PITTSBURGH — For tweeners, their weight is always going to be monitored where they may play at the NFL level. For a guy like DeMarvin Leal, who played both at 7-technique and inside at Texas A&M, his fit with the Steelers was always going to be an odd one. However, in order to stick wherever he was going to go, Leal had to gain some weight since he was not quick enough to win outside at edge.
As such, when he weighed only 283 pounds at the NFL Combine, it raised some eyebrows. Still, the Steelers picked Leal, and now, it seems as if Leal has gained some weight since that day in March. When asked about his weight now, Leal noted that he is up near 300 pounds as it stands.
“I’m already up 15 pounds,” Leal said. “I’m just trying it out. We’ll see how it feels.”
That means Leal is up to 298 pounds since the NFL Combine. As such, there are a few places where Leal could play for the Steelers if that weight holds. The Steelers currently are planning to play him on the interior, however, and that is where Leal is ready to be comfortable playing.
“Here, I’m playing anywhere from a 2i to a 5,” Leal said. “It’s a little different, but the adjustment won’t be too hard.”
While Leal is already up 15 pounds, it seems that the Steelers may not have asked him to get up 15 pounds. Instead, Mike Tomlin says that Leal may have done that under his own direction instead of it coming directly from the Steelers themselves. That would leave his weight as somewhat of a conundrum.
“He’s speculating if he thinks we want him to put on weight,” Tomlin said. “We’re just here getting to know him, his body, and how it works. Oftentimes, in draft preparation, the guys hear things from NFL people and they try to do what they think we want. The reality is we are trying to get to know the pedigree of the athlete and how his body works and what is the optimal condition we want him to be in. So, it would be much too premature to talk about desired weights.”
It seems that the noise from the draft process may have gotten to Leal and he bulked up as a result. Still, he will likely need that extra weight in order to play inside. If he can keep the explosiveness he had at 283 at his new weight, Leal could be dangerous.