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2023 NFL Draft

Steelers Draft Profile: Penn State C Juice Scruggs Has ‘Whatever It Takes’ Mindset

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Juice Scruggs

LAS VEGAS — It’s common that an offensive lineman who places one position in college may need to be switched to another spot to have success in the NFL. And while that could be the case for Penn State’s Juice Scruggs, he’s relishing the opportunity to play in the NFL regardless.

Scruggs told Mike Asti that NFL coaches and personnel are asking him how he would react to the possibility of being moved to a guard spot depending on the need of the team. Fortunately for Scruggs, he has experienced at both positions of the line, but did start every game at center this past season for the Nittany Lions.

“They say I’m definitely athletic. I have great length. And they said I show on film that I have great quickness,” Scruggs detailed as what NFL teams said to him about his game. Add those type of comments from those who matter in the NFL with the high confidence Scruggs has of himself, and it sounds like a recipe for success.

He did explain what he’s told teams as a sales pitch of sorts. “I’m just out here to prove I can do a lot of things. I feel I can work well in any scheme. And I’m just here to prove that,” he said. But when asked if he now feels more comfortable at center, Scruggs, who almost appeared ready for that question, gave a quick “it doesn’t matter to me” response to further hammer home his point that he will do whatever a team needs him to do.

As for what teams might be taking a liking to Scruggs, it was tough for him to point to just a few since he’s talked to so many. He did highlight the Browns, Ravens and even the Steelers, who are expected to be on the hunt for offensive line help, and could look to fill that in the draft. It’s almost fitting those were the teams he mentioned sine his blue collar attitude may fit in well in the tough AFC North.

Oddly enough, Scruggs offered that his father used to actually be a Steelers fan, although he’s now just a Juice Scruggs fan, according to his son. The Scruggs family is from Ohio, Ashtabula to be exact. On the other hand, Scruggs says he would pick the Browns if he had to pick an NFL team. But the most important thing for Scruggs now is to continue to live by the “I’ll do whatever it takes” mentality and hope an NFL franchise believes in him as much as he believes in himself.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Measured at the Shrine Bowl: 6-foot-2 3/4, 308 pounds, 33 3/8-inch armspan, 82-inch wingspan, 10 1/4-inch hands.

JUICE SCRUGGS SCOUTING REPORT

Mike Asti at the Shrine Bowl: Juice Scruggs, who started at center for Penn State, said he believes he can play anywhere he’s needed and fit into any NFL system. He pointe out the Steelers, Ravens and Browns as teams he’s talked to that stood out. He mentioned his dad was a Steelers fan, but is now just a Juice Scruggs fans. He said he’s considerers himself a Browns fan if he had to pick an NFL team.

HOW DOES HE FIT?

Alan Saunders: The Steelers have two backup centers likely to return to the roster in 2023: J.C. Hassenauer and Kendrick Green. But Hassenauer is a restricted free agent and has been a backup for four seasons now. Green, the team’s third-round pick in 2021, barely dressed in 2022 after being moved to guard. If the Steelers want to provide some competition for Hassenauer or get a backup with some more long-term upside, a center like Scruggs on Day Three could make a lot of sense.

WHERE WILL SCRUGGS BE DRAFTED?

The NFL Mock Draft Database, has Scruggs coming in with an overall rank of 286th, which puts him off the end of the board as an undrafted free agent. But he’s seen his stock swing nearly 150 spots in the last month, and the back end of the draft is still very fluid at this point. A strong week in Vegas could go a long way.

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