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2016 Pittsburgh Steelers Big Board: By Ranking (Feb. 15)

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The newest iteration of the BTSC Steeler Big Board, with scores of new links and many new entries (particularly on the offensive line and at Inside Linebacker). Approximately 175 prospects, with links to articles and scouting reports from around the Web. Ranked according to (apparent) desirability from a Steeler point of view.

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This version of the BTSC Big Board was updated on Mar. 2.


To see all versions of the Board, along with BTSC's related articles, Click Here.

STEELERS PICK AT: #25 of the first round; #27 of the second round; #26 of the third round; #25 of the fourth round; and #10 and #22 of the seventh round.

SOURCES: Analysis of needs is based on the discussion at BTSC together with published opinion from people who ought to know what they're talking about. You can find a nice Comment with my personal view on wants & needs here. Most of the raw data for this Board came from BTSC articles and comments, cbssports.com, walterfootball.com, the NFL's Draft Tracker site, and SBNation blogs.

YOUR COMMENTS MATTER: The Board is constantly updated to reflect feedback in the Comments. What you see is intended to reflect our community opinion, not the author's personal opinion about what's "right."

Organized by Highest Value ("HV#") to the Steelers. Great players for other teams get downgraded here when they fail to fit the Steelers' openings, system, or other requirements, with enormous downgrades moved to the "Ain't Gonna Happen" list at the end. An HV of 1:25 means the player is a reach for the Steelers at any point before Pick # 25 overall but good value at any point from the end of the 1st on. Getting that player in the early 2nd would be fine, while getting him at 2:14 would almost be a steal. Yes, this system results in a certain amount of grade inflation for positions of need because we are talking about the "highest" grade, not the one where a player is expected to go; grades are never pushed up just because of need, however. Players with the same HV# are more-or-less equivalent so don't sweat the order inside each grouping. I tried to group them by position: Defense, then Offense, inside to out.

Rounds are subdivided as follows:

  • 1st Round grades: 1:01, 1:05, 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, or 1:25.
  • 2nd & 3rd Round grades: Early (#:01), Mid (#:12), or Late (#:24).
  • 4th to 7th Round grades: Early (#:01) or Late (#:16).

HV

Info

1:01

Joey Bosa, EDGE/DL, Ohio State - 6'5, 275 lbs. Going in the top 5. Period. End of story. No need to waste any more space. For those who are not Bosa lovers, I suggest this Bleacher Report scouting report as a good source of ammunition. It makes some good arguments that Bosa ought to be a mid-1st pick rather than a Top-5 in a duly respectful manner that does not knock how great a compliment it is to be a Round 1 pick in the first place.

1:01

Jalen Ramsey, S/CB, Florida State - 6'1", 204 lbs. The only question marks for Ramsey are measurables like straight line speed, cone drills, and other SPARQ components. If those only "okay" you're looking at the best Safety in the draft, bar none. If they're exceptional, you're looking at someone who could remind people of Rod Woodson - a superb Corner prospect who will eventually move to Safety as his career winds down. From the Steelers' point of view, the only question is where he would be "more" special. Alas, but it's not a problem they're likely to have.

This January scouting report from the Draft Wire emphasizes that Ramsey is an athletic genius who deserves all the raves, but also a player who will continue to improve as he masters more of the technical subtleties and intellectual aspects of the game.

1:05

DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon - 6'7", 290 lbs. If you could design the perfect physical specimen to play 3-4 DE he'd be something like 6-6" to 6-7", weigh just short of 300 pounds, and have the movement skills associated with an NBA star. If you fudge a little on the movement skills that's pretty much what you get with DeForest Buckner. He's every bit the prospect that Stephon Tuitt was coming out and maybe better. In fact that analogy may be the best way to imagine why he's ranked so high. How good would the D-line be with Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and a Stephon Tuitt clone? That's how good it would be with DeForest Buckner. Awesome.

This is a nice scouting report to start with. The summary would be, "an ideal 3-4 DE who's terribly raw on pass rushing skills." For a more enthusiastic version, try this scouting report that pegs Buckner as no worse than a top-15 draft pick. Likewise this scouting report from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel, who may have provided the best one-liner we'll see all season: "WEAK POINTS: He doesn't have a twin brother." This scouting report from our favorite source in Texas does a great job of explaining why Buckner fits a team like the Steelers but not a team like the Cowboys. This DraftWire scouting report is about as negative as I've seen, nitpicking a grade all the way down to the late 1st (I wish!). This link goes to one of Dave Te Thomas' epic-length scouting reports, with a statistical analysis companion piece that makes for interesting reading too.

1:05

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida - 5'11", 192 lbs. The best cover corner in the draft. There are some minor knocks on his physicality, but give me a break. Or don't. In fact, I heartily recommend that you focus entirely on the negatives, downsides and other sour-grapes components because there's not a prayer in the world he falls out of the top 10 short of catastrophic injury or some weird scandal.

1:15

Andrew Billings, DL, Baylor - 6'2", 310 lbs. An overpowering fireplug who reminds this writer a lot of the mountain formerly known as Big Snack, right down to his origins in the heart of Texas. One thing emphasized in the NFL.com scouting profile is youth: Billings won't turn 21 until March of 2016, which may be seen as a red flag on other teams but tends to be a bonus feature from the Pittsburgh point of view. Here is a scouting report from our own Fear94 ("Andrew Billings is an immovable monster"). This goes to a second BTSC scouting report, this time by Andrew Kipp. Andrew sees Billings as a pure 0-technique Nose Tackle in the Casey Hampton mold. This goes to a scouting report from DraftWire, which ends with a "mid to late 1st" grade and the suggestion that he would thrive best as a single-gap 1-technique rather than a true two-gapping, 0-tech Nose Tackle. This long news/interest article provides a ton of background and is worth a read. This early-process scouting report will get you started, even though it projects Billings more as a penetrating 3-technique than a true O-technique Nose Tackle. This is a great gif-supported scouting report from a reliable source in Dallas. I wish I'd thought of these quips on my own. "He is simply so gifted that you can see the dread of the opposing interior linemen that must deal with him all afternoon... There isn't much not to like, other than the fact that football does allow an offense to game-plan to avoid destroyers at DT to a certain extent."

1:15

Myles Jack, ILB, UCLA - 6'1", 225 lbs. He's downgraded here due to a combination of sour grapes and the fact that we have Ryan Shazier on the team already, but make no mistake: Myles Jack will go in the top 5-10 picks and whoever gets him will celebrate. Jack and Jaylon Smith are the leaders of a movement toward ultra-athletic linebacker-safety hybrids: think Ryan Shazier but 10 pounds lighter and more Safety-ish. They're the ideal answer to the new breed of ultra-athletic Tight Ends. Jack, in particular, is well noted for his coverage skills. The talent is awesome and both are clear top 5 talents. Like Smith, Jack also suffered a year-ending knee injury; fortunately it is a relatively minor injury with a confident prognosis of full recovery after 6 months of rehab. He should be ready for training camp, and thus we can be 99.95% sure it Ain't Gonna Happen. This goes to a gif-supported scouting report from Bob Sturm, a favorite writer in Dallas.

1:15

Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson - 5'10", 195 lbs. Built more like a running back than a defensive back, he's been quite solid in 2015. A somewhat controversial candidate because he has some technique issues that make him less effective in zone coverage - a problem usually associated with overall football IQ. He may need a teacher as much as a coach. Grades range anywhere from Round 1 (CBS) to Round 4 (Walter Football). If you want to be an Alexander fan you should bookmark this detailed Bleacher Report scouting report that describes him has the clear best-in-class. This able scouting report from our sister site for the Jets is almost as positive, concluding "he's one of the finest defensive backs I've ever evaluated." This November scouting report hints at issues with his willingness to tackle. This glowing December scouting report sounds eerily like a description of Ike Taylor, albeit shorter and thicker. This summary scouting profile from December adds a few more details, repeating the observation that Alexander has yet to master zone coverage and needs to work on his tackling.

1:20

Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama - 6'3-1/4", 311 lbs. with 32" arms and massive 10-3/4" hands. He and his teammate A'Shawn Robinson are all but clones from the draft perspective, and the biggest question for both is the extent to which the other has artificially enhanced the film. This Draft Wire scouting report ranks Reed as the better of the two, summarizing his game as follows: "Reed is a dominant two-gapper who plays with exceptional leverage and power at the point of attack." This scouting report from our favorite writer in Dallas ends with a fringe-1st grade on the basis that Reed's lack of tackles-for-loss in college indicates someone who will be a one-gapping run-stuffer only at the NFL level. If Mr. Sturm is right, I would put the grade even lower. The ability to play in sub packages is the entire question. The NFL.com scouting profile has a similar theme: great run stuffer, but a guy to be subbed off the field on passing downs. This gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Redskins reaches the same conclusion: A+ grade for run stuffing, but C for pass rush. This gif-supported scouting report from a Bills site argues that Jarran Reed "can play all three positions within Ryan's 3-4 system," is particularly adept at two-gapping, and has the mobility to be a real force in sub packages. It this reviewer is right... You get the idea. This scouting profile from a Lions site focuses on Detroit's need for a run stuffer, and could not be more enthusiastic since no one doubts he will excel in that role. This brief scouting profile sees him as a pure run stuffer. This is a fairly nice scouting profile.

In this ESPN article during the Senior Bowl (where Reed was a star), the player himself said that a primary goal at the Senior Bowl was to display his versatility and to prove that even though he played more 3-technique than anything else at Alabama, "he feels equally comfortable everywhere from the 5-technique (defensive end) to the 0 (nose tackle)". No doubt that was music to the Steelers' ears, but we still have to decide if he was simply playing the right tune. This Senior Bowl week article ran on Redskins.com and this article ran at Detroitlions.com. Both emphasize Reed's effort to show versatility that would carry over into sub packages. The Senior Bowl performance convinced this Texans-oriented article that Jarran Reed has the versatility he claims. Search for Reed in this Bleacher Report Senior Bowl wrap-up article for further evidence of how dominant he looked. This goes to an article on Reed's decision to return to Alabama for his Senior year.

1:20

A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama - 6'3", 320 lbs. Robinson could easily go in the top 10 and probably will. He offers a little less value to the Steelers because Defensive Line is a "want" more than a "need," but the talent is so immense that he'd probably be worth it anyway. This combination scouting report (Sheldon Day, Sheldon Rankins, A'Shawn Robinson) summarizes things in a way that I think will match the common wisdom come draft day:

"His athleticism is hard to figure out because most plays he doesn't look like an elite athlete of any sort, but one or two plays a game he will make a play that shows unreal athleticism... that is very unique... Will always be a plus player in run game."

For an example of that unreal athleticism check this out - that is a 315 lb. man doing a Polamalu leap. That kind of athletic genius leads to rosy scouting report like this on, which argues that any grade out of the top 15 would be a shock. But Robinson also has his detractors, such as this able critique in the Draft Wire scouting report. That author concludes with a 4th-Round grade based on his belief that Robinson has a slew of flaws that were hidden by having so many great talents around him on the Alabama line (which in 2015 was among the best ever in college football). This scouting report presents a fairly balanced viewpoint.

1:20

Jaylon Smith, ILB, Notre Dame - 6'3", 229 lbs. Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack are the leaders of a movement toward ultra-athletic linebacker-safety hybrids: think Ryan Shazier but 10 pounds lighter and more Safety-ish. They're the ideal answer to the new breed of ultra-athletic Tight Ends. The talent is awesome and both are clear top 5 talents. Tragically, Jaylon Smith tore his knee all to hell in the bowl game (both the ACL and the LCL). What a terrible break! I'd pretty much taken it for granted that this meant a complete rookie redshirt year, with only a hope of making it back for Year 2. But then this Bleacher Report article came out saying Jaylon Smith could be ready to play Game 1 in 2016! Miller reports that "according to sources" Jaylon Smith did indeed tear both the ACL and the LCL, but the tears were about as clean as possible with zero nerve damage or bruising. The unnamed source could easily be an agent blowing rosy smoke. I have always understood that even "just" an ACL requires at least a year to recover from, and a two ligaments that much longer. So I doubt the "ready in 2016" part of the story (in my entire ignorance of all things medical). However, I do think we can take it as a leak showing that Smith should enjoy a 100% recovery, and also that he will at least be ready to go in Year 2 rather than Year 3. This follow-up article on Jan. 31 said that Jaylon Smith "is already back rehabbing two times a day."

