Why Undrafted?: Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell
After the end of the 2014 season and in the beginning of the draft process, there were a lot of projections of Auburn center Reese Dismukes being one of the top centers in the 2015 NFL Draft. Dismukes had a successful run as the Tigers' starting center for 50 games. He was a key part of Auburn's potent rushing attack the past two seasons and was considered a smart, well-rounded player. Thus, it was surprising to some when Dismukes went undrafted despite seven centers being selected in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Sources say the reason that Dismukes went undrafted was because teams felt that Dismukes would not be a positive presence in their locker rooms. Dismukes is said to dislike certain portions of the team and segments of teammates who are in every NFL locker room. Teams didn't want to draft a player who they felt would cause problems in their locker room and divisions among the players. In the end, every team passed on Dismukes multiple times despite a good college career.
After going undrafted, Dismukes signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Obviously, competing for the starting position is out of the question considering the Steelers have one of the best centers in the NFL in Maurkice Pouncey. Dismukes will compete for a backup job, but that won't be easy for him to earn because he isn't a player who is viewed as a versatile game-day backup to move to guard or tackle if there is an injury. With NFL teams only dressing three backups at most, they want those backups to have versatility.
Most likely, Dismukes will have to hope that he is so much better than the other backups that he forces the Steelers to either keep him as Pouncey's backup or put him on the practice squad. If Dismukes plays well in the preseason games, another team could snatch him up if the Steelers cut him. Most important thing for Dismukes is him making a good impression on Mike Tomlin, so Tomlin would be willing to recommend him to another team if he is cut. Dismukes needs to show that the criticisms that led him to going undrafted are not true and he won't be a problem in NFL locker rooms.
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