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Undrafted Free Agent Has a Chance to Make the Pittsburgh Steelers Opening Day Roster

July 17th, 2013 at 10:57 PM
By Mark Mihalko

With training camp roughly a week away, there has been a lot of talk about the lack of experienced depth along the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line. While that would usually be viewed as a detriment, the fact that the Steelers have dedicated early draft choices up front, should allow for the starting line to be one of their stronger units (if healthy).

'Drew Westling' photo (c) 2009, SD Dirk - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Depth could be a concern in 2013. Although the Steelers did not act as if that was the case during the draft, passing over some quality offensive line prospects throughout the three-day event.

The Steelers brought a handful of offensive linemen as undrafted rookie free agents and a couple of those have a chance to stick as rookies. One offensive lineman that fits that description is San Diego State guard Nik Embernate. The solid 6-4, 300-pound prospect is a gamer, who was one of the more consistent offensive linemen in the Mountain West Conference. In all, he has 35 starts to his credit in a run heavy offense.

Embernate was the only offensive lineman to visit the facility during pre draft workouts and was a high priority signing for the Steelers. In fact, it would not have been a surprise if the team would have spent a sixth or seventh round selection on him had the draft fallen a different way on day three.Complete with a lot of upside, his build should allow him to add some bulk without losing any of his athleticism. A mauler, he has the ability to play in both man and zone blocking schemes and is comfortable as a pulling guard. He also flashes a nasty streak, and wants to finish every block once engaged.

Playing at a smaller school, he may not be a household name, but his combination of athleticism (5.18 40-yard dash and 21 reps at 225) and dominating characteristics on tape, should give him at least a punchers chance at making the roster.  With camp only a week away, he will be one player to keep an eye one.

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Tags: Football, NFL, Nik Embernate, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego State

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