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The Film Room: Steelers OT Alejandro Villaneuva struggles in pass protection due to size

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Alejandro Villanueva replaced Kelvin Beachum last season after Beachum tore his left ACL while playing against the Cardinals. Villanueva is not your average offensive lineman. He stands three-to-four inches taller than most at 6’9” and weighs 320 pounds.

In this video breakdown, I took a look a few of Villanueva’s plays from last season to illustrate why he is struggling in pass protection and what he needs to do improve.

The main cause of his struggles is that he’s slow and stiff in his drop steps. As he shifts his weight backwards, he loses balance transferring the weight to his heels as opposed to the balls of his feet. This allows defenders to unbalance him with a hard punch to his chest plate. Speed and quickness around the edge will be his enemy going forward.

Looking at some of his preseason game tape, it’s clear that he has worked on his technique over the offseason, but Villanueva is still incredibly raw and will need plenty of time to develop into a starting caliber NFL tackle.