1:25

Vernon Butler, NT, Louisiana Tech - 6'3-7/8", 325 lbs. with long 34-1/8" arms. A consistent riser throughout the draft process, Butler has the size, strength, energy, length, and surprising quickness you look for in a 3-down NT, but also enough technical flaws to require expert coaching. The particular problem appears to be a tendency to play a bit high, which is common in men his size and also something Coach Mitchell is good at fixing. The most reasonable expectation would be a rookie year with occasional time on the field for "seasoning," followed by starter status sometime in Year 2. Note that Butler looked great at the Senior Bowl, which solidified his high grade on this Board. It might have been enough to push him even higher in a class that was less stacked at the position.

Here is an optimistic scouting report to get you started. BTSC's own big_jay71 had Vernon Butler going to Detroit at #16 overall in this pre-Combine mock (perhaps not a stretch in light of this NFL draft rumor). This December scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel can be translated as "a strong pick for Round 2," but that was before Butler blew up his Senior Bowl competition. This concise scouting profile hits a similar note: "Vernon Butler is a raw but physically gifted defensive line prospect. He features excellent size, long arms, lateral quickness and a good closing burst. There's a lot of potential here but there is also room for improvement." It ends with a late Round 3 grade. This apparently thorough scouting report is very similar too: exceptionally gifted (with a basketball and track background), very raw, grades out in the Round 2-3 range. This long Saints-oriented scouting profile is more upbeat but refrains from assigning an actual grade (sounds like 1-2 though). This scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants sees Butler as a perfect pick for New York at #40 overall. The NFL.com scouting profile compares Butler to a poor man's Mo Wilkerson. This thoughtful, gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Cowboys ends with a fringe-1st grade. This summary scouting profile uses Dontari Poe as the comparable, but still ends with a Round 2-4 grade. This is a very good local article on Butler's rising draft stock. This sports illustrated article on Senior Bowl prospects counted Butler as the #1 DT in that group (with Jarran Reed and Sheldon Rankins somehow placed as DE's).

1:25

Kenny Clark, DL, UCLA - 6'2", 310 lbs. Another short, uber-powerful run stuffer with the potential to raise Pittsburgh's D-line toward best-in-the-league status. I particularly like his background as a High School wrestling champion, though I do acknowledge the possibility that he'll never have the stamina/speed to be a 3-down lineman rather than a straight, 2-down run stuffer. Here is a nice late December scouting report from Bucky Brooks to get you started. This scouting report summarizes Clark as a great run-stuffer who'll have to come off the field on passing downs. This goes to the DraftWire scouting report, which gives Clark a 1st-Round grade.

1:25

Austin Johnson, DL, Penn State - 6'4-3/8", 323 lbs. with 32-3/8" arms. Your basic immovable object at the center of the line with just a touch extra in the speed and motor departments, but without the quick-twitch fibers that would elevate him to the realm of would-be legends. This is a recent scouting report from a favorite writer down in Dallas. This is a scouting report from way back in August but it wouldn't change much if you added in the 2015 year. Monstrously big, massively strong, and faster than you'd expect with a long record of nonstop effort. He doesn't take plays off, which is unusual for a man that size. In another year he'd be a clear target in the back of the 1st. This year he's on the fringe between 1 and 2 despite having a great Senior Bowl. Here is a nice article on his decision to go pro. This goes to an article on the SB Nation site for Penn State, a sort of useful retrospective on Johnson's career there. This gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Jaguars describes Johnson as a prototypical 1-tech.

1:25

Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville - 6'1-1/2", 304 lbs. with 32-3/4" arms. Sheldon Rankins has jumped up this Board after closer study showed that he is capable of handling the two-gap duties required of a Pittsburgh lineman (in addition to being a great 3-tech prospect for a 4-3). From our own Steel34D:

Put on his tape and you see him playing the 5-tech, you see him lined up over the nose and you see him a lot in the 2-4-5 package. You can see powerful heavy hands with good hand placement, the ability to see past his blocker into the backfield and the quickness to disengage from the block . Those are what you look for when you ask can this player survive as a 2-gap player. He has the strength and the leverage to take on double teams despite being only 304 pounds. When he wasn't 2-gapping he showed the lateral quickness and lower body explosiveness to beat linemen. Then you see the quickness and active hands to suggest he can make an impact as a pass rusher. His leverage and explosiveness make for a deadly bull rush. Though he is still working on this phase of the game.

Rankins reminds me of Mike Daniels the defensive end for the Green Bay Packers. Coming out of Iowa Daniels fell because he was 6-foot-1, 291 pounds at the Combine 310 current playing weight, with 32 1/2 inch arm length. Daniels fell in the draft to the fourth round because many thought he was too small to play on the interior but didn't have the length to play on the outside. Daniels [is now a rising star in similar defensive system]. Rankins has similar athletic ability but heavier hands, better play against double teams and experience 2-gapping in odd fronts.

This article gushes that he could easily go in the 1st, and this article is much the same ("Is he the next Aaron Donald?"). Mike Mayock called him a "quick one-gap penetrator [and] a borderline 1st-round pick" (go to the 2-minute mark if you want to be especially impressed). This goes to the official Senior Bowl profile (and yes, Rankins answered every one of the listed questions during the practices). Here is a good and fairly detailed scouting report to get you started. Go here if you want a massive level of detail in a scouting profile; it comes from Dave Te Thomas, who tends to go a bit overboard. This more summary scouting report points out that Rankins is a better prospect for 4-3 defenses than a place like Pittsburgh. This is a scouting report with awful formatting but decent substance; it's worth a read to keep filling in the gaps. This pre-Senior Bowl combination scouting report (Sheldon Day, Sheldon Rankins, A'Shawn Robinson) lauds Robinson's active hands, overall technique, and nonstop motor, but in a way that also leads to the conclusion that he'd fit better in a 4-3.

1:25

Reggie Ragland, ILB/EDGE, Alabama - 6'1-1/4", 259 lbs. A tremendous talent who brings back memories of big, bad Bear middle linebackers like Butkus or Urlacher. From the Steelers perspective he would be an ideal Buck linebacker in the mold of a current Lawrence Timmons, except bigger and younger. Ragland also showed some fine pass-rushing moves at the Senior Bowl, which answered the question about whether he could find a position on the field in obvious passing downs. The answer is "Yes," which prompted Mike Mayock to say "He's a top-20 pick all day long," and pretty much guarantees that he Ain't Gonna Fall to 1:25. But if he does the Steelers will have to give him serious thought. This scouting report from our sister site for the Lions will introduce you to a self-proclaimed "conductor for the Reggie Ragland Hype Train." He isn't alone. This scouting report from our sister site for the Jets is equally positive (top 20 talent). This scouting report from DraftWire has a few critiques aimed at his not-quite-startling athleticism, but concludes that "Ragland really is just a pure football player." This gif-supported scouting report from a favorite writer in Dallas provides much the same conclusion: a tremendous football player who lacks nothing except the peculiar athletic genius that would elevate him toward #1 overall. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins is full of twitter news-bits, including Ragland's potential as a 3-4 OLB. This article from our sister site for the Bears does much the same.

1:25

Noah Spence, EDGE, Eastern Kentucky (by way of Ohio State) - 6'3", 252 lbs. Noah Spence may be the best pass rushing talent in the draft, but no one is sure where he's going to go because of off-field concerns. He got kicked out of Ohio State and banned completely from the Big 10 because of drug abuse issues. OTOH, the word is that Urban Meyer personally went to bat for him and helped arrange a new shot at a small-school program (Eastern Kentucky). For the past year Spence has kept his nose completely clean while racking up startling numbers against totally outgunned opponents. This article is a must-read for deeper background. I'm serious - if you're at all interested in either getting another pass rusher for the Steelers or in this young man in particular you should stop reading this Board immediately, click the link, and then come back when you're done.

This DraftWire scouting report points out a number of flaws in things like run support, but those aren't where he'll make his money. Spence is a guy who gets after the quarterback - or busts out completely because he problems crop back up. That's the choice in a nutshell. Scroll down in this set of short but quality scouting profiles and you'll find a good one on Spence, which emphasizes that he combines excellent speed, excellent strength, and extraordinary bend around the corner. Here is a typically fine scouting report from Bob Sturm in Dallas. Other scouting reports abound, but he's not a realistic option for the Steelers so I leave you to find them on your own. This Bleacher Report article on the biggest Senior Bowl risers has a nice section on Noah Spence. Here is a Pittsburgh-focused scouting report from SteelersWire. There is a nice bit on Noah Spence in this set of scouting profiles on this year's Edge Rushers.

1:25

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State - 6'1", 200 lbs. An aggressive, physical Corner with good size, good speed, nice balance and fluidity, excellent skills in run support, and who comes from the Steelers' favorite hunting ground. There's a lot that's good about Eli Apple from Pittsburgh's point of view. The not so goods? They're solvable. For one, he's young - a redshirt sophomore. But the Steelers haven't hesitated about youth in the past. At this point he's also much better in man coverage than off- or zone, indicating a lack of football IQ that's probably tied to his youth. If he has the native candle power that will also be easy to fix. Eli Apple could easily rise into contention for the Steelers' first round pick.

This goes to a pre-Combine BTSC article comparing Kendall Fuller and Eli Apple, with notes from the NFL.com scouting report. Here is an early but still useful scouting report. This combination scouting report from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel summarizes things nicely: He is so young that he'll probably start off as a #3 Corner at best, but he's a willing player in run support and has the physical tools to eventually be a #1. This goes to a scouting profile from early February. This January article from scout Dave Te Thomas includes profiles on a great many of the best Corner prospects, but what he has to say about Eli Apple may open a few of the more skeptical eyes. Thomas expects Apple to blow up the Combine and become a much more prized Corner than Mackenzie Alexander.

1:25

Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech - 5'11", 195 lbs. This younger brother of the Bears' Kyle Fuller (#14 overall and a BTSC favorite) has been described as slightly less polished than his brother but with even more upside. Holy Four Letter Word Batman, could the Steelers ever use someone with those qualifications! He'd be another "don't be silly" candidate were it not for a season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Doctor Internet says it takes about 6 weeks before a person can resume training after an operation of this kind. That means Fuller may be able to do drills at the Combine, but should certainly be ready to participate fully at training camp. Personally, I sort of hope that he can't - it's just about the only way I can imagine him falling all the way down to Pittsburgh's eager hands.

This goes to a pre-Combine BTSC article comparing Kendall Fuller and Eli Apple, with notes from the NFL.com scouting report. Here is a summary scouting report from December that pegs Fuller as a Round 2 prospect. This December scouting report is a little more generous. This December article from a local paper provides some nice if shallow background.

1:25

Jack Conklin, OT/G, Michigan State - 6'6", 325 lbs. Everything you read brings the pre-draft ratings of Marcus Gilbert to mind. Like Gilbert, Conklin has the physique and might have the athleticism to thrive on the blind side, but would probably be a safer bet as a Right Tackle instead. He could also move inside to Guard as well, where he has the size to do good work. This grade assumes that the Steelers won't be needing a Tackle but will be wanting a Guard. Conklin's versatility and upside will make him one of the most attractive candidates for that role. If you think there is a need at Tackle you should move up a few notches on your private Board - in fact, this mock draft/scouting profile put him in the mid-1st and isn't alone in that estimate. Here is a nice scouting report from a Vikings perspective. Here is a short article about his decision to go pro.

2:01

Chris Jones, DE, Mississippi State - 6'6", 308 lbs. There are two extraordinary players at the top of the Board who would play Defensive End (5-tech) in the Pittsburgh scheme: Joey Bosa and DeForest Buckner. Neither will fall out of the Top 10 unless there's something truly wrong in the world. After those two comes what future years may see as a legendary series inside tackles who will have long and successful careers playing positions from the 0-techique (a true over-the-Center Nose Tackle) out through the 3-technique (dominant inside penetrators like Gino Atkins. But you don't really get to another true 5-tech prospect until Chris Jones. He's strong and fast enough to move inside as needed - which is good because it means he can rotate in for the 2-4-5 Nickel package - but he also has the length and basketball background that the Steelers like for their Defensive Ends. Keep an eye on this one.

This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile, which is usually a fine place to start. This gif-heavy scouting report from a Bills site shows Jones' versatility by including snaps from the 0-tech nose position all the way out, before concluding that he "is an ideal left defensive end in a 3-4 defensive front, where he would align as a five-technique (over the tackle) on base downs and slide inside to the three or one technique in sub-packages." As the fisherman from Maine said about his 16 pound newborn: "Ayuh. That's a keepah." We don't usually quote the CBS scouting report because we rely on one for every single player, but this particular profile has a noteworthy conclusion: "Jones is still raw in several areas, but it's easy to see the potential due to his foot quickness and body type. Although he shows 1st round flashes, it comes in spurts and the impact of his body of work doesn't warrant that high of a selection." This year, with this class, he should be available when the Steelers pick in Round 2. This goes to a good if more summary scouting profile. This Bleacher Report article considers him a 1st-Round fringe contender.

