By Jeremy Hritz
After finishing up all of the Steelers draft pick profiles, it is now time to move on to the undrafted rookie free agents. In this series, which will cover all 10 UDRFAs, I will provide an overview and analysis of each prospect so you know what to expect, and how, potentially, the player fits into the Steelers plans heading into 2022.
Donovan Jeter, DL, University of Michigan
6’3, 325 pounds, Donovan Jeter played in 37 games at Michigan, but only started four of them. Is from Western Pennsylvania, and played his high school football at Beaver Falls High School, on which he was a member of their 2016 AAA State Championship team. Over his four year career at Michigan, he tallied 38 total tackles, and 2 tackles for loss. Not a ton of starting experience, nor a lot of production, possibly the Steelers feel there is untapped potential in Jeter they want to see if they can extract.
Strengths of Jeter
Jeter can play up and down the defensive line, bringing some versatility to his game. While he was not a starter at Michigan, he was a rotational player, getting snaps in various roles and assignments. Is strong and powerful and a sure tackler. Can clog up running lanes, anchoring down with his size, eating up offensive linemen. Has flashed some pass rush potential on occasion, though not consistently.
Areas of Growth for Jeter
Not an intuitive player, and often does not accurately diagnose the play to respond accordingly. When engaged with blockers, has a difficult time shedding and getting to the play. Not great arm length which can pose problems at times with tackling. Has to work on generating more explosiveness in getting off the ball, in addition to varying his pass rush approach.
Outlook for Making the Steelers 2022 Roster
Like Travon Mason, it is going to be difficult sledding for Jeter to make the Steelers practice squad, let alone the 53-man roster, though that is not to say it’s not possible. Jeter will need to double down on his strength and power, while working to develop his reads, explosiveness, and pass rush plan. It’s an overcrowded defensive line room, so Jeter will have to show he brings versatility and traits not currently on the roster. If he is to make it, the practice squad is his best chance.