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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Draft Grades: Pittsburgh Answers Center Question with Zach Frazier

The Pittsburgh Steelers draft is now loaded up with offensive linemen and Zach Frazier is going to help them significantly.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Zach Frazier

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have landed their starting center as they selected West Virginia’s Zach Frazier with the 51st pick in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Once the team went with Troy Fautanu in the first round and addressed tackle, they immediately pivoted toward getting the starting center, and it became apparent that Frazier would likely be on their radar.

Frazier plays with a polished style that makes him a plug-and-play option. While not an elite athlete, he is solid across the board and can work in Arthur Smith’s wide zone scheme. In addition, he allows the team to have far more versatility in the run game process, continuing the gap scheme progress a year ago under interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner. Given Faulkner and offensive line coach Pat Meyer are back, there might be a move toward making this scheme more versatile rather than sticking to the mid and wide zone that Smith has been accustomed to in his fabric.

Frazier did not run at the combine while recovering from a broken leg that prematurely ended his 2023 season with the Mountaineers, but he did test at the 2024 Big 12 Pro Day. There, Frazier ran a 5.24-second 40-yard dash, a 4.69-second shuttle, a 7.85-second three-cone drill, an 8-foot-4 broad jump, and a 28 1/2-inch vertical jump. That shows his toughness, as does the grit to crawl off the field right after breaking his leg.

Fraizer does not have the athleticism or upside of Graham Barton or Jackson Powers-Johnson, but that’s fine. Thanks to his wrestling background, the tape is already maxed out in part. Frazier plays with excellent leverage and has fantastic hand usage. More than that, the team can immediately expect him to create vertical movement and in pass protection, he will not be blown back. The consistency that he and Troy Fautanu play with is commendable and something that the team should be extremely interested in seeing over the course of training camp.

Fraizer uses his grip strength to grapple defenders to the turf. By NFL standards. Overall, you look at his skills on tape, and he has been molded into a tough, highly intelligent center, and his bevy of experience should make for a relatively seamless transition to the league. So, overall there is little to be concerned about here for the Steelers. Frazier brings a toughness that works in Arthur Smith’s scheme while being a plug-and-play technician who should bring no worry to the field for the Steelers.

Overall, the value is great considering that Frazier could have gone much earlier. He fits the identity of the offensive line and the offense, and will now set the offensive line up for success into the future.

Grade: A