Steelers Get Self-Described ‘Nastiest Player in This Draft’

Kendrick Green

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images Quarterback Matt Robinson of the Illinois Fighting Illini carries the ball as teammate Kendrick Green blocks Esezi Otomewo of the Minnesota Gophers on October 5, 2019.

On Friday night the Pittsburgh Steelers added interior offensive lineman Kendrick Green in the third round of the NFL draft.

“I am really excited about KG. He is a guy we had our eye on,” offensive line coach Adrian Klemm told immediately after the team selected Green with the No. 87 overall pick out of the University of Illinois.

“We love the way that he plays in terms of what we’ve been talking about, in terms of changing our demeanor and the attitude that we want to carry onto the field. 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.”

PFF: Kendrick Green is ‘one of the most explosive guard prospects we’ve ever seen’

Klemm isn’t the only NFL observer who loves what Green can potentially bring to the table.

On Pro Football Focus’ Draft Show Live, Austin Gayle of PFF related how he interviewed Green while the 305-pounder was on his way to get a God of War tattoo on his arm.

“I’m the nastiest player in this draft,” Green told Gayle, which the PFF analyst said he’s inclined to agree with.

“He’s one of the most explosive guard prospects we’ve ever seen,” said Gayle, before noting that Green was recruited to Illinois to play defensive tackle but was converted to the offensive line.

Gayle went on to call Green an ideal culture fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers. “He’s a project but he has got all the tools, he’s got the demeanor, it’s Pittsburgh through and through. He’s one of my favorite players in the draft so obviously I love the pick.”

Kendrick Green: ‘I am looking to be a workhorse’

Better yet, Green loves the fact that he was selected by the Steelers.

Here he is getting the call from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin:

Here he is celebrating after the Steelers made the selection:

Notably, it seems as if Green pretty much agrees with the assessments made by both Klemm and Gayle.

“I feel like I am a really athletic offensive lineman, the most athletic offensive lineman in this year’s class. I play with a mean streak. I am looking to play physical and finish guys. Hopefully I fit right in. I am looking to come in, be a sponge, and be a workhorse,” he told

Green certainly made a good case for himself at Illinois’ Pro Day when he posted a 4.88 40-yard dash, a 35 1/2″ vertical leap and a 9’11” broad jump, attention-grabbing numbers for a 300-pound-plus player.

Specifically, Green is 6-foot-2 and 305 pounds. He started all eight games for the Fighting Illini in 2020 and finished out his college career with 33 straight starts. In 2020 he was a USA Today second team All-America selection, an Associated Press All-Big Ten first team selection and a consensus All-Big Ten first team selection.

Apparently, he’s already been in touch with at least one of his future offensive line mates, with right tackle Zach Banner reporting that Green is “already ready to work.”