Football, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU’s Zach Frazier drafted by Pittsburgh Steelers in 2nd round of NFL Draft

MORGANTOWN — Former West Virginia offensive lineman Zach Frazier has been drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2024 NFL draft.

Frazier is WVU’s highest draft pick since safety Karl Joseph was taken in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

A four-year starter for the Mountaineers, Frazier started 46 of 47 games played at WVU. He began as a left guard in 2020, starting nine games as the first freshman to start on WVU’s offensive line since 1980. Frazier then transitioned to center, where he developed into one of the premier players in the country at the position.

“He’s got physical tools, played with great leverage and his hands are extremely strong,” WVU coach Neal Brown said last month. “Mentally, schematically, he’s as advanced as anyone that’s in his class. He’s going to be physically and mentally ready to play at the highest level.”

A two-time All-Big 12 first-teamer and third-team All-American, Frazier was also a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy last year.  As a senior, he anchored a WVU offensive line that led Power 5 in rushing (2,976) and allowed the second-fewest sacks (10) in the nation.

“You’re going to get somebody that has a work ethic both in the film room, weight room and practice field that’s unmatched,” Brown said. “I firmly believe he’s going to be a starter in the National Football League from year one and for as long as he is physically able to play.”

A Fairmont native, Frazier won the 2018 WVSSAC Class AA state championship with Fairmont Senior High School. He was the winner of the 2019 Stydahar Award, given by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association to the top offensive lineman in the state. Frazier was also a four-time state champion wrestler for the Polar Bears, amassing a 159-2 career record on the mat.

For all his physical gifts, Brown thinks Frazier’s off-the-field traits were just as attractive to NFL teams.

“They’re going to get a great teammate and a tremendous human being first and foremost,” Brown said. “That’s not everybody, but that’s him.”

Having never played center before coming to WVU, Brown said Frazier’s biggest area of growth as a Mountaineer was his ability to communicate.

Pittsburgh went 10-7 in 2023, losing in the first round of the playoffs. The Steelers released starting center Mason Cole this offseason.

“With his pedigree, his resume, the amount of snaps he has in college and his background in wrestling, we couldn’t be more fired up to get Zach in the building,” Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Arthur Smith said after the team selected Frazier.

It is the second year in a row a Mountaineer from Fairmont has been taken in the NFL Draft. Defensive lineman Dante Stills was taken by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Frazier is the fourth WVU player to be drafted under Brown. He joins Stills last season, linebacker Tony Fields in 2021 and offensive tackle Colton McKivitz in 2019.