With some players, statistics are not a fair representation of their overall value on the field.
In the case of defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal, his rookie season numbers did not do him justice, as he was able to affect the game in many ways with his pass-rushing abilities.
Coming out of Texas A&M, Leal was known for his ability to make plays in the backfield, generally from 3-technique or 6-technique. In his junior year with the Aggies, Leal set career highs in sacks (8.5), tackles for loss (12.5), and total tackles (58).
What should be noted about Leal is his arsenal of pass-rush moves, which make him the type of player who can get in the backfield frequently. Though we did not see enough of it in his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the addition of rookie Keeanu Benton could mean that Leal gets moved to his natural position as defensive tackle or even at the 6-technique, where his pass rush moves can flourish.
As a run stopper, it is no secret that his weaknesses are fully exposed; anchoring against the run is not his strong suit. However, placing him in the right spot could result in an increase in win rate and more production. In a very similar way to Chris Wormley in 2021, we believe Leal has the potential for a quiet breakout season where he posts near double-digit sack numbers.
Sack Number Prediction: Seven sacks
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