For David Perales, the road to recognition was not easy.
After transferring from Sacramento State after the 2018 season, Perales was forced to sit out the entire 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules at that time.
Fast forward to 2022. That year, Perales took the Mountain West Conference by storm, setting career highs in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (16). His most notable performance came against San Jose State on October 15, 2022, when he recorded four sacks and five tackles for loss. Perales was arguably the catalyst for a Fresno State team that finished with a 10-4 record and would go on to win the conference title. Perales himself was recognized as one of the conference's premier defensive players, earning first-team All-Mountain West honors.
Yet, if one were to look at Perales entire body of work, one would discover that he has been consistent throughout his career. In 2021, he registered seven tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss. In his first year with the Bulldogs, Perales collected 4.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles in just six games.
Despite criticism regarding his size, Perales has a proven track record of production. With the need for depth at the edge rusher position, Perales could be molded into the type of player who could contribute as a situational pass rusher and on special teams for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
One should not make the mistake of assuming his value based on his undrafted status. Perales is the type of player who could make big moves and prove that he belongs in the NFL.