2:01

Darian Thompson, S, Boise State - 6'1-7/8", 215 lbs. Here is the BTSC scouting report. A well rounded player with decent speed, good coverage skills (used to be a Corner), and the ability to play both Free and Strong Safety. With Jalen Ramsey out of reach, Darian Thompson will most likely be the Steelers' primary target for a Safety in the upcoming draft. Early speculation had him falling into Round 2, but as illustrated by this DraftWire scouting report Thompson's "most outstanding player" performance at the Senior Bowl has moved him into the very top of that round (well before Pittsburgh's pick) and possibly toward our pick at 1:25 if he can blow up the Combine. Thompson's only real flaws are more "limitations" than anything else: as in, he possesses impressive but not awesome athletic talents, his tackling is okay for college but not for the NFL, and he generally needs the normal amount of work to raise a good college game up to professional standards. This December scouting report is a good place to start. This early December scouting report is a bit more gushing, but still useful if you can swallow phrases like "interception machine" and "uncanny instincts." This Bleacher Report article on the biggest Senior Bowl risers has a nice section on Darian Thompson. This goes to a scouting report from our sister site for the Cardinals. This goes to a scouting report from our sister site for the Titans. Add in for good measure this "Could He Be The Answer?" article from a writer following the Giants.

2:01

Joshua Garnett, G/C, Stanford - 6'5", 325 lbs. I'm a believer in the Stanford football program and one of my favorite prospects it's produced this year is Joshua Garnett. Think David DeCastro with a bit more size but without that touch of athletic genius that sets him apart. Garnett is just really, really good. He doesn't project as great, and won't achieve that unless he can pack on some grown-man strength (odds are good) and improve his only-good mobility (50/50, but we do have Coach Munchak).

This goes to the NFL.com scouting report, which mentions that Garnett comes from NFL stock (his father Scott was a Nose Tackle), and does a good job of describing the things Garnett will need to work on. This joint scouting report on DE Jonathan Bullard and OL Joshua Garnett seems to be dead in the middle of the pack: "Very consistent performer... A solid player but not a great player... [and] good in all phases of the game but not great in any." Gabriel also suggests that Garnett could flex over to Center, which would be another selling point from Pittsburgh's point of view. This DraftWire scouting report adores Garnett but it isn't completely out of whack. Garnett would be a huge value pick when the Steelers are up in Round 2, and might be the best Guard in the class for our particular system. As you can see from this scouting report from our sister site for the Bears, other people have the exact same plan. This is a solid scouting report, albeit hard to read because the author doesn't understand how to hit the return key. This Bleacher Report article considers Garnett a potential 1st Rounder.

2:12

Carl Nassib, DE/EDGE, Penn State - 6'6", 270 lbs. This is the sort of kid you root for. He graduated from a Philly-area High School as a 215 beanpole, walked on at Penn State, and by dint of sheer, hard work has turned himself into a full sized, NFL caliber player who led the nation in sacks. Even his coach didn't believe it was possible - at first. But he did - as nicely discussed in this article. Now he faces questions about whether he can make the next step. This scouting report focuses on the key question: what is his upside? This scouting report agrees that the main limitations come down to pure physical talent. Nassib is something of a straight-line, non-explosive athlete whose SPARQ scores aren't going to wow you. I tend to be an upside-oriented reviewer who values athleticism a bit more than he should, but in this case I'm setting that aside. Carl Nassib is a kid you've got to root for.

Besides, there's something to be said for having an extraordinary floor even if your ceiling could be debated. As discussed in the CBS scouting report, this is a kid who's all effort, all the time, and leaves absolutely nothing on the field by the end of the day. There's more in the way of sheer, tenacious "Wanna" inside that former beanpole than you're likely to see from anyone else in the draft. To my mind that equates to someone who won't end up worse that a solid journeyman for a good many years.

Finally, there are legitimate questions about what position he could play in the Pittsburgh scheme. Would he be an oversized, edge-setting OLB? Or will he pack on another 20 pounds of muscle and turn into a particularly nimble Defensive End? This scouting report from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel favors the 3-4 DE position, and suggests starter potential from Year 2 on. This fine scouting report from a reliable Cowboys writer examines both the detailed upside and the question marks, before avoiding an actual conclusion by noting that Nassib is "creeping up" toward the top-50 lists - meaning late 2nd round in my book.

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Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss - 6'3", 300 lbs. This is a shockingly low grade for a player who many see as the best player in the entire draft, and who may well go in the top 5. The issue is off-the-field stuff, as touched on in the Walter Football summary. For more detail see this ESPN article and this article from NFL.com (which uses words like "bizarre" and "strange"). Or this article from Bleacher Report citing a scout who says Nkemdiche is: "really a different kid. He may scare some people. He's strange strange." It doesn't help that his even stranger older brother seems to be attached at the hip. Not the kind of support network an immature but super-talented kid really needs. Here's a video discussion from Bleacher Report that might also help to understand the off-field concerns. Basically, there's a lot of marijuana smoke floating around and a good amount of the general, juvenile stupidity that's been getting so many players in trouble over recent years. As this surprisingly good scouting report from NFL Draft Geek concludes, "We put Nkemdiche's chances of succeeding at 33/67; with no middle ground. 33% chance he's a superstar, and 67% chance he completely flames out."

This scouting report from a favorite writer in Dallas is a definite place to start if you want to understand the debate from a football point of view. ("[Given all the hype] when you start watching him, you are expecting to see a player who walks on football water. And I did. There are several highlights that show him doing things that normal humans can only dream of doing). Wow. This excellent, gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Chargers rates Nkemdiche as a Top-5 talent. This is a nice summary scouting report on the football skills (more of a DE than a NT from the Pittsburgh point of view). This nice December scouting report is similar.

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Kevin Dodd, EDGE, Clemson - 6'4", 275 lbs. Dodd got a huge push in the national championship game, where he starred on the biggest possible stage. Nevertheless, there is a reason he was always considered the #2 pass rusher on the Clemson team behind Shaq Lawson. From a Steelers point of view Dodd is a fine prospect as a 4-3 Defensive End but questions exist about whether he could hold up under the coverage duties expected in a 3-4. Nevertheless, guys who can get after the passer always have value, and Dodd can definitely do that. This Bleacher Report article ("Is Kevin Dodd the Draft's Fastest Riser?") brings a good perspective to balance Daniel Jeremiah's initial ranking as the #22 player overall. This goes to a very complimentary DraftWire scouting report that gives Dodd a Round 1 grade as a 4-3 Defensive End.

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Leonard Floyd, EDGE/ILB, Georgia - 6'4", 230 lbs. As always, you should start with the BTSC scouting report. Leonard Floyd is undersized compared what the Steelers usually want in an edge rusher, but so explosive that it's fair to use Von Miller as an upside comparison. Besides, he's coming into the league as an extremely wiry young man with a frame that could easily add as much weight as the team thinks he needs to carry. If there is an edge rusher who (a) could conceivably fall to #25, and (b) be so tempting that the Steelers could not resist, it's going to be either Leonard Floyd or Noah Spence. The well-respected Daniel Jeremiah started the process by ranking Leonard Floyd as his #12 player in the entire draft. After reading a ton of these scouting reports my bottom line opinion is that Leonard Floyd is such a superb athlete that normal rules don't apply, but he's also a unique enough prospect that normal positions and duties won't suit him. He is a hybrid player in search of the right system with a creative defensive coordinator. Put him there and you could have a HOF-level superstar. Put him into a pre-defined box, however, and you could be looking at a total bust. Pittsburgh, with Kevin Butler and Mike Tomlin, would be one of the best situations I can imagine, but it might be impossible because the larder is pretty full of linebackers already.

This scouting report from our sister site for the Eagles is thorough, somewhat critical, and interesting to read. If I had to sum it up I'd say he was describing a pass-rushing Ryan Shazier, which may actually be somewhat fair comparison. Floyd might fit the Steelers best as a Mack ILB (a position that's already occupied). This scouting report from our sister site for the Bears is more upbeat, but just as thorough and well thought out. This DraftWire scouting report ends with a 2nd-Round grade due to concerns about Floyd's lack of size and functional strength (which is fair though both areas should improve with an NFL training regime). This scouting report compares him to Barkevious Mingo, who I always liked as a prospect but who has not panned out as an actual player. The NFL.com scouting profile also makes the point that he has everything you'd want ("unique combination of length and athleticism") but mass, since he's "built like a wide receiver." Ouch. This scouting report from our sister site for the Jets considers Floyd to be a viable pick at #20 overall, who should be gone by #25. This solid scouting profile compares him to both Barkevious Mingo and Dion Jordan, which others have as well. Both those guys seem to be busts, but there were excellent reasons why they both went in the top 10 and Floyd seems to have his head screwed on a lot straighter. This is yet another high quality scouting report, this time suggesting that Floyd could best be used as a Leo in the Seattle-style defense. This goes to a good, gif-supported scouting report from a Bills perspective. This briefer but still good scouting profile emphasizes the current lack of strength, which is true: Leonard Floyd will need to live in the weight room to succeed in the NFL. This goes to another shorter but worthwhile scouting profile. Scroll down a bit in this set of scouting profiles and you'll find a pretty good one on Floyd. This Bleacher Report article on undersized prospects summarizes things well - too small right now, but potentially "special" if things work out. There is a nice bit on Leonard Floyd in this set of scouting profiles on this year's Edge Rushers.

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Su'a Cravens, ILB/S, USC - 6'1", 225 lbs. A lot of people at BTSC have become enamored with Su'a Cravens, a linebacker/safety hybrid out of USC. It's easy to see why. The heritage, school, and playing style bring back echoes of Troy Polamalu. But not quite. Troy was a true Strong Safety. He had exceptional burst and football IQ that let him transcend the game, but he was a Safety first and foremost. That isn't so clear for Cravens. In 2015 Su'a Cravens played linebacker instead of Safety and despite many fond hopes that he will drop 10-15 pounds to go back into the secondary, that seems unlikely. As a rule young men tend to grow a little bigger and a little slower as their career progresses, not vice-versa. (Le'Veon Bell being an arguable exception). The reality is that Su'a Cravens will probably fall in the draft because he is neither fish nor fowl, but rather a hybrid who spans the line between our traditional view of the two positions. It's not as unique as it might have seemed a few years back, but it still takes a creative coach who can figure out ways to use it. This goes to a top notch, gif-supported scouting report Fanpost by our own Fear94, who believes Cravens has the ability to drop 15 pounds and go back to being an exceptional Strong Safety. Don't miss that one! This gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Chargers also sees Cravens as an oversized SS more than an undersized linebacker, though the author prefers to call him "a chess piece." Regardless, it ends with a 1st-Round grade.

This excellent scouting report from Baltimore Beatdown is another good place to start your research. This detailed scouting report from DraftBreakdown may be even better ("Su'a Cravens is a hybrid SS/OLB that projects best at the Will linebacker spot in a 4-3 defense at the next level"). This scouting report from DraftWire questions whether he is anything like the athlete so many others have described, and is confident that he will be a 4-3 OLB. This goes to an audio interview from last summer. This goes to another decent scouting report. This scouting report describes Cravens as a superb coverage-linebacker. Cravens is mentioned, naturally enough, in this Bleacher Report article on undersized prospects. This scouting profile begins with "Not many safeties playing Linebacker..." and concludes with a late-2nd grade.

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Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State - 5'11", 205 lbs. This BTSC scouting report describes a solid Round 2 Free Safety prospect with good hands, good speed, tough physicality, high football IQ, and a nice amount of overall athleticism. The issue is size - he's not all that big, doesn't have a frame that would allow him to pack on a lot of extra, and it shows in his fairly average tackling skills. Size and sophistication. This goes to an article on "Players Who Should Have Stayed In School," and provides great insight into both the potential and the warning signs surrounding Vonn Bell. It describes Bell as a tremendous athlete, but still far from being a great football player, let alone a great Safety. Big_Jay71 sent him to Pittsburgh in Round 2 in this November mock draft. Dani Bostick did this brief BTSC scouting profile way back in October.

