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.
Carlins Platel, CB, University of South Carolina
Carlins Platel was invited to the Steelers rookie minicamp to try out, and he made the team. Platel began his collegiate career at Division II Assumption College where he recorded 7 interceptions before sitting out his senior season in 2020 because of COVID. In 2021, he transferred to South Carolina for one season as a graduate student. Platel played in 12 games at South Carolina, starting 7 of them at nickel corner. Recorded 21 tackles and was awarded an Overcoming Adversity Award from the South Carolina coaching staff. Made the big jump from DII to the SEC successfully.
Strengths of Platel
Played in the SEC after playing smaller college football and did so successfully. Had experience facing higher caliber receivers and offenses. OK size at 5’11, 194 and decent strength, throwing up 16 reps on the bench press. Has versatility and can be moved around the secondary. Physical and fearless against the run, and is a sure tackler when confronting ball carriers. Shows some talent in terms of blitzing. Focus is on playing the ball when results in splash. In totality, has a nice variety of skills to work with.
Areas of Growth for Platel
Speed is below average, as Platel ran a 4.65 40-yard dash. This will not cut it against NFL receivers, and this will force him to be utilized in a creative way in sub-package football. Laterally, he is heavy footed which can result in him getting exposed in man coverage (he is best suited for zone coverage responsibilities). Minimal experience at the Division I level and questions if he has what it takes for the NFL.
Outlook for Making the 2022 Steelers Roster
Platel is an intriguing prospect being that he was given a tryout, and impressed the coaches enough to get a shot on the current 90-man roster. He has a multitude of skills that will need to transfer to the NFL game if he is to thrive. As Jim Wexell pointed out last week, the Steelers are repping Platel hard at the slot CB position inn OTAs, so they are clearly trying to see what value, if any, Platel can provide. Platel has to show that his speed will not be a liability if he is to have a shot to make this team. His best case scenario is making the practice squad and getting time to develop.