Draft visitors for Tuesday: DT Xavier Cooper of Washington State; TE Jeffrey Heuerman of Ohio State; TE Kennard Backman of UAB— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) April 14, 2015
The Pittsburgh Steelers are making no secrets about which direction they intend to go in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft. The team has brought in several prospects to date, and the majority of them have fallen in the cornerback, pass rusher or tight end category.
The trend continues Tuesday as the Steelers will be hosting TE Jeffrey Heuerman of Ohio State, TE Kennard Backman of UAB and DT Xavier Cooper of Washington State.
Heuerman is an athletic tight end who is capable of stretching the field, but isn't as known for his in-line blocking as much as the Steelers might like. Projected to be a 4th or 5th round selection, his position could jive with when the Steelers are looking to spend a draft pick on a tight end. Heuerman started every game for the Buckeyes in 2013 and 2014 and was a leader on the national championship team both in the locker room and on the field.
Backman out of UAB is another tight end who is projected to be drafted in the late rounds of the NFL Draft, and someone who wasn't even invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. At his pro day, Backman ran a 4.66 40-yard dash and had 17 repetitions with the 225-pound bench press. In his final year with UAB, Backman had 39 catches for 399 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Xavier Cooper is an athletic DT who is a converted TE but certainly doesn't lack size at the position. Standing at 6-foot 3-inches and 293 pounds, Cooper is more than capable of taking away space within the interior along the defensive line. Cooper showed off his athleticism at the Scouting Combine running the 40-yard dash in 4.86 seconds, a 7.23 second three-cone drill and 29 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press test. Cooper is projected to be a mid-round pick, which, like Heuerman, very well could be when the Steelers are looking to address their lack of defensive line depth.
Be sure to keep up to date with all pre-draft visits with the BTSC Draft Visits Tracker.