he has a lot to learn even though he was a three-year starter at Central Michigan.
“I played in a different defense in college and coming out here to this defense, there’s a lot of different terminology and different technique,” said Walton. “Technique is very important over here. Coach Mitch [John Mitchell] is teaching me a bunch of things and the learning process continues, and I’m out here having fun. I feel like I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here already and I just want to continue to do that.”
After the Steelers drafted Walton, Mitchell talked about a few of the things that his new defensive lineman will need to work on at the NFL level.
“He has a good motor and runs to the ball,” said Mitchell of Walton. “The things that he is going to have to learn how to do a little bit better is use his hands, get off blocks, and be a little more physical at the point of attack. When you can get a guy 6-4, 319 – that can run and stay on his feet that’s a big plus.”
Walton has the ideal size needed to play defensive end in the Steelers 3-4 defense and the hope is that he can eventually become a depth player with proper coaching. He has an uphill battle ahead of him this coming summer as it relates to making the 53 man roster this season, but he definitely appears to be a very a smart player who takes coaching well.