Former Alabama offensive lineman Tyler Steen, a three-year Vanderbilt Commodore who transferred to Tuscaloosa for his senior year and started all 13 games including the Sugar Bowl against Kansas State, would be a “total first-round surprise” during the upcoming NFL draft on April 27 — this according to an unnamed executive who spoke with Heavy’s own Matt Lombardo.
“Tyler would definitely be a total first-round surprise,” the AFC personnel executive said of Steen. “He has guard and tackle versatility, scored high on all the psych tests. Since there are almost no quality offensive linemen in this draft, he and a bunch of them will be over-drafted.”
Lombardo honed in on the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, and Los Angeles Rams as potential fits for the Miami native. Dawgs By Nature’s Jared Mueller called Steen an “interesting” draft prospect after meeting with the Cleveland Browns, but Mueller cast doubt on whether or not the offensive tackle has a first-round pedigree.
“The 6’6”, 320-pounder played well for Nick Saban’s group but didn’t present enough consistency to warrant an early-round selection despite some good athletic skill,” Mueller wrote.
Tyler Steen Can Get ‘Pushed Up the Board’ on Draft Night
Due to the “dearth of talent around the league” at the offensive tackle position, Steen and many of his positional peers in the 2023 draft class could find themselves flying off the board far sooner than expected according to Mueller.
“Both The Draft Network and Bleacher Report have Steen as a third-round selection,” Mueller prefaced before saying, “Given the dearth of talent around the league at offensive tackle, it wouldn’t be shocking if some get pushed up the board. Given his redshirt senior status, Steen won’t get the benefit of being a ‘project’ that can be molded. Instead, the NFL Network notes that he is a “good backup with the potential to develop into a starter.”
NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan believes San Francisco 49ers offensive line coach Chris Foerster would need to work on Steen’s footwork, but that he can potentially develop into a starter if his flaws are worked on.
“The knock on Steen by draft evaluators is his footwork, which can be developed over time by offensive line coach Chris Foerster,” Chan wrote. “If the Alabama tackle’s lower body can sync up with the strength and power of his upper body, Steen could have a solid future in the NFL.”
Tyler Steen Can Be ‘Great Late Value Get’
According to College Football News’ Pete Fiutak, Steen can be a “great late value get” for teams on the second day of the NFL draft — and the Alabama product could also end up starting his rookie season in the right situation.
“(Steen’s) hardly a perfect prospect – there isn’t any one area that stands out – but he’ll slide a bit and be a great late value get,” Fiutak said. “He’ll be the rare Day Three draft pick who’ll start early on.”
Fiutak had a message for NFL draft scouts who could be prone to overthinking.
“You don’t play left tackle for Nick Saban without knowing what you’re doing,” Fiutak said.