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Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia - 5'10", 195 lbs. Joseph is one of those players who everyone loves as a 2nd round sleeper. This September scouting report still has legs and provides a good overview: He's a very good and active athlete, and a ferocious hitter despite being 2-4 inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than you'd like. He played only one game in 2015 before suffering a "season-ending, noncontact knee injury during practice." The exact nature of that injury remains a mystery, along with whether it will limit his participation in the Combine drills and/or his rookie year in the NFL. This grade assumes a clean bill of health with only a one-notch discount for the risk.

This December scouting report is very similar - a fringe-1st talent at Safety with lots of things you like, but a distinct lack of the size you'd typically want. This brief article seems to agree with Daniel Jeremiah putting him at pick #31 in an early mock. This is a wonderful, gif-heavy scouting report from DraftWire that emphasizes Joseph's love of hitting, with cautionary notes that he sometimes gets undisciplined as a result. This goes to a very brief scouting profile that is more useful than most because it's somewhat critical and supports that with specific critiques. I love the quote in this Bleacher Report article on undersized players: "Joseph is a sledgehammer masquerading as a defensive back."

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William Jackson III, CB, Houston - 6'1", 185 lbs. CB's are terribly hard to project because the college game tends to be talent-oriented while the NFL game relies utterly on impeccable training and study skills. All the talent in the world will make you a stud CB in college, but that won't translate to the NFL if you have technical holes in your game that professional receivers can turn against you. Just ask Justin Gilbert. And then you have to add in the internals, study habits and other mental parts of the game that have brought down even the most promising combinations of talent and native skill. Just ask Curtis Brown. Thus all a scout can really do is go over the film again and again, looking for signs that a jewel exists beneath all the obscuring rock and grit. William Jackson III has a somewhat atypical array of physical talents and flaws that display the issues right away. More careful study shows a lot of nice crystal hiding beneath, of the very sort that made guys like Richard Sherman so extraordinary. It's led to more recent grades such as this enthusiastic gif-supported DraftWire scouting report that anoints Jackson as "the top Corner in the draft." No kidding. This more focused scouting report from SteelersWire points out the ways in which he'd be a perfect fit for Pittsburgh. Older reviews like this unusually detailed NFL.com scouting profile saw him more as a prospect with long-time starter potential after a year or two of good coaching, and this Internet scouting report that concludes: "Jackson is worth grabbing and will have a lengthy career as a solid #2 corner." It seems to me that all of them are right. The floor has stayed the same (a fine #2) but evaluations of the ceiling have steadily gone up.

It starts with a couple of real limits to his physical abilities: He has acceptable but not impressive speed (probably in the upper 4.5 range) and he is a long strider, which can be associated with a vulnerability to sharp cuts and double moves. Those are offset by genuine physical assets such as tremendous length (and a talent for using it well), top notch reaction time (he closes on plays very fast), and excellent ball skills with both his hands (he can catch) and his eyes (he has the knack of getting his head around on deep throws, finding the ball, and responding appropriately). His actual skills remain a work in progress, which is what accounts for the varied reviews, but include what looks like a solid understanding of man-coverage basics, zone concepts, and how to use the boundary to his advantage. He's also a willing tackler if not a great one. The bottom line is that William Jackson III has a good chance of being the answer to our boundary Corner dreams and has a relatively low bust potential. But it would be a major surprise if he had any impact at all in Year 1, and his game will probably take 3-4 years before it really matures. Unless he blows up the Combine or new evidence arrives , that spells a Round 2 grade for this Board.

This scouting report seems more than usually competent, and is a great place to start. The verdict? Fast enough, long enough, skilled enough, willing enough, and a good team player, but probably a Day 2 pick nonetheless because he's vulnerable to double moves, he needs to add a good bit of strength, and he isn't the startling athletic genius you want to see in a 1st rounder. This November article is more positive and predicts a rise in stock well into the 1st as teams begin to realize that Jackson checks off pretty much every box that teams look for in a Corner. Prophetic. Comparisons are drawn to Kevin Johnson, who was something of a 2015 darling for BTSC and was also the comparison for DraftWire's rave review. This scouting report from our sister site for the Redskins gives him a Round 2-3 grade, depending on how he runs at the Combine. This is another hard to read but perceptive scouting report from someone who refuses to use paragraph breaks. This scouting report is a little odd, because it cites "lack of size" as the main issue even though Jackson is relatively big for his position. It's probably a reflection of the need to build strength that other reports have noted.

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Harlan Miller, CB/KR, Southeastern Louisiana - 6'0", 182 lbs. with 30-7/8" arms. A talented small-school Corner who needs to be tested against better competition. His rating on this Board gets full retail value because he also has experience as a punt returner. Miller really shined at the Senior Bowl and was voted the top defensive back there by observers. That bodes well, as does the very high rating in the NFL.com scouting report - ahead of both Eli Apple and Kendall Fuller, who are usually considered solid 1st-Round talents. This goes to an excellent, gif-heavy scouting report from the DraftWire that concludes with a late-2nd grade. This goes to a Falcons-oriented scouting profile written after that leap onto the national stage.

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Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State - 6'7", 315 lbs. One of several top Tackles in this year's class who deserve to go early in Round 1 and are dropped on this Board to the middle of Round 2 because the Steelers have less need at the position than most other teams. It's not a knock on Decker, who is a fantastic prospect with idea length and very good skills - very likely a pro-bowler in the hands of Coach Munchak. Not that our grade matters - Decker really ought to be on the Ain't Gonna Happen list because he'll be gone long before #25 in the absence of something freaky. The DraftWire scouting report could scarcely be more positive ("the tools, power, and tenacity that is likely to result in a top 15 pick"). This gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Lions is just as positive and ranks him as the #2 prospect in the class. It's interesting and telling that both of those scouting reports emphasize Decker's enormous improvement since his Junior year, as well as harping on the word "tenacious." It forms a pattern, and one that's quite positive. This brief scouting report concurs with the 1st-Round grade. Same with this gif-supported scouting report (a "first round talent and sure-fire starter right away"). This goes to a kind of neat two-perspective scouting report from our sister site for the Bills.

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Germain Ifedi, T/G, Texas A&M - 6'5", 325 lbs. Ifedi tried his hand on the blindside this year and had a lot of trouble. He projects wonderfully as a Right Tackle, however, with an obvious and clear ability to move inside if need be. As discussed in this scouting report Ifedi is a difficult evaluation. He has all the physical tools you could want but hasn't managed to put them together. This is noteworthy because Texas A&M has been an O-line machine for the past few years. Here is a nice article about him making the rounds at the Senior Bowl (some decent history). This goes to a pretty good audio interview.

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Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana - 6'5-3/4", 301 lbs. A talent who's been consistently rising throughout the process, with a particularly good showing at the Senior Bowl. As discussed in this scouting report: "Spriggs has tremendous length and a well-proportioned frame that the NFL desires. To compliment his length and stature, Spriggs has easy movements skills, impressive quickness, agility and balance. His feet are quick and has plus overall athletic ability." His potential as a blindside pass protector is top notch. As a run blocker, a bit less so. Spriggs would have a late-1st grade on this Board if the Steelers had a bigger want for a top Left Tackle. This goes to the official Senior Bowl profile.

This scouting report from our sister site for the Eagles gives him a 1st-Round grade. This scouting report from our sister site for the Jets is equally upbeat, ending with a fringe-1st grade. This gif-supported scouting report does a good job too, ending with a 2nd-Round grade. This scouting report calls him either the #3 or #4 tackle in the class (by now a common theme). If you want a more critical scouting report (3rd Round grade), check out this one from DraftWire.

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Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas - 6'6", 255 lbs. A nice, well-rounded TE, widely acknowledged as the best in class, who can block, catch and run at equally high levels. The only thing he's not is the sort of athletic genius that pushes modern TE's into the first round. Or is he? Many scouting reports such as this one contain phrases such as "barely scratching the surface of his potential," and "underutilized as a receiver in his system." It wouldn't surprise me at all if Hunter Henry outperforms expectations at the Combine and boosts his grade a notch or two. I found this to be an unusual and thought provoking scouting report because it highlights a few statistical oddities. Does Henry's reputation derive from a few big games, or was he underperforming/held back for others? Hunter Henry is listed at #1 in this high on the superlatives Niners Nation article about this year's Tight End class. Henry is the clear #1 in this discussion of three 2016 Tight Ends at a Packers site.

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Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida - 6'3", 283 lbs. Another 3-tech with 1st-Round talent but a lack of fit with the Pittsburgh defense that downgraded on our Board. Elsewhere he's a starter and a star; in Pittsburgh he'd be a potent role player. As you can see from this adoring scouting report from the Draft Wire and this more measured scouting report from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel, Jonathan Bullard's best asset is a tremendously quick first step, which gets him an initial advantage his long arms, decent technique, and excellent strength can build on to produce results. Bullard would be dropped even lower on this Board but he is long enough to present an outside chance of growing into a "hybrid" instead of a "tweener." 36-inch arms would have been nice... Scroll down a bit in this set of scouting profiles and you'll find a pretty good one on Bullard. There is a nice bit on Jonathan in this set of scouting profiles on this year's Edge Rushers.

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Sheldon Day, DL, Notre Dame - 6'3/4", 286 lbs. Once again we face the dilemma of awarding a totally unfair grade for a player who may be a star in a different system. Sheldon Day is your classic, cat-quick, undersized, 3-tech penetrator for a 4-3 defensive line. Think "Aaron Donald Lite" and you won't be far off. He also has an extensive history of injuries, which doesn't bode well for the higher level. Despite that, if the Steelers defense relied on players with this particular skill set he would have a 3rd-Round grade. They don't, and thus the current grade. Probably belongs on the Ain't Gonna Happen List.

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Adolphus Washington, DL, Ohio State - 6'3-1/2", 297 lbs. with 34" arms. Something of a tweener from the Pittsburgh point of view, Washington has good but not great length, size, strength and quickness. The combination makes him a solid candidate from the Steelers' favorite school, but maybe a better fit as a 4-3 DT than a 3-4 end or nose tackle. There was a minor kerfuffle at the end of the year when he was arrested for misdemeanor ($100) solicitation of a supposed "lady of the street." Urban Meyer was apparently more upset that Washington went to the meeting with a loaded pistol, even though it was properly licensed. IMHO it's hard to see how that bears on his draftability. This goes to one of Dave Te Thomas' epic-length scouting profiles. Thomas describes Washington as a much better athlete than others tend to believe, with an extensive basketball background. Thomas also argues that Washington's "ability to easily contain multiple blockers freed up line mate Joey Bosa" to do the sort of damage that's going to make Bosa a Top-5 pick. Alas, but Thomas also concludes that Washington is "an ideal fit for playing the three-technique tackle position" - which would make him a poor fit for the Steelers. The Ziggy Hood adventure proved that even a potentially special 3-tech won't be able to do the jobs that Pittsburgh requires. OTOH, he does have those ridiculously long arms...

2:24

Shilique Calhoun, EDGE, Michigan State - 6'5", 250 lbs. Calhoun is a long, lengthy, bendy, and explosive athlete of the type that the Steelers like. But he's also a bit older than they like (24), and he has a few real flaws in his game that will require time to iron out (functional strength being a big one). He's worth a pick imho, but not one that's anywhere close to the 1st-round grade many pundits have suggested, and probably below the level of special talent that could make the Steelers ignore their existing depth of young talent. In other words, Calhoun looks like a solid player who could provide quality reps but not the kind of talent who would upgrade the talent that's already on the roster. This gif-supported scouting report is a good place to start. This DraftWire scouting profile is a bit more positive, but still a 2nd-Round grade and with notes suggesting that Calhoun may lose his explosiveness if forced into a two-point linebacker stance. This goes to one of Dave Te Thomas' epic-length scouting profiles. This brief but decent scouting report also concurs on the 2nd-Round grade. Scroll down a bit in this set of scouting profiles and you'll find a pretty good one on Calhoun. There is a nice bit on Shilique Calhoun in this set of scouting profiles on this year's Edge Rushers. This goes to the Draft Breakdown scouting profile.

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Darron Lee, ILB, Ohio State - 6'2", 228 lbs. The successor to Ryan Shazier at Ohio State. Very, very good but not Shazier. Like most sites, the NFL.com scouting profile projects Darron Lee as a mid- to late- pick in Round 1. His value to the Steelers is much lower because he'd be little more than an extraordinarily talented backup for Shazier. If you want to know more see this long article/scouting profile from Dave Te Thomas.

