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'They trusted me, believed in my ability'

Why you should be excited about seventh-round pick Derwin Gray:

He’s been recognized by his program: Gray, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive tackle, was named Maryland’s best offensive lineman in 2017.

He’s potentially a position-flexible player: “Derwin Gray was the starting left tackle for Maryland,” General Manager Kevin Colbert assessed. “Derwin is a big, thick guy. He's always been a tackle at the collegiate level. Coach can address it as well, but he'll start off at tackle for us. His body type means that he can probably move inside and be a guard.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin was on the same page regarding Gray.

“He’s been a tackle but definitely has some guard physical characteristics that we would be interested in looking at, as well,” Tomlin said.

Gray had a good pre-draft feeling about the Steelers: “It was always great with the Steelers,” he said. “They always believed in me. They trusted in me. They believed in my ability, that I’m going to get the job done. I’m excited about the opportunity to come to Pittsburgh and contribute early at whatever position I’m needed at.”

Gray has no preference where he plays: “I’ve played both left and right tackle,” he said. “I haven’t played inside (at guard) at Maryland before. But again, I’m willing to play either one as needed.”

He’s intangibly appealing: Draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic summed up Gray as follows: “He isn’t the loudest but carried himself like a ‘veteran leader,’ according to his teammates.”

There’s a place for Gray based on his tape: Brugler’s summation was that Gray “stays engaged with rushers and can be a mauler in the run game, projecting as a backup swing tackle who will fight for starting reps.”

View photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 seventh round pick, OL, Derwin Gray

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