When the College football season ended there was was not a lot of talk around UB defensive End Steven means. Despite a solid career which included all conference selections and school records Means has been out shined by his Teammate Khalil Mack. But a solid pro day in front of scouts from 20 NFL teams may have moved the Grover Cleveland product from a nominal undrafted free agent to a late round gem.
Means brings a lot of things to the table which could put him over the top in the late rounds. It's much the same formula that Oakland used when they drafted UB's Trevor Scott in 2008.
First there is his durability.
Aside from using a red shirt during his first year on campus Means has never missed a game. Not injury, grades, or the quality of his play has ever kept him from being a part of UB's on field presence. Through four years, two head coaches, three defensive coordinators and as many line coaches Steven Means has been as reliable as gold. Forty eight straight games and forty three straight starts.
Then there is his versatility. The Turnover in coaching staff have forced means from a 4-3, to a hybrid, to a straight 3-4 defense. Through all the scheme changes and challenges Means has proven a supremely versatile athlete capable of inflicting damage in multiple ways. He is also a phenomenal special teams player. Blocking three kicks and anchoring UB's field goal defense unit.
He has also made himself far more effective against the run since the move to a 3-4 defense. Means developed from a pure pass rusher into a far more balanced player, eventually getting strong enough against the run to rack up almost 200 tackles over his four years at Buffalo.
Finally there is his athleticism. Means really opened the door for his entry into the NFL draft when he ran a 4.6 40 during UB's pro day.
"At first it was free agency talk. Of course after pro day, it became the stock rising a little more. But you never know with the draft." -- Steven Means
His pass rushing skills are the equal of anyone in the MAC and he has become very effective dropping back into pass coverage during a zone blitz. His nineteen and half sacks tops Trevor Scott as the number two Buffalo pass rusher of all time. Those sacks are in addition to fifteen hurries, nine pass breakups, and two interceptions, taking one for a touchdown.
Elsewhere in the defensive backfield Means piled up thirty and a half tackles for loss, tenth all time among UB Bulls players.
Means would best work out as an elephant back or pass rushing linebacker. It was a role that many talented college pass rushing ends find themselves asked to fill in the NFL. It's where Scott ended up in Oakland, at the outside linebacker spot he put up great numbers and became a fan favorite before a knee injury sidetracked his career.
After his pro day means has seen serious interest expressed by from 14 NFL teams.Most of these teams would look at Means no sooner than the sixth or seventh round of the draft.
The best fit might be the Cleveland Browns. If The Browns,choose to move Jabaal Sheard from end to Linebacker as part of the 4-3 to 3-4 project they will need someone to back him up. Mel Kiper listed among others Buffalo’s Steven Means as pass rushers who would fill the need.