2:24

Keanu Neal, S, Florida - 6'1", 216 lbs. A solid and instinctive player who would probably fit best at Strong Safety due to relatively average coverage skills, but seems to have the overall speed to learn either position. This goes to a fascinating article from 2013, when Neal was recruited by Florida. Expect to hear a lot more about Mr. Neal as the process moves forward.

2:24

Justin Simmons, S, Boston College - 6'3", 201 lbs. A solid all-around safety with no particular holes except a limited upside (athletic gifts that are good but not special) and the need to pack on 20 pounds of grown-man muscle. Simmons' prospects could rise or fall drastically with the Combine, anywhere from the top of Round 2 down to a floor in Round 4-5. Here is a somewhat optimistic scouting report from the Draft Wire, which you should read alongside this interview by the author. This scouting report from ex-NFL executive Greg Gabriel is pretty darned positive too.

2:24

Artie Burns, CB/FS/KR, Miami - 6'0", 193 lbs. On pure talent he's a first rounder, with extraordinary track speed, good hands, nice (but not aggressive) tackling skills, etc. As a Corner, however, he's very much a work in progress. If I was Mr. Burns' agent I'd be praying for him to land in a system with just the right coach because the real question is going to be whether someone can help him harness the potential greatness that's tucked away inside. There's a story behind him too. Burns' mother died last year, and with his father in jail the family was literally on the brink of disaster. The University of Miami organized a fundraiser that collected $40,000 in six days to get them through. No surprise that he declared as a Junior. I'm a sucker for sob stories, but my takeaway from that one is that you've got a kid here who will do everything possible to perfect his craft and build an NFL career. (Of course, that was a big selling point for Shamarko Thomas too). Note that he's been used as a Free Safety and Kick Returner too, both of which the Steelers could use.

This scouting report from retired NFL GM Greg Gabriel pegs Burns as a 2nd Round talent who could rise higher if he gets his 40 time into the low 4.4's. This scouting report strikes a nice middle note and will give you a good average review: needs to work on his tackling, is a long-strider who will want to settle in as a boundary corner, and can look "lost" occasionally, but has all the tools to be a #1 if he can put them all together. This goes to a summary scouting profile. This goes to an odd but interesting scouting report from a Buccaneers site.

2:24

KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame - 5'11", 190 lbs. He's got the native stuff to be a good Corner but has had enough lapses to raise question marks. Corner is a terribly hard position to project because so much has to do with intangibles like intelligence, emotional stability, study habits, discipline and coachability. KeiVarae Russell is one of the harder prospects to measure on all of those factors. Take from this what you will, but he was suspended for all of 2014 due to "academic dishonesty," which is a big deal at Notre Dame. He could have gone pro but instead chose to return. What does that say about his internals...? I don't know. But that is the key question for Pittsburgh's scouts to answer. A broken leg in November may limit his performance at the Combine.

This goes to one of Greg Gabriel's dual scouting profiles (CB Kei'Varae Russell and Edge Jordan Jenkins). Gabriel's report is a good one that emphasizes both the native talent and the inconsistencies. He also suggests that Russell's highest and best use may be as a Free Safety, since he is very physical and does better when the play is in front of him.

2:24

Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn - 6'6", 313 lbs. This is a very deep class for Offensive Tackles. Shon Coleman is another one who deserves a mid- to late-1st grade but drops into the mid-2nd on this Board because the Steelers have less in the way of need. If the name sounds familiar it's because Coleman is the kid who beat cancer and then came back to be a star. It's an inspiring story and by all accounts has made him an unusually mature and well-grounded young man. The only lasting detriment is age - he'll be a 25 year old rookie.

This October scouting report is from Seahawks Draft Blog, a normally reliable site. It could not be more enthusiastic ("He's a monster"). As discussed in this gif-supported scouting report Coleman has all the tools you could want and only needs a few years of high-quality coaching to become at least a starting tackle, and quite possible a very special one ("high-quality coaching..." I wonder where that could be found). This scouting report can fill in gaps even if it is a bit general. This DraftWire scouting report sees a player with great attitude but so many flaws in his pass protection and movement-in-space skills that it ends with a Round 6 grade.

2:24

Sebastian Tretola, G, Arkansas - 6'5", 334 lbs. Tretola is a really fine Guard prospect with massive size and remarkable mobility for someone that big. His only real flaws seem to be a tendency to lunge, and a moderate amount of quick-twitch reaction time. His tape shows a tendency to get eaten up by DT's with an elite first step but never, ever, by power alone. Geno Atkins would be the model of a guy who'd give him nightmares. OTOH, Atkins gives a lot of people nightmares and good attention to hand-fighting technique might help to fix the problem. Check out these notes from a Senior Bowl observer: "Sebastian Tretola cannot be beaten with power. The man's anchor is absurd, and [several players] found out the hard way.... [But Jarran] Reed got revenge on Tretola, swimming over the over-extended guard immediately with a brilliant move that brought oohs and ahhs from the crowd of coaches and scouts." This goes to the official Senior Bowl profile published before the practices began.

3:01

Matt Ioannidis, DE, Temple - 6'3-3/4", 303 lbs. Looking for an ideal 3-4 Defensive End to back up Heyward and Tuitt? This is your guy. He's one of my favorite sleepers, especially since some very impressive showings at the Senior Bowl (here is link #2 on the Senior Bowl practice sessions).

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Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU - 6'6-1/2", 281 lbs. with very long 34-1/8" arms. Here's the deal: Kaufusi is about 20 pounds short of fitting the ideal Steeler profile for a 3-4 Defensive End, and it looks like he has the room to do that - particularly from the waist down. He's got that basketball background the Steelers love, all the length you could ask for, a tremendous football IQ, high marks for character, and even pretty good technique for a college player (pad level, forward lean, hand fighting, etc.). The only issue is size, and in college it was a big on. BYU listed him in the 260's and people doubted whether he was really even that big. A careful search would find speculation that he played as low as the 240's because he was trying (and failing) to establish himself as a bona fide edge rusher - and at 6'6" that means he was the next thing to a stringpole. Even worse, the lack of bulk equated directly and obviously to a lack of sheer strength and the ability to withstand both double teams and the general wash of a running play. Every single review you read will point that out as his Achilles heel (with secondary marks going to age because he spent two years on his Mormon mission and is therefore in his mid-20's rather than his early 20's). Fast forward to the Senior Bowl, however, and you'll see Kaufusi checking in at 281. So it's clear he heard the criticism and is working on it. One has to assume that an NFL training regime will be enough to finish the job, at least from Year 2 or 3 onward. To my mind that makes him a top-notch target from Round 3 on. Note that Kaufusi's pass-rushing problems at the Senior Bowl were significant enough that I do not consider him an Edge guy at all. He either bulks up to be a 3-4 Defensive End or he has no fit with Pittsburgh.

This scouting profile comes from a Patriots site and concludes with a fringe-2nd grade. I concur. This goes to a generally positive scouting profile from retired NFL Executive Greg Gabriel, which includes speculation that Kaufusi might bulk up to play the 5-technique. This is a typical scouting profile but useful to keep filling in a few more dots of the overall picture.

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Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois - 6'5", 295 lbs. Another model 5-technique who'd make a wonderful bit of depth behind Heyward and Tuitt. Ward raised his stock hugely with an outstanding week of practice at the Senior Bowl where he was spotted in conversation with Mike Tomlin and has since been labeled as one of the "biggest risers" due to his performance. Notes emphasize his surprising amount of speed and agility. As discussed in this scouting report from our sister site for the Panthers (which suggests an early 2nd round grade if you read between the lines), Ward even has the basketball background that the Steelers covet in their D-linemen. Sounds ideal! This goes to a gif-supported scouting report from Bleacher Report.

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Emmanuel Ogbah, DL/EDGE, Oklahoma State - 6'3", 275 lbs. Don't get me wrong - I think Emmanual Ogbah could be a fine Round 1 pick for a 4-3 team in search of an explosive 3-tech Defensive Tackle. Unfortunately, in Pittsburgh that particular skill set only has value for sub packages and surprise formations, not as part of the base defense. That reduces his grade to the point where there's not any real hope that he'll be worth a Steeler pick. OTOH, we can have a lot of fun imagining all the unique packages Keith Butler would design around Ogbah's ability to shift between being an undersized (for the Steelers) DE and an oversized (for the Steelers) OLB in the Lamarr Woodley mold. Here is a quick scouting report from back in November. This goes to a gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Giants. Scroll down a bit in this set of scouting profiles and you'll find a pretty good one on Ogbah. This DraftWire scouting report has some hefty critique of Ogbah's motor too, which results in a Round 3 grade even as a 4-3 Defensive End. There is a nice bit on Emannuel Ogbah in this set of scouting profiles on this year's Edge Rushers.

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Jordan Jenkins, ILB/EDGE, Georgia - 6'2-1/2", 257 lbs. with super-long 34" arms. Jordan Jenkins is a straight-out football player. He will have a career in the NFL. But what that career will be... That's a bit harder to figure out. After reading all of these scouting profiles I believe his best position is one that no one is talking about - as a 4-3 MLB or a 3-4 a Buck ILB like Lawrence Timmons. Here's the discussion. You tell me if I'm crazy. (P.S. This grade assumes that Timmons will get an extension, and that Jenkins' grade therefore gets a severe discount because Vince Williams is a more than acceptable backup. If Timmons is not going to be on the 2016 or 2017 squads, the grade will shoot up to fringe-1st because I think Jenkins and Scooby Wright are tied for the 2nd-best-Buck prospect behind only Reggie Ragland).

The NFL.com scouting profile makes it clear that he's a pass rusher who wins on football IQ, effort, technical prowess, and some decent straight-line explosiveness, but who lacks the flexibility to really excel as a pass rusher off the edge. (My take? This same description would fit the skills needed for a blitzing Buck ILB to a "T"). This scouting report also emphasizes that Jenkins lacks the size to play 4-3 DE, but excels as a hard-nosed leader both on the field and in the locker room. It makes you wonder whether his best position is actually on the inside, as. This link goes to a short interview at the Senior Bowl practices. This scouting profile by retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel agrees on the tweener problem: too small to be a DE, and maybe lacking the overall athleticism to handle pass cover duties as a 3-4 OLB. The Senior Bowl practices emphasized that his game is more power than finesse, which has caused his stock to tumble a bit.

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Deion Jones, ILB, LSU - 6'1", 219 lbs. with 32-1/2" arms. Yes indeed, we have another LB/SS hybrid! This one makes no bones about being an undersized linebacker as opposed to an oversized Safety but other than that he fits the exact mold of guys like Myles Jack, Jaylong Smith, Darron Smith, and Su'a Cravens: unbelievably athletic; very small and very fast for a linebacker; very large and a little slow for a safety; and just waiting for a team that can use his particular set of skills. Jones is a bit less experienced than the higher ranked versions but has close to the same upside. For the Steelers he'd be a backup to Shazier unless he runs well enough to transform into a Strong Safety like people suggest for Su'a Cravens... This Bleacher Report article on the biggest Senior Bowl risers has a nice section on Deion Jones. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile.

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Scooby Wright III, ILB/OLB, Arizona - 6'1", 246 lbs. Scooby Wright is going to provoke heated controversy in pretty much every war room in the country. Why? Because every extreme opinion can be justified with solid arguments. Want upside? In 2014 he won the Nagurski award for best linebacker and singlehandedly took over several games against very good teams. There is no one in college football who's been more productive. Red flags? He lost all but three games in 2015 to a series of injuries with both his knees and his feet. Motor? Astonishing. His floor is an all-but-legendary special teams demon. Athletic upside? Very limited. As discussed in this scouting profile from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel he is short in stature with short arms and probably not a lot of speed. Football awareness/IQ? Head back toward astonishing. Pass rush? Well, he doesn't have the obvious tools you look for but he does have something in his game that reminds of Deebo - perhaps that odd sense of inevitability, like he's somehow playing downhill all the time. Toughness? Hell yes, except that his size gets him swallowed up by blockers on a regular basis. My personal verdict is "Vince Williams with the potential to be Zach Thomas," but combined with a small chance of becoming a surprising star on the outside if he could only train with James Harrison for two years straight. Becoming a bundle of muscle might be just the cure for what ails him. Let the controversy begin!

This fairly thorough scouting report covers both sides of the coin, ups and downs. This NFL.com article makes a comparison to Zach Thomas and suggests a 3rd-Round grade. This brief scouting report uses Clay Matthews as the comparison and is entirely serious about a fringe-1st grade. OTOH, this brief scouting report gives him a Day 3 grade ("where he might be a potential steal"). This 2-author viewpoint, single-game scouting report from our sister site for the Bills is too narrow to be really useful, but really useful for what it is. Both guys give that particular game an early Day-3 grade.

