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Asti: Zach Frazier, Steelers Are a Match Made in Heaven

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Steelers Center Zach Frazier
Ed Thomason / Steelers Now

Zach Frazier and the Pittsburgh Steelers are a match made in heaven. For as often as people said Frazier fits the exact type of player Mike Tomlin loves, it seems like destiny that the West Virginia legend is traveling from Almost Heaven to what he hopes is his new football heaven in Pittsburgh.

After drafting the WVU product with the 51st overall pick in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Steelers are banking on Frazier living up his “bust proof” billing. Fortunately for Tomlin and the Steelers, everything points to Pittsburgh enjoying many years of stability at one of the most important positions in football.

Frazier will be expected to step in right away, likely assuming the starter role. When the Steelers released Mason Cole in February, many thought that tipped their hand as far as looking to draft for their next great center. It turns out that way of thinking was accurate, and with the other top centers off the board, the Steelers knew they had to pull the trigger on Frazier.

“Zach Frazier, what’s up my, man? Welcome to Pittsburgh, man. It’s pretty good, you don’t have real far to go. Where are you taking in the draft today? Are you in your hometown or are you in Morgantown?” said Tomlin while calling Frazier to welcome him to Pittsburgh.

It Actually Happened: Steelers Select WVU’s Zach Frazier in Second Round of 2024 NFL Draft

While it’s nice for Frazier and his family that his NFL home is only 70 miles north from Morgantown on Interstate 79, the Steelers and the Fairmont, W.Va. native would be a match made in Almost Heaven no matter what.

Frazier provides the Steelers with an intelligent, mature and athletic leader to help guide a completely revamped quarterback room. Another benefit of Frazier is the fact he will fit regardless who is ever under center. Since there’s no guarantee Russell Wilson or Justin Fields are on Pittsburgh’s roster at this point next year, Frazier will now provide Tomlin a sense of comfort.

Frazier played with three completely different types of quarterbacks in college in Jarret Doege, JT Daniels and most recently Garrett Greene.

PFF names WVU Football OL Zach Frazier to All-Big 12 team

West Virginia center Zach Frazier in a game against Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium on Sept. 23, 2022. — Kelsie LeRose / West Virginia Sports Now

It’s clear Frazier is well aware of the expectations on him and it’s also clear he’s ready for the challenge.

“I know how much O-line means to the Pittsburgh Steelers and their long tradition there of having great offensive linemen and great offensive lines, so it’s special,” said Frazier when asked being the second offensive lineman taken by the Steelers through the first two rounds of the draft.

Frazier also touched on the challenge of being part of a young offensive line in Pittsburgh that will be expected to perform to a high level right away.

“I think you just have to trust in the guy next to you. For me, making all the calls at center and making sure we all on the same page. I think that’s just built through reps and I’m ready to get started working on it.”

Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith offered his thoughts about Frazier.

“It’s a rarity you find a guy with this kind of pedigree in second round. He’s been a high achiever his whole life,” said Smith to the media, including our partners at Steelers Now, immediately following the selection of Frazier.

Frazier appeared in 47 games for the Mountaineers over a four-year span. Frazier’s career at West Virginia came to an end when he suffered a leg injury during the Baylor game on Nov. 25. He managed to get himself off of the field, avoiding a loss of time on the clock late in the game and impressing NFL scouts in the process. He capped off his Mountaineer career as an All-American and finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.

WVU Football Zach Frazier on senior day

WVU head coach Brown showered Frazier with praise once it was clear his college career was over, highlighting how much his final play shows his intelligence as a player.

“I can’t say enough about Zach Frazier. So appreciative of him and his family. I think one play sums up who he is for his entire career, and I just hope our fanbase, a young man from Fairmont, I think he’s the best center in college football,” said Brown.

The Steelers showed consistent interest in Frazier through the pre-draft process, interviewing him at the 2024 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and also bringing him to UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for a visit. The Steelers sent assistant offensive line coach Isaac Williams to Frisco, Texas to watch Frazier work out at the Big 12 pro day.

Despite not even testing, he helped himself at the 2024 NFL Combine, checking in at 6-foot-2 1/2 and 313 pounds with 32 1/4-inch arms and 10 7/8-inch hands. He has a 7.66 Relative Athletic Score out of 10. Frazier was limited in the pre-draft process by a broken leg suffered late in the West Virginia season.

Frazier was a West Virginia state champion wrestler before joining the Mountaineers. Despite being pegged as Pittsburgh’s center, Frazier’s versatility makes him even more valuable. He started nine games at guard as a freshman in 2020 before moving to center, where he was a three-year starter.

The stout and physical Frazier is perfect for the Steelers’ diverse run scheme, and his leadership and smarts will it well on the offensive line. One of the best centers in the country that should help the Steelers solidify their offensive line for whoever plays quarterback in the years to come.

Click here for more of WV Sports Now’s coverage of Zach Frazier and his selection by the Steelers.

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