Updated: May 14
With names like Quinn Meinerz and Trey Hill still on the board, few Pittsburgh Steelers fans expected to hear the name 'Kendrick Green' announced with the 87th pick, by legendary rap artist and Steelers fan Darryl McDaniels of RUN DMC.
What is for certain, opposing defenders in the Big Ten Conference were very familiar with Green, as he earned the reputation as one of the most physically imposing offensive linemen on the field. Last season, Green became the first Illinois offensive lineman to earn All-America honors, in addition to being named the third highest rated guard in the nation by Pro Football Focus.
At his Pro Day March 17th, he garnered the attention of all 32 teams, as he shocked the masses with his performance, which included running a 4.85-second 40-yard dash, and bench pressing 25 reps at 225 pounds.
For the Steelers offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, it was his nasty disposition that made him the perfect fit their new philosophy on offense.
We love the way that he plays ... in terms of changing our demeanor and the attitude that we want to carry onto the field," Klemm said. "He embodies all of that. He has great leadership qualities. He was the alpha in that program. He is just a tremendous player. He can do it all. The pulls, physical in the run game, pass protect. All of those things.
Whether they decide to place him at center or guard, Green should bring the type of attitude that should help the Steelers establish a physical tenor on offense that was missing last season. He may not have been the pick many expected, but he could very well end up being the one that they needed all along.