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Deandre Houston-Carson, FS/CB, William & Mary - 6'1", 198 lbs. A promising young man from Mike Tomlin's old school. As discussed in this article and also in this article, DHC was a highly successful Corner until his Senior year when the coaches decided to do some cross training at Free Safety. He took to it so naturally that he ended up playing the position for the entire year. Other than some bad angles, which will get better with experience, and the normal improvement required to match up against NFL talent, he's also a fairly clean prospect. The bottom line is this: With his prototypical size, coverage experience, and good speed Houston-Carson will be a serious Day 2 consideration for a great many teams. Given Pittsburgh's openings for both a rangy outside Corner and a good Safety, the Steelers will be among those who study him the longest and hardest.

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Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah - 6'2", 225 lbs. An athletic marvel from a tiny school who supposedly runs a 4.45 40. The buzz started with a note in this article by the well respected Daniel Jeremiah, which began by quoting an area scout: "He's a better football player than [1st-rounders] Shaq Thompson and Deone Bucannon were when they came out." Jeremiah also touts his supposedly "impeccable" character. The obvious question marks are (a) how much of this is true, and (b) how will he perform against better competition, particularly if he's going to continue at Safety where above-the-neck recognition and reaction times are the only thing keeping Shamarko Thomas out of the lineup. One might also wonder if he'd be better suited to play weakside OLB in a 4-3 than Safety. He'll be one of the bigger attractions at the Senior Bowl. Check out this quote from Lance Zeurlein after watching the Wednesday Senior Bowl practice:

"Speaking of the secondary, it is hard to look at Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew and not think "Pittsburgh Steelers". On a team full of talkers, Killebrew is fairly quiet on the field, but he communicates with aggressive, physical hitting."

Now that is a recommendation! Here is an interview to get you started (he does like to use the word "pray" a lot). This recorded interview at Field Gulls and this companion article with a highlights reel from Seahawksdraftblog.com may help too. The NFL.com scouting report compares him to Deone Bucannon and suggests that he might move to a hybrid role. That fits with the occasional critique that Killebrew may lack "instincts" for zone coverage schemes.

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Maurice Canady, CB/FS/KR, Virginia - 6'1-1/8", 191 lbs. with 31-1/2" arms. Canady has a lot of tools. Really good height, excellent intelligence, good body control and balance, etc. The issues are questionable straight line speed (despite work as a punt and kick returner), a lack of physicality in his film (though exactly the opposite appeared at the Senior Bowl), and a tendency to give enormous cushions (which may have been a system thing). Those criticisms are just the sort of thing that would give Steeler fans angst, however. This comment from an area scout in the NFL.com scouting profile captures what our concerns would sound like: "He's soft. He has talent, but I have serious doubts about whether or not he's physically tough enough and mentally tough enough. Teams would runs screens at him because they knew he might not challenge the play." But his performance at the Senior Bowl suggests that at least some of this might have been scheme and coaching. The snippet in the DraftWire article on Senior Bowl takeaways testifies that Canady had a very good week of practice in which he showed a lot more physicality than earlier reports would have led you to expect. The snippet in these Senior Bowl notes is similar, with a specific comment about "excellent press technique." This goes to an article on Redskins.com that includes a video interview. This is an interview with his college coach about Canady as a prospect. People have mentioned him as a Free Safety prospect too (sort of like people speculated for Doran Grant last year...).

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Deiondre Hall, CB, Northern Iowa - 6'1-1/2", 192 lbs. with arms like an offensive lineman (34-3/4"). You couldn't design a better body for a press-corner and created quite a stir at the Senior Bowl weigh-in. The Senior Bowl practices then proved that he's also incredibly raw, with virtually no technique at off-coverage and problems transitioning out of his backpedal - as reported by someone who'd praised his fluidity on film in an earlier DraftWire article. The buzz seems to be consistent: "He looks like the next Richard Sherman, but can he actually learn the position well enough to reach that potential?" This goes to an article from a local paper.

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Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor - 6'1", 200 lbs. A good tackler with good hands who will probably thrive best in a press man technique that would let him use his size to good advantage, while minimizing his somewhat questionable long speed. A good 40 time could really vault him up a few boards. Here is a good scouting report from a Patriots site, which is where you may want to start. This goes to a better-than-nothing scouting profile that also emphasizes Howard's willingness to stick his nose in on tackles. This video at the Sports Illustrated site announces Howard's decision to go pro and includes some basic statistics. This goes to a Bleacher Report "hidden gems" profile on Xavien Howard.

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Jalen Mills, CB/FS, LSU - 6'1/8", 194 lbs. Mills comes from the school some are starting to call "Defensive Back University" and is noted for both an exceptional football IQ with good coverage skills. He played a lot of Free Safety at LSU but there is serious speculation that he will move back to Corner in the pros - primarily because he's also known as a barely adequate tackler. Compare that to recent Steeler Free Safeties like Ryan Clark and Mike Mitchell and you'll see the problem. There was also a domestic violence issue that got minor press but it seems to have had no legs and is ignored in this grade. This scouting profile provides a mixed review, basically saying that Mills has great range, coverage ability (for a Safety), and football IQ but is well behind when it comes to tackling. This scouting profile makes similar points, but concludes with a reminder that Mills has a huge upside potential that matches any other Safety in the draft with the possible exception of Jalen Ramsey. This gif-supported scouting report from Draft Breakdown is something of an outlier because it projects Mills back into a pure coverage role as a Corner, and also puts him into the slot. With that build you'd normally expect him to be more of a boundary Corner. This is a good article published during the Senior Bowl, where Mills did most of his work as a Corner. This uncomplimentary scouting profile comes from our sister site for the Redskins.

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Brian Poole, CB, Florida - 5'10", 210 lbs. Poole is the guy who was supposed to play across from Vernon Hargreaves, but got pushed down to #3 on the chart by Sophomore Jalen Tabor (a candidate for top-10 in the 2017 draft). Even #3's see the field a lot, however, so there's a lot of film in which Poole got targeted mercilessly throughout the college year. He held up... okay. His stock is likely to rise at the Combine based on measurables, but as always with the Corners it will be the unmeasurables that matter most.

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Vadal Alexander, OL, LSU - 6'5", 325 lbs. Alexander is an enormous man who was a dominant Guard before moving out to become an effective Right Tackle in college with a demonstrable weakness against outside speed . He's a monster at run blocking whatever's in front of him, but he's just not agile enough for people to see him stopping the likes of a Von Miller or Elvis Dumerville. Reports also question whether he can overcome that limitation, All of which translates to this: He projects to the NFL as one of the best Guards in the class for a team that wants a road grader rather than an athletic outside-zone guy. This scouting report from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel is dead-on with the common wisdom. This scouting report is very similar but will add to your depth. This is a detailed but quite critical scouting report from DraftWire, which can be summed up in this quote: "Alexander is simply not a good athlete." That and the 5th-round grade. Here is a nice scouting profile from a Saints perspective, which is either biased or informed by the fact that Alexander played locally (hard to tell which).

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Spencer Drango, G/T, Baylor - 6'6", 320 lbs. Drango was a college tackle who will need to move inside for the NFL, with some potential to be a backup Right Tackle if he can clean up his technique. He got flat out abused at the Senior Bowl again and again - which I admit is not a fair fight because of the rules, but even so he looked worse than most of his peers. In a phone booth, however, he should be fine. This scouting report looks quite competent, and emphasizes that Drango has only one real flaw - he's consistently the last guy out of his stance. This ESPN article gives some flavor for the kid himself. Drango gets mentioned in this Bleacher Report article as a player who must move to Guard.

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Denver Kirkland, G, Arkansas - 6'5", 340 lbs. A massive, monstrous human being with feet that were good enough to play Tackle in college but won't hold up in the NFL. That's a pretty good indication that he'll be able to pull as needed, however. Here is an adequate scouting profile to get you started.

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Max Tuerk, C/G, USC - 6'5", 285 lbs. If the Steelers want a developmental offensive lineman in this year's draft, Max Tuerk may be the model. He has experience at all five of the O-line positions, but was a tad too slow for Tackle and a tad too light for Guard, so he settled in at Center and excelled. On the inside he's noted for exceptional quickness and athleticism that would make Coach Munchak drool. The flaw is simple size and strength - he must add at least 20 pounds of solid, grown man muscle. But Tuerk has the build to do so and should be able to play in the future at 300-315 after a year or two in an NFL training regimen. Imagine "Pouncey Lite", or perhaps "Cody Wallace Heavy" and you're probably close. Last year's Cameron Erving would be another pro comparison. Tuerk would need a year to build pro-level strength and technique, and to finish recovering from an ACL injury in October 2015. After that he'd be an upgrade backup at Center and would quickly compete for time at Guard. Here is a summary scouting report to get you started. This scouting profile comes from a Patriots site.

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Landon Turner, G, North Carolina - 6'4", 320 lbs. The reviews are oddly mixed on Landon Turner, with some sites saying he's a waist-bender and others emphasizing how good he is at using his knees instead. The common theme seems to be that he's a basically sound prospect with okay mobility, decent power, a nice, nasty attitude, and only a few holes. At the same time he doesn't have anything really special to make him stand out. If I had to summarize the bottom line it would be that he should be a safe and reliable pick to be a solid starting Guard, but has little chance to become a star. This scouting profile from a Saints perspective is encouraging. This goes to a summary scouting report that seems to be in-line with the general viewpoint. This is a good scouting report from our sister site for the Jets. It emphasizes that Turner lacks the feet to play at Tackle, but adds that "In a phone booth, he is one of the best pure pass blockers in college football." This DraftWire scouting report (with lots of gifs) concludes with a 4th Round grade.

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Cody Whitehair, OL, Kansas State - 6'4", 305 lbs. but with very short 31-3/8" arms. Versatile, tough, and everything you could ask for in an offensive lineman short of the special level of athleticism that sets guys like Pouncey and DeCastro apart. Whitehair has played every position on the line at a more than capable level and succeeded at Tackle in 2015. The pundits project him inside based on body type, and he's apparently said that he agrees. Whatever - from the Steelers point of view he would instantly solidify the backup situation across the line, and would compete for a starting role at Guard. If the Steelers lose Ramon Foster to free agency Whitehair would be an excellent Day 2 pick. CAUTION: Whitehair started out on this Board as an early 2nd Round value until the news about his T-Rex arms came out. Real questions exist about whether anyone - even a prospect as accomplished as Whitehair - can succeed in the NFL with that big a disadvantage.

This particularly useful scouting report from the DraftWire describes Whitehair as a player who makes up for average athletic talents with excellent technique. If that's fair he would be ready to play sooner than most NFL prospects, but might have a harder ceiling. Here is a more gushing scouting report to get you excited. This summary scouting report is worth a quick read. This goes to a brief but decent scouting profile from a Saints perspective. This scouting report comes from our sister site for the Jets, by an author who's become a fan as a result of watching the film.

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Cyrus Jones, KR/CB, Alabama - 5'9-3/4", 196 lbs., with fairly long arms (31-1/4"). This description started with a disclaimer that the mid-3rd is a full retail grade "because Jones would slot into the Pittsburgh lineup like a jigsaw puzzle made for exactly that purpose;" but the more I think it over, the likelier it seems that his stock will rise during the process. First, he is a genius punt returner who would finally relieve AB from that duty. Second, he is an able Cornerback with good hands. He's a bit over-aggressive and suffers from a lack of inches, but that's certainly a better problem than being too passive or too gawky. Besides, since when does 5'10" and 196 pounds (measured at the Senior Bowl) qualify as "tiny" for a Corner prospect? If you need more selling I will add that Pittsburgh has never cared as much for height as some other teams and even if that limits Jones to the slot and for particular packages, his return skills re-elevate him toward starter value. Plus there's the fact that Alabama kids know how to compete and how to win. Say what you will about Nick Saban, but he's a darned good teacher in addition to being a world-class recruiter of talent. Jones also played offense until his Sophomore year, so there's room to speculate that he will keep getting better from the technical standpoint. (Whew). Cyrus Jones' stock began shooting up this and other Boards when Mike Mayock declared him to be the #5 Corner prospect overall in his initial rankings. We will have to see how far that goes, but it's enough to be pretty clear that Jones will certainly not last until Day 3.

