Ziggy Hood made several starts last year in place of the injured Aaron Smith and graded out as ProFootballFocus’ worst 3-4 defensive end. However, Hood was a 1st round pick in 2009 and the Steelers still have a lot of hope for him as he is expected to take over full time for the now departed Smith in 2012.
In an effort to make good on his upside, Hood, who admits he was sluggish down the stretch last season, says he has lost 20 pounds of fat this offseason and added 18 pounds of muscle and has dropped his body fat percentage from 24% to 18%. Hood will have the first crack at the starting job, but could be pushed by 2011 1st round pick Cameron Heyward if he continues to struggle. Now that he’s in shape, he could easily have a break out year in his 4th year in the league.