Connect with us

2024 NFL Draft

Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy Tabs Dominick Puni as Center Option for Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers could look to Kansas’ Dominick Puni as a potential sleeper option at center after his tests in the process.



Pittsburgh Steelers Dom Puni

When it comes to potential rookie centers that the Pittsburgh Steelers could target, the same four names come up: Jackson Powers-Johnson, Graham Barton, Zach Frazier, and Sedrick Van Pran. The other names in the class are seldom talked about, but there are others in a deep center class. The deeper you get, the less likely it is that someone will play right away.

But there might be another name to add to that hat. Kansas’ Dominick Puni has come onto the draft radar quickly over the last two months since the Senior Bowl. In Mobile, Puni played all five spots along the offensive line. And while an offensive tackle, Puni really comes into view as a potential center prospect because of his functional mobility in space and strong anchor. This thread by Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy lays out Puni’s strengths.

Nagy states that Puni is not getting out of the third round. And that would be an interesting spot for the Steelers to consider him. Puni is not a natural center, and has true five-spot versatility. He trained at all five spots for the process and continues to do just that, too. With his athleticism, he certainly looks the part of an Arthur Smith center.

“It’s really cool because I’m kind of like a Swiss Army knife, tricks of all trades, just to be able to not really hesitate when they ask me ‘go play that [position],” Puni said at the Senior Bowl.

And Nagy believes that Puni could be an excellent fit with the Steelers.

“In later rounds, guys like Bo Lemer from Arkansas and Dom Puni from Kansas are guys I can see being taken in the third round. Puni can play every spot on the line,” Nagy told Ron Lippock of Steelers Takeaways.

A former Division-II standout, Puni has played both guard spots and left tackle in his college career, but in practice has repped all over the line. Many teams will view him as a rare five-spot versatile guy as a result, and the Steelers love guys like Puni.

And this is one of those guys who has proven to be able to play well across the offensive line. Unlike Kendrick Green, Kevin Dotson, or Broderick Jones, who have a clear natural spot, Puni is one of those rare types that truly can play all five spots. And as an experienced guy, the tape showcases plenty of polish on his tape. This could be someone who does play early in his career.

I am not saying this will be the pick for the Steelers. Still, we know that assistant offensive line coach Isaac Williams was down in Mobile to work with the offensive line, and even if Puni was on the other team, Williams and the rest of the staff got to see him up close and personal. Williams followed that up with a trip to Frisco for Big 12 Pro Day during offensive line workouts. All of those boxes are getting checked for some interest here. Consider the antenna stocked up if he comes in for a Top-30 visit.

One of those top-four centers is probably the likely pick for the Steelers at some point in the 2024 NFL Draft. But I think it’d be a bit foolish to completely disregard someone like Puni in this class, especially with a favorable profile for what the Steelers like at the position.