Javon Hargrave, DT
School: South Carolina State | Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 309 lbs
Projected: 2nd Round | Actual: 3rd Round (Pick 89) by the Pittsburgh Steelers
Javon Hargrave is a wrecking ball on the interior defensive line. He's a powerful, compact player that converts his speed and quickness to power perhaps better than any defensive line prospect in the 2016 draft. He's extremely athletic for his size and what may be most impressive is his ability to maintain balance, leverage, footwork, and his power while sifting and slicing through offensive linemen. Hargrave shows urgency, motor, and great vision as a penetrating DT. The statistics back up the theory that he isn't easily fooled in the backfield and can get there fast and disrupt a play as he's recorded 73 tackles for loss in his career.
How He Makes the Steelers Better and Creates Problems for the Redskins
Even as a 3rd round pick Javon Hargrave has the opportunity to get significant playing time at the NT position for the Steelers. Hargrave is very versatile and even with the Steelers having their defensive end starters in place with Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt I would not be surprised to see Hargrave play some 3 technique in addition to lining up over the center.
Hargrave is competing with Dan McCullers for the starting NT role but even if he doesn’t beat him he should see the field when spelling McCullers. The Steelers needed to improve their depth along the defensive line and did that with the selection of Harvgrave. He is extremely disruptive and has the strength and athleticism to get into the backfield and be a pest.
I cover Hargraves talents more in this profile. The interior of the Redskins offensive line should not sleep on this rookie. One of the things that makes Hargrave so effective is his ability to get “skinny” shooting the gaps which is why I believe the Steelers will line Hargrave up at the 3 tech more than your typical NT. The Redskins guards and center will have to remain stout, disciplined, and balanced to contain Hargrave in the opener. He could particularly be trouble for projected starters Spencer Long and Kory Lichtenstieger who have shown to struggle with quick defensive linemen in the past. Hargrave has shown the ability to finish in college and not only closes quickly on the quarterback but also goes after the football forcing eight fumbles in his collegiate career.