Pittsburgh Steelerssixth-round draft pick Ulysees Gilbert has been taking reps at “Mack” inside linebacker during organized team activities the past three weeks, the rookie said Thursday from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
“It’s kind of what I did in college, weak-side ‘backer,” Gilbert said. “(But) inside linebacker is inside linebacker.”
Gilbert is working to establish a niche among a position group that boasts three starter-level players in Vince Williams, Mark Barron and first-round pick Devin Bush, in addition to an established backup and special-teams standout in Tyler Matakevich.
But Gilbert isn’t looking too far ahead, not stressing over his chances of making the 53-man roster or practice squad. Right now, he’s just giddy to be taking part in OTAs.
“It’s just a blessing to be out here with all the vets,” Gilbert said. “Just to get to run around with some of the players you always watch as a kid, is just a surreal feeling. I am just happy to be here.”
An alumnus of Akron, Gilbert’s scouting report suggests that although he is undersized at 6-0, 224 pounds, he has NFL-level athleticism. As such, Gilbert said he feels he’s fit in with the pros on the OTA practice fields this spring.
What’s stood out to him most so far in his young NFL experience is that.
“The speed wasn’t too bad, just really mostly it’s been the technique and the key to every little small (minutiae of football),” Gilbert said. “All the little things matter, all the details. That’s been the biggest thing, just knowing what everybody is doing, how your feet and everything has got to be perfect. It’s one of those things you ju