The Steelers signed fifth-round draft pick Marcus Allen and seventh-round draft pick Joshua Frazier to four-year contracts. Allen was the team’s first of two picks in the fifth round, taken with the 148th overall pick. Frazier was the team’s second of two picks in the seventh round, taken with the 246th overall pick.
Allen, a safety from Penn State, and Frazier, a defensive tackle from Alabama, are the second and third of the team’s seven players from the 2018 NFL Draft to sign.
“Marcus is a big hitter, a good special teams player, and gives us some versatility in the secondary,” said defensive backs coach Tom Bradley. “He is a big-time tackler. He will strike you, that’s one thing, he is a very physical tackler. He is a real physical person around the ball. Probably the best part of his game is how physical he is. He gets after you pretty good.
“At Penn State he played some two-deep, he plays some invert, he plays free. They moved him around a lot. When he’s around the ball, it’s what he does best. I think that’s the thing that we took notice of. He’s a big kid, room for growth.”
Allen, the sixth player in Penn State history to top the 300-tackle mark, was selected first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and Associated Press first-team All-Big Ten selection.
“I am definitely going to work on every aspect of my game, whether that is form tackling, creating more turnovers, coverage, everything,” said Allen. “I am just going to be working my butt off. This is my job now.”
Allen’s father, Shawn Allen, is from the Homewood area of Pittsburgh and while they now live in Maryland, they still have plenty of family in Pittsburgh. He grew up a Steelers fan, and said he immediately put on a Steelers hat once he got the call that he was drafted by the Steelers.
“This is my home man,” said Allen. “It’s my hometown. My grandmother is from there. My grandfather is from there – my whole family. I am a Steelers fan. I got all this Steelers gear in my room.”
Frazier was coached in college by new Steelers defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, so there is plenty of familiarity there.
“I think he is strong at the point, he can push the pocket and the good thing about it is I coached him the last two years,” said Dunbar. “He can demand two blockers. He is a big, athletic kid who you can’t find a lot of. When you do you have to take advantage.”
Frazier played in 40 games at Alabama, finished with 28 tackles, two sacks, three passes defensed and a forced fumble.
“Coach Dunbar, he was my defensive line coach my junior and senior years at Alabama, I know he’ll take care of me and help me get settled,” said Frazier. “But once you’re in the league, it’s dog-eat-dog, and you have to take care of yourself.”