As discussed in this scouting profile Jones was briefly involved in a domestic violence swirl but the charges were dropped when it became clear that he was the one seeking police help to deescalate the fight. The scouts will no doubt explore the mess in detail but from the outside it may even be spun in a way that makes him look better. This adoring and clever article from a local paper discusses one of Jones' better performances as a Corner, against the tall and productive Mississippi State squad. This is a similar article from the same paper except it's about the Cotton Bowl performance. This is a fun ESPN puff-piece article interviewing his parents. This goes to a very summary scouting profile.

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Kamalei Correa, EDGE, Boise State - 6'3", 245 lbs. Correa is another of those guys who most people had languishing in the middle rounds until Daniel Jeremiah brought them into the public eye as a sleeper (this time at #29 on Jeremiah's initial Top 50 list). As discussed in this scouting report Correa is flat-out fast and explosive. If the Steelers were in serious need of a pass rusher instead of bargain shopping, he might even be a fringe-2nd prospect.

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Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State - 6'0", 185 lbs. He'd be a solid Round 2 prospect were it not for a season-ending ACL tear. In this January article with multiple scouting profiles, Dave Te Thomas argues that Redmond may be the steal of the draft for someone who gets him in Round 2. This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel is less positive. Gabriel projects a solid career for Redmond as a nickel corner but does not believe he has the length and top end speed to play on the outside.

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Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma - 5'11", 175 lbs. A steady riser as his technique slowly improved over his college career, but that technique still has a long way to go. He's noted for "outstanding ball skills and hand-eye coordination," but is something of a mighty mite. The Steelers got one of those last year in Senquez Golson, which lowers Sanchez' stock a good bit.

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Willie Beavers, G/T, Western Michigan - 6'4", 324 lbs. with longish 33-1/2" arms but smallish 9-1/2" hands. The NFL.com scouting profile describes a very intriguing smaller school prospect from the Steeler point of view, with really excellent athleticism that won't be unleashed at a professional level without a year or two of work in the weight room, combined with excellent coaching. He played Tackle in college and has the feet to do so in the NFL too even if his measurements look more like a prototypical Guard. Lance Zierlein, who wrote that scouting profile, also listed Beavers as his #91 player overall back in January. You could not describe someone who sounds more like the kind of pick that Pittsburgh would love to make in the 5th Round. The problem being, of course, that Pittsburgh has no pick in either Round 5 or Round 6. Is he a target for Round 4? It's possible if the Steeler scouts agree with Zierlein. Mike Mayock does. Mayock listed Willie Beavers as his #5 Tackle prospect in the entire class despite watching him have a so-so week at the Senior Bowl. But there is little or no chance that he will fall all the way to Round 7. There is a snippet on Beavers in this DraftWire about Senior Bowl o-linemen. This goes to a brief article in the Detroit Free Press, where Beavers grew up.

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Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame - 6'4-1/8", 296 lbs. Brother Zach who plays for Dallas has created unreasonable expectations for brother Nick. The younger Martin lacks the exceptional balance and A+ athleticism that's made Zach such a star, but he projects to be a solid player in his own right. Nick Martin is already an accomplished technician and the kind of Center who understands the game, will make the right line calls, and will tough his way through whatever situation you care to put him in. He's particularly good in pass protection because he has such great awareness and football IQ that he never gets caught on stunts, and such sound technique that he's very hard to bull through. The shortcoming is that none of that amounts to ‘imposing your will.' Martin has a very high floor with few red flags except for a serious knee injury in 2013 that seems to be fully healed. Alas, but he doesn't seem to have the frame he'd need to play at Guard too. If he did the grade would be a notch or three higher.

This generous scouting profile from DraftWire gives him a 2nd-Round grade. This gif-supported scouting report concludes, "I think this is a 2nd or 3rd round player and any later than that, you're committing highway robbery." This much harsher scouting report ends with a 6th Round grade on the theory that "Nick Martin is an average prospect who is pretty much a finished product [because] he's maxed out as an athlete and as far as his technique is concerned." It's a fair argument though others disagree. This scouting report from the usually-reliable Seahawks Draft Blog is one example. This author believes Martin was hampered by his knee in 2015, will only get more explosive, and should be picked somewhere around #50 with an off-chance of going all the way up to the 1st. #50 is held by Atlanta, and this article actually argues that Martin should be the pick.

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Christian Westerman, G/C, Arizona State - 6'4", 300 lbs. Christian Westerman and Connor McGovern are destined to move in lockstep through the draft. The numbers suggest that both kind of small to be an NFL guard, but think again. According to this DraftWire article on Senior Bowl interior line prospects, Westerman is a "freak athlete" who is "probably the strongest overall player in this class regardless of position, and I'm told that he could break the bench press record at the upcoming NFL Combine." That certainly gets your attention! On the other hand, this December scouting report suggests that lack of strength is Westerman's biggest flaw. You have to go to the CBS scouting report to get an explanation for this. According to CBS Westerman really does have the strength, but he doesn't have the length and this often results in him getting out-leveraged. When he wins the hand fighting - and he has a terrific punch - Westerman can be a force. When he doesn't, opponents can use their reach to control him. Our own Steel34d (an ASU native) offered an extensive review of Westerman at this Comment. All signs point to Guard as an alternative with Center as his best position on the numbers; except that he's never played Center and we don't know if he has the football vision and IQ to do it. This grade assumes that he does, and would be able to act as a superb dual-purpose backup for Pittsburgh with a smaller chance of succeeding Ramon Foster. This goes to a really nice article from a USA Today local reporter.

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Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State - 6'5", 256 lbs. with long 33-1/4" arms. A good, all-around Tight End who doesn't flash as "special" in any particular part of the game. This goes to a BTSC scouting profile by Jeff Hartman, who believes Vannett is a fine blocker, an underutilized receiving weapon, and overall great value as a Round 3 pick. All good points. The NFL.com scouting report compares him to Crockett Gilmore, who has outplayed the mid-5th grade he had on this Board a few years ago. This DraftWire article on the Senior Bowl TE's and FB's has a little piece on Vannett, and this gif-supported DraftWire scouting report is about as thorough as you could want for something limited to just a few pages. Vannett is listed at #3 in this high on the superlatives Niners Nation article about this year's Tight End class. Vannett is discussed kindly in this discussion of three 2016 Tight Ends at a Packers site.

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Kenyan Drake, RB/KR, Alabama - 6'1/2", 210 lbs. My opinion? This all but unused backup to the Heisman Trophy winner could the best 3rd-down back in the draft by far if someone can teach him how to block - a task at which he is (for now) totally and startlingly incompetent. Things are different when the ball is in his hands. Drake is hugely quick and downright explosive in open space. Reports out of the Senior Bowl said things like, "few players look better on the hoof here than RB Kenyan Drake." His experience returning kicks should be another big plus from the Steeler point of view. This DraftWire scouting report is a fine place to start. Note the parts about Drake being "repeatedly in the doghouse at Alabama, and not just for fumbling concerns." It all seems to be stupid stuff but there was a lot of it, and it kept repeating year after year. It's the sort of thing where there's enough smoke to require attention from professional scouts, and the results of that attention could either raise his ranking by a full round or drop him toward late on Day 3. There's also an injury history that needs to be explored. Nevertheless, the sheer talent is so startling that I can imagine him going undrafted.

The NFL.com scouting report seems to be dead on point, saying that Drake's feet are so quick it can be exhausting just to watch him, but the injury history (broken leg one year, broken arm another) and the overall frame will keep him from being more than a very nasty puzzle piece. This very competent-looking scouting report ends with a 5th Round grade, though I expect it might have moved up a bit if published after the Senior Bowl. This is a neat article published during the Senior Bowl practice and is well worth the read because it actually conveys a flavor for the kid, both up and down. This upbeat and rosy scouting report suggests that the biggest concern for Drake is injuries.

3:24

Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor - 6'7-1/2", 269 lbs. There's not going to be a more divisive prospect in this year's draft. Oakman looks like he should be a football god, but the tape-watchers all say that his actual performance in 2015 was average at best. On the other hand, the 2014 tape was much better and there were rumors of an injury... A big part of the problem is that he was terribly over-hyped, and now the reality pales so much in comparison that he's getting over-knocked. This is a fairly conservative grade all things considered because (a) the Steelers could really use some depth behind Heyward and Tuitt, and (b) I have the impression that Oakman's shortcomings on the technique side are the kind of things Coach Mitchell excels at teaching, but (c) I think he has zero chance of contributing to this particular team in 2015. In my humble opinion, outside of special teams Oakman has no spot on the Steeler roster at his current size and weight, but should be able to add 20 pounds of muscle to his lower half. After that you'd be looking at a genuine 2nd round value who'd be a 4th round steal from a long term point of view. This excellent scouting report from Bob Sturm in Dallas is a good place to start. You should also check out this article on Oakman's background. This goes to the full Walter Football scouting report, which concludes with a Round 2-3 grade. This goes to a combination scouting profile on Shawn Oakman and Noah Spence from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel. This goes to a more summary but still useful scouting profile. This is a more positive scouting report that looks at Oakman purely as a 4-3 pass rusher. There is a harsh review ("kind of a joke") on Shawn Oakman in this set of scouting profiles on this year's Edge Rushers.

3:24

Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri - 6'0-1/2", 249 lbs. with 30-3/4" arms. A pure Buck ILB with tremendous instincts and a knack for getting his nose into an impossible number of tackles despite his somewhat limited physical assets. He will be an early Day 2 value if the Steelers somehow manage to lose Lawrence Timmons instead of arranging an extension. But if Timmons comes back, the presence of Vince Williams as a more than acceptable backup severely reduces Brothers' value from the Pittsburgh point of view. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This scouting report examines Brothers' fit for the Steelers if Timmons departs. This goes to an article published after Brothers' triumphant college season. This is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins. This is a scouting profile from a Jets-oriented site. This is a good, gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Jaguars. This goes to a more lukewarm scouting profile.

3:24

Jeremy Cash, SS, Duke - 6'7/8", 207 lbs. A smart, tough, in-the-box Strong Safety who's willing to hit, excels at blitzing and run support, but is a good bit more questionable in coverage. Excellent but not awesome athletic talents. Very high football IQ. The full DraftWire scouting report is definitely a good place to start. Perhaps the most telling part is the suggestion that Cash almost looks like a hybrid linebacker, and might want to consider adding 15 pounds of muscle and going that route. This scouting profile reaches a similar conclusion: that Cash is a somewhat slow-footed, in-the-box Strong Safety who ought to consider adding some weight to become a hybrid linebacker and nickel-package specialist. There's an injury concern based on a broken wrist that ended his season in December and required surgery. The early-process DraftWire scouting report is also worth a read.

3:24

Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson - 6'4", 220 lbs. Look at the size of him! And there's room to grow, though hopefully not to the size of his Uncle - the original "freak" Jevon Kearse. Maybe more like his cousin Philip Buchanan. Ahem. Jayron Kearse has not been a popular option in the discussions at BTSC, but that could change if he manages to prove that he has the maneuverability to cover shifty NFL running backs. That's the #1 question and it's hard to believe he does. Second, if he has the native ability to do the job, is he coachable enough to work the well-refined technique to maintain that ability at a higher level? This November scouting report notes a lack of consistency that appears to come from slow play recognition. This December scouting report notes a tendency to take bad angles, which also hints at recognition questions.

3:24

Kevon Seymour, CB, USC - 6'0", 185 lbs. Here is a glowing preseason (August 2015) scouting report lauding Seymour's size, fluid hips, and willingness to tackle. Number 2 in this guy's preseason rankings after Vernon Hargreaves! After that things went downhill. Seymour suffered a series of nagging injuries and generally seemed to play a step or so worse than his physical talents should have allowed. Those things are hard to judge, and one has to give USC players something of a pass this year because of their coach disappearing in September. Nevertheless, a disappointing year combined with a few bad drops creates enough smoke to push his ranking down toward late Day 2 or early Day 3 range. Of course if you get him in that range he could be an outright steal. The potential is definitely there.

3:24

Evan Boehme, C/G, Missouri - 6'3", 325 lbs. There's an appealing subtext to Boehme as an NFL prospect. He came into 2015 as a promising if oversized Center who looked more like a Guard but played light and smart enough to captain the line. Then he suffered the dreaded "high ankle sprain" early in the year and was never quite the same. He played through it, and the power was still there in spades, but he had trouble pulling and always seemed to be just enough behind for SEC lineman with good technique to gain an advantage that left him fighting uphill. What would he have been on two whole legs? That's the question to be answered. This is a somewhat generous grade based on Boehme's ability to play both Center and Guard at a solid level. This goes to the NFL.com scouting report.

