Heyward assesses the defensive line

Cam Heyward let it be known after the Steelers' 2105 season had ended that while he wasn't going to campaign for reinforcements along the defensive line, he also wouldn't be opposed to their arrival.

But in the aftermath of the draft, Heyward is taking a wait-and-see approach as it relates to third-round pick Javon Hargrave, and looking instead for more immediate help from a couple of Steelers' incumbents.

The Steelers participate in Day 2 of the 2016 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

"If he can help us out, we truly appreciate it," Heyward said of Hargrave, a defensive tackle from South Carolina State. "But it's time for other guys to step up, as well. L.T. Walton, Dan (McCullers) has to have an important role, whether that's at nose or in sub-package. Dan's a big body, you put him out there at nose or in a sub-package they're not moving him. But he has to be consistent."

Walton is a second-year pro and a former No. 6a draft pick from Central Michigan.

McCullers is a third-year pro and a former No. 6b selection from Tennessee.

He's also 6-foot-7 and 352 pounds.

"We want him to be a dominant force," Heyward continued. "There aren't many his size that come around and the ones that are his size play long years and are crazy in this league.

"You need Big Dan to play humungous and when he does that, everything gets stopped. Casey (Hampton) was the man having three guys on him and then that opened everything else up. It starts from the inside out."

McCullers was 'Big Dan' last season but he wasn't consistently humungous in Heyward's estimation.

"You saw glimpses," Heyward said. "Steve (McLendon) was the starting nose but Steve's not here. We don't need Dan to play like Steve. We need Dan to play like Dan, he's gotta play big and it can't be for just one or two plays. When he's out there he has to make a statement, 'You're not going to run the ball.'"

Hargrave is a 6-3, 305-pound interior lineman that projects as also being able to contribute as a sub-package pass-rusher. He's here, in part, because defensive line coach John Mitchell said the Steelers "need a guy that can help Tuitt and Heyward.

"I'm looking for some guys that can come in and help us where Heyward and Tuitt don't have to play 65 to 70 plays a game," Mitchell said after Hargrave had been drafted.

Heyward will take such help where the Steelers can find it, but he isn't necessarily counting on it coming from Hargrave right away.

"I don't want to put too much into that because the kid has to grow," Heyward said. "He has a great motor. I even saw a little bit of film on him and you see the way he runs to the ball, and that's expected here.

"Great first step, built-in leverage, if he continues to grow he could be a big contributor for us."

So there are options up front, possibilities for the Steelers.

They'll need more than just that.

"We have guys in place but we have to have more guys up to speed," Heyward said. "We'll find that out when we get to (training) camp."

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