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.
Travon Mason, DL, Arizona
At 6’6, Trevon Mason has a solid frame to find a place for him among the Steelers defense, and at 290 pounds, there is still room to fill out and get bigger to anchor against NFL offensive lineman. Lots of experience at nose. In his final season at Arizona, he received Honorable Mention All Pac-12 recognition, while collecting 42 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks, in addition to 4 PBUs and 9 quarterback hurries. Played in 28 games during his career.
Strengths of Mason
Mason has the size that is intriguing to the Steelers in terms of his length. You can’t coach size, and if he is able to add quality weight in which he can still play effectively, it is a win for the organization. Is strong and will jolt offensive linemen with his punch. Hands like vice grips, and if he gets hold of any part of a ball carrier, he’s not going anywhere. Good jump off of the ball which allows him to get to the action quickly. High-effort, high-energy guy who doesn’t quit on the play and gets after it until the whistle.
Areas of Growth for Mason
For as tall as he is, he must add good weight to his frame to be able to anchor against offensive linemen. At 290 pounds, he is too light at this juncture; however, NFL-level strength and conditioning and nutrition will address this. Needs to work on playing lower to not let the OL win the leverage battle. General athleticism but a bit stiff-hipped, will need to develop flexibility and be the lower man. Better run defender than pass rusher and will work to develop pass rushing arsenal in the league.
Outlook for Making the 2022 Steelers Roster
The Steelers defensive line room is very crowded, especially the bottom end of the depth chart. Mason will have his work cut out for him, as he will be competing against the likes of Henry Mondeaux and Carlos Davis. While the 53-man roster may be a difficult task, securing a spot on the practice squad and developing over time would be the ideal pathway for Mason. With his frame and strength, there are traits that are intriguing.