3:24

Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford - 6'6-1/4", 300 lbs. Kyle Murphy is an enigma because he's the sort of candidate who clearly falls in "Box A" when you look at him the first time, and then just as clearly into "Box B" when you go back and try it again. My take, arrived at by averaging many others, is that he's a solid prospect who could develop into a solid Left Tackle if some coach could get his footwork and other fundamentals squared away. If he doesn't get the fundamentals nailed, he should have a nice career as a Right Tackle. The odds that he'll bust out completely are low. From the Steelers point of view that sounds an awful lot like some guys they already have on the roster, which limits his value. Expect Murphy to go in the 3rd or 4th rounds, well before he'd be a value pick for Pittsburgh. This goes to a nice scouting report to get you started. Retired NFL Greg Gabriel's scouting profile is more optimistic, and suggests that all Murphy really needs is a year in an NFL weight room. The DraftWire scouting report is less positive, concluding with a 4th-round grade because the author does not see the assets that Gabriel thought were so clear (see what I mean about Box A and Box B?). This scouting report is another that falls on the Round 2 side of the ledger.

3:24

Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina - 6'5", 244 lbs. with long 34" arms but small 8-3/4" hands. Adams has been making a move up draft boards since a fine showing at the Senior Bowl, especially at the Thursday practice. He's considered a "riser" but we will have to wait and see how far. The obvious issue is bulk, because he comes off as long and lanky with those measurements. But even the somewhat critical NFL.com scouting profile agrees that he's stronger than he looks, and there's little doubt that an NFL training program could add as much bulk to that frame as any team could desire. The bigger issue is the hand size. He does come with a reputation for the occasional bout of the dropsies, and those small hands suggest it might be a hard problem to cure. This goes to a scouting report from a Falcons site, which is far from the first to call Adams out for "stiffness" in his play.

3:24

Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky - 6'4", 243 lbs. A former receiver who runs excellent routes for a Tight End and has really fine hands. He's been working hard to become as good at the blocking side of his game but isn't quite there yet. From what I read it seems that if he was two inches taller and twenty pounds heavier he would be challenging Hunter Henry for the top spot in this year's admittedly poor class. Missed the Senior Bowl due to a sprained knee. This goes to a DraftWire scouting report that ends with a 2nd-Round grade largely on the grounds that Higbee has no real flaws except a series of things that need to improve, all of which should improve with proper coaching and an NFL training regime. All good points imho. Higbee is listed at #4 in this high on the superlatives Niners Nation article about this year's Tight End class.

4:01

Yannick Ngakoue ("IN-gah-kway"), EDGE, Maryland - 6'2", 255 lbs. "Explosive." That's the first word everyone uses. The second word is "short" followed by a selection that often includes things like "classic tweener" (a line from the CBS scouting profile). Pittsburgh has found success with that formula before. If the Steelers were in serious need of a pass rusher instead of bargain shopping, he might even be a fringe-2nd prospect. As-is, the team should consider him as a Round 4 bargain but not before. This goes to a nice scouting report from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel. Ngakoue's need to become a 3-4 OLB is discussed in this Bleacher Report article. This typically thorough scouting report from a contributor to DraftBreakdown gives Ngakoue a Day 2 grade as a pure pass rushing specialist, but with serious reservations about his ability to be a complete player in the run game.

4:01

Antonio Morrison, ILB, Florida - 6'1", 232 lbs. with 30-3/8" arms. Morrison is a tough call because his main assets are on the inside. As summarized by the NFL.com scouting profile, he is your classic "glass eater" with "unmatched intensity" and an "ultracompetive Alpha male" nature that "teammates gravitate toward." His instincts (I hate that word) aren't great, but I believe those will come if he has half the work ethic that people ascribe to him. If I was forced to put him in a Pittsburgh box right now, I'd say he was a Mack version of Vince Williams complete with the on-the-edge emotions. Morrison's off-field concerns include incidents where he "resisted arrest" by barking at a police dog, and was charged with punching a bar bouncer in the face. Other than the 50-spot discount we are imposing on ILB's due to the assumption that Timmons is coming back, the biggest question marks about Morrison have to be his health and the reliability of his 2015 film.

In the 2014 Bowl game Morrison suffered a multiple-ligament knee injury that people describe with terms like "catastrophic," "devastating," and "horrific." This ESPN article details the incredible rehab & work ethic that let him get on the field at all in 2015: Per the Florida director of rehabilitation, "In all the [35] years that I've done this, I've never quite encountered anything like this or someone like him. For lack of a better term, it's the most amazing thing I've ever seen." The SB Nation Florida Gators site claims his recovery was even faster than Adrian Peterson's. How complete was the recovery, and to what extent do the lingering effects of the injury explain the stiffness and lack of NFL-level agility on his 2015 film? Those will be the main questions for teams to answer.

This DraftWire scouting profile ends with a 6th Round grade because "Morrison's work ethic can only make up for so many of his inadequacies." This scouting report looks at the same film and reaches a late Round 2 grade, a distinction that's typical because Morrison is clearly one of those ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder' prospects. This Falcons-oriented scouting profile compares Morrison to Bobby Wagner. This scouting profile seems to stand on the line, ending with a Round 3-4 grade. This Redskins-oriented scouting profile describes him as a "torpedo in the middle of the field." This brief but fair scouting profile comes from an article on "most underrated players."

4:01

Terrance Smith, ILB/OLB, Florida State - 6'3", 234 lbs. Expect to hear more about Terrance Smith because he's very likely to blow up the Combine and generate "Ryan Shazier Lite" comparisons. They're not entirely unfair and Pittsburgh could do worse than to draft a kid like this in Round 4 if Sean Spence leaves in free agency. As summarized in the NFL.com scouting profile, Smith has a High School sprinting background and uses that to great effect as a run-and-chase, sideline-to-sideline pursuer. The major flaw is that he's very inconsistent about making the actual tackle once he arrives. Good tackling is a thing you can teach, however. The native athletic ability to get to places that other men can't is a lot more rare. BTW, if you like such trivia it's notable that Smith's father was a star college WR and that Deandre Hopkins is a cousin. In this dual scouting profile (Terrance Smith and Nick Kwiatkoski), retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel adds an excellent point: "Won't be a rookie starter but will be very good on specials while he learns." Note that a high ankle sprain put significant dents into his 2015 film, and that he looked excellent in the Shrine Game practices before tweaking a hammy.

4:01

Sean Davis, FS/CB, Maryland - 6'1", 200 lbs. He's got the build, with good height and good length. He's pretty athletic. And he's got a good aggressive attitude. But he's also horribly raw and has shown an ability to get thoroughly pretzeled by wide receivers who know how to run a good route. All of which adds up to make him a late Day 2 or early Day 3 prospect as a Free Safety (or possibly a Corner), with the understanding that he will absolutely require a redshirt year to understand the NFL game. This pre-Senior Bowl scouting profile from Bleacher Report compares Davis to a poor man's Eric Rowe. This goes to a scouting report from a Patriots site. This Bleacher Report article argues for Safety over Corner as all but an inevitability.

4:01

Tyvis Powell, S, Ohio State - 6'2", 210 lbs. Powell will be a Day 3 guy unless he blows up the Combine. If that happens all bets are off. The problem is that he's good at everything but special at nothing. By all accounts his tape is the epitome of a high floor, low ceiling, very safe pick who should enjoy a nice journeyman career if everything works out. Robert Golden has already become that player. Pittsburgh isn't in need of another. What would change that damned-by-faint-praise verdict? Simple. Proving that he has some particular athletic genius of any kind or stripe that might let him raise that ceiling. This scouting report/article is an absolute must-read if you want the inside scoop. I hate to oversell any of the links on this Board, but that one gives you almost everything you could want - including a list of limitations from a very loving eye. I would love to meet this kid and I'd be happy to know him, but I'm just not sure I want him for my team. This goes to a much-inferior scouting profile that serves to confirm the conclusions of the good one.

4:01

Taveze Calhoun, CB, Mississippi State - 6'1/4", 177 lbs. with 31-5/8" arms. Gritty, with a good record for solid tackling and work on special teams. The sort of guy who's likelier than most to have a long NFL career but might have to do it as a member of the squad rather than a #1 Corner. This goes to a video interview from a local news source. This goes to a preseason but gif-supported scouting report that describes Calhoun as an excellent special teams player and a superior tackler, with flashes of brilliance that often get sunk in a large pool if inconsistent and mediocre plays. This goes to a very brief summary profile at a Titans site. Note that Calhoun is a pretty bright young man: this article discusses his nomination for a prestigious student-athlete award.

4:01

Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota - 5'10", 198 lbs. with 31-1/2" arms. A gritty, physical Corner who's been plagued by pass interference calls when pressed by better receivers. His size and speed are okay, it's just that he has some physical limitations and tightness in the hips get him physically defeated by opponents who have an athletic edge - which will be true of many NFL receivers. Also has some suspect hands. The NFL.com scouting profile says he has a good grounding in technique, knows how to play zone, and generally has the right stuff to succeed as slot Corner but not on the outside. Not exactly what the Steelers are looking for... This goes to a scouting profile from a Patriots site which points out the athletic and hands limitations. There is a very short profile in this DraftWire article on Corners in the Senior Bowl. Murray did have some good Senior Bowl moments, including some excellent coverage on standout wide receiver prospect Braxton Miller.

4:01

Le'Raven Clark, T/G, Texas Tech - 6'5-1/2", 312 lbs. with freakish 36-1/4" arms. Clark is a guy you pick on pure potential. He has an ideal build for a Tackle with very good height, arms that can reach across the stadium, and fairly quick feet to match. Unfortunately his technique at Tackle is downright bad. A lot of the blame goes to playing in a wide open college offense that put him in a 2-point stance the whole time, but the fact is that he got downright abused by almost everyone at the Senior Bowl practices. He's a project who needs to be taken apart and rebuilt - but each and every one of the parts looks like it could be plated with genuine gold. He was also a successful Guard before moving outside, which adds some of that position flexibility the Steelers like so much. This goes to a very informative (and positive) CBS scouting profile. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This is an article detailing how he got abused at the Senior Bowl, complete with gifs. Some more extreme projections like this Bleacher Report article speculate that his physical gifts alone could propel him toward Round 1 consideration by just the right team.

4:01

Connor McGovern, G/C, Missouri - 6'4", 310 lbs. Christian Westerman and Connor McGovern are destined to move in lockstep through the draft. The numbers suggest that both kind of small to be an NFL guard, but think again. They are both weight room junkies who've set all kinds of records for sheer strength, and have the ability to use that power on the football field. The problems arise when they run up against elite athletes who can beat them on agility, and long athletes who can control them through reach alone. McGovern played Left Tackle in 2015, which didn't do him any from the draft point of view. For the NFL he's a Guard, or possibly a Center if he has the right stuff upstairs. Here is a brief Bleacher Report profile from just before the Senior Bowl. This goes to a nice article/interview from a local paper.

4:01

Rees Odhiambo, G/T, Boise State - 6'4", 309 lbs. This is a tough one. He played Tackle in college but will move inside for the NFL with perhaps some added value as an emergency fill-in on the right side. And by all accounts he's a tough, physical, athletic, technically accomplished, and nasty blocker who have an excellent chance to succeed. That would normally be a Day 2 grade. Unfortunately, Odhiambo has a long history of injuries that cost him five games in 2013, four games in 2014, and everything in 2015 that came after he broke an ankle. The NFL.com scouting profile is a good place to start because it lists a number of specific features that make him more desirable. Odhiambo would be a very intriguing pick for the Steelers because he sounds like the kind of player who could vastly outplay his draft position under the tutelage of Coach Munchak - assuming he can stay healthy.

4:01

Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford - 6'4", 249 lbs. Hooper is a sophomore who came out very early, perhaps because this class is so shallow. It shows in the fact that he requires more projection than most of his peers. Athletically he is near the top of the class and could top the chart when it comes to SPARQ scores. Coming from Stanford he would probably top the chart in the brains department too. But as a complete Tight End, Austin Hooper lags behind. He's willing enough when it comes to the dirty work, but lacks the strength and technique to succeed as often as a guy with his natural ability deserves to. Whoever picks Hooper will do so with the phrase "redshirt year" firmly in mind. This goes to a gif-supported scouting report that's a decent place to start. This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel sums things up nicely - a plus athlete with very good upside but without the more finished technique he would have obtained with another year or two of college seasoning. Hooper is discussed kindly in this