DeMarvin Leal, DE: Steelers NFL Draft Pick Analysis

By Jeremy Hritz

Over the course of the next week, I will be profiling all of the Steelers draft picks and undrafted rookie free agents. The goal is to give you a comprehensive look at all of the new players to familiarize you with what they have to offer and what they can possibly contribute in the 2022 season.


There is uncertainty surrounding the defensive line and Stephon Tuitt, and whether or not he will return to the Steelers for the 2022 season. There is also the reality that Cameron Heyward is aging, and it is unknown just how many years he has left playing at a high-level. Enter DeMarvin Leal, a defensive lineman from Texas A&M who has played in 33 games, is a bit if a tweener, and will be a project for the Steelers to develop into an individual who can potentially replace Tuitt or Heyward as a starter on the defensive line.

Player Profile

Height6’4SchoolTexas A&M
Age21HometownSan Antonio, Texas


40-Yard Dash5.020-Yard Shuttle 4.49
Bench DNPGames Played33
*2019Texas A&MSECFRDL121424385.52.0000000
*2020Texas A&MSECSODL101819377.02.514343.00311
2021Texas A&MSECJRDL1127315812.58.5000201
CareerTexas A&M597413325.013.014343.00512
Source: Sports Reference College Football


High-motor, high-intensity, and high-energy. Leal will never quit on a play, and that relentless oftentimes results in big plays. Athletic and explosive and has the ability to rush the passer, as evidenced by his 8.5 sacks in 2021. Sound in technique and able to coordinate his eyes with his body in response to the offensive play.

Areas for Growth

Lacks true size for an NFL defensive lineman, and must add weight in order to anchor down against the running game. At 283 pounds, Leal will get washed away by offensive lineman, and to offset that, he must make adding mass a priority. Is a tweener, and it is uncertain to where he can fit in to the Steelers defensive line. This makes him a project who will need time to develop and grow before he can legitimately have a shot to be a starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Where Does He Fit Into the Depth Chart?

Leal will settle in behind Isaiah Loudermilk in his first year and will get some, but not many, reps, depending on how much he can physically adapt to the NFL game. It is unrealistic to project Leal as a starter in his first year, as there is just too much development that must take place.

Projected Contribution in 2022

Look for 5-7 snaps per game for Leal as the floor in 2022, and 10-15 as the ceiling. He cannot be judged for his value in year one, as there is much needed development to get him in position to be a viable contributor on this defensive line. Give Leal the latitude to grow, and in a year or two, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Did You Know?

DeMarvin Leal was Texas A&M’s highest rated recruit since Myles Garrett. Yes, that Myles Garrett.

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