Steelers Draft Prospect Interview: DT/DE Ryan McBean

Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
By Paul Eide
Steelers Fever Columnist


Oklahoma State's Ryan McBean is an impressive physical specimen, with great size and low body fat whose motor never stops. Having played only two years of division one football after transferring from a junior college, many NFL teams feel that he has yet to maximize his potential.

Ryan McbeanBuilt similarly to the Eagles Jevon Kearse, McBean's athleticism and size (6-5, 290 lbs) are attracting plenty of attention from NFL teams, including the Jets, Bengals, Broncos, Colts, Jaguars and Cowboys.

In two years as a starter for Oklahoma State, McBean accumulated 62 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 1 pass defended, 3 forced fumbles, 1 QB pressure and 1 blocked kick. Statistics rarely do a defensive lineman any justice and what can't be assessed via the numbers is his ability to close running lanes and disrupt opposing offenses.

"He can be physical and get around that gap in the line" said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy about McBean. "His quick initial burst helps him hit the gap and force plays to the outside, disrupting the rhythm of the QB or the ball carrier. Those types of things are what make him a special player one who should be successful in the NFL for some time."

Steelers Fever - Is it true that you have had a couple meetings with the Steelers?

Ryan McBean - "Yes, I visited with them at the Combine and afterwards. We have spoken a few times."

SF - What were those discussions about? Have they hinted toward drafting you?

RM - "It was just a regular interview and I talked to the head coach, sat down with the D-line coach and went over a couple of plays on film. It was pretty much a typical interview where they ask you what you feel comfortable with as far as scheme and get your reaction to some film. They didn't tell me they were going to draft me or anything like that, but they let me know they were interested."

SF - With the Steelers incorporating some components of a 4-3 defense under new coach Mike Tomlin, and with your experience playing in both the 4-3 and 3-4 in college did they hint about how they might use you?

RM - "They liked how I could play inside or outside, but more towards a defensive end position. I guess I'd be playing D end, playing a four technique or a five. Id be head up on the guard or Id be in the four slot also. I've always been a big fan of Casey Hampton and respect the way he plays. I see myself as a disruptor like that who can take out two blockers or have the athleticism and strength to move around."

SF - Have the Steelers emerged as the team that has shown the most interest so far?

RM - "To tell the truth there is no tellin'. You can never be for sure who is actually interested and who isn't. My expectations, I really don't expect anything form the NFL teams. I'm just working out in preparation for the season. The draft day situations change every day so I don't put too much stock in them."

SF - Have you seen more interest from teams that run a 4-3 defense or a 3-4?

RM - "I've talked to both 4-3 and 3-4. I don't really prefer either because I've been playing both for a while now, so it really comes down to where a particular team feels they can utilize me the best."

SF - Do you prefer one over the other?

RM - "No it doesn't even matter. Ive been playing D line for so long that I can play both comfortably."

SF - How important was your performance in the Senior Bowl as far as elevating your draft status?

RM - "It worked out great because I showed how versatile I am. I played both end positions during the game and also played a little defensive tackle as well. But even more important than that is the tape from the season. The tape doesn't lie. No matter what, they always have that to look at and if you look at that in my case I think it helps me more than anything."

SF - When you were watching tape with the Steelers, what ground did you cover?

RM - "They just showed me their basic schemes. They showed me different plays that they run out of the 3-4 scheme and where they thought I could fit in and help out."

SF - Have the teams that want to you to play inside expressed concern about your weight?

RM - "Some teams want me to be 300 pounds, some teams are cool with where I'm at. I can put on 20 pounds easily because I have a good frame and have it be a ‘good' 20 pounds, rather than 20 pounds of fat. Either way I can do whatever they want: the bottom line is that I feel I can be successful no matter what."

SF - Any final thoughts for Steelers fans?

RM - "Basically I appreciate the opportunity to even be invited to the Combine and just to go through this whole process. I'm a winner and love to play the game. I play with passion that the fans can appreciate because I don't take anything for granted. I'll be happy no matter who I get drafted by, but we'll find out on the 28th."