By Jeremy Hritz
Pressley Harvin Links
This is my favorite pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Steelers, and while I am not a big memorabilia/jersey guy, if you’re looking for a gift idea for me, I’d wear a Pressely Harvin jersey loud and proud! Gifted the nickname “Thunderfoot” for his booming leg in high school, Harvin has the punting power that could be the stuff of legend in Steelers folklore. While not lengthy at 5’11, Harvin is 260+ pounds, and he brings the element of physicality to special teams, in addition to the potential to deliver the trick play on a fake punt. A 4-year starter at Georgia Tech, and the 2020 Ray Guy Award Winner for the NCAA’s best punter, the promise is there for Harvin to become a fixture in the Steelers’ kicking game, but he has to polish certain elements of his technique. Harvin is a player I will be watching all training camp, and rooting for, as the Steelers have not had an exemplary punter since Bobby Walden played for the team from 1964-1977.
Strengths of Harvin
A punter all of his life, though he did play some tight end in high school, Harvin has a powerful leg and can boom the football and pin opponents deep. Harvin averaged 48 yards per punt last NCAA season, and when you compare that to Jordan Berry’s career average of 44.4, you can’t help but feel encouraged. Harvin has the ability to consistently hit punts of 50+ yards without the aid of a bounce, and through the tightening of technique through NFL coaching, there is no reason to believe that Harvin cannot be even better. Is efficient from snap to punt, not wasting time and opening himself up to blocked kicks. Also has experience in running the fake, and has successfully executed such plays at Georgia Tech. Experience at holding for field goals and extra points as well (another fake element at the team’s disposal!).
Areas for Growth for Harvin
Where Harvin can wow you with his whale of a leg, he can also frustrate you with his lack of consistency. In addition to the 50 yard boomers, Harvin will also see his punts slice off his foot from time to time, giving up good field positioning to the opponent, something he will have to reduce, if not eliminate, for him to make the Steelers roster. Since we have seen these types of frustrating shanks from Berry as well, you’d have to wonder if Harvin’s upside makes him a better overall choice for the team as their starter?
How Does Harvin Fit Into the Steelers Depth Chart?
Harvin will be inserted into a very real competition with Jordan Berry during training camp, and if he can demonstrate any type of consistency with his massive leg, he can overtake Berry. If he cannot work out his technique, and his issues with consistency remain, he will be cut and be remembered as the punter-who-could-have-been.
What Will Harvin Contribute in Year One?
If Harvin makes the roster, he is the starter, and if he makes it that far, it’s because he has figured out how to minimize the snags in his game. If he is able to be reliable in nailing 50 yard bombs, he will benefit both the offensive and defensive units, as he will give the team a field position advantage. In a game where every opportunity counts, Harvin’s punting ability could be a boost for the entire team.
Steelers Comparable Player
Not even going to try here. One doesn’t exist. Harvin is a beast in his own class.
What Did This New Steeler Study?
Harvin is graduating this month with a degree in Business Administration from Georgia Tech. You can learn more about the program HERE.
Yay, Nay, or OK?
With the potential gains Harvin can provide, this pick is a big YAY for the Steelers. Here we go, Thunderleg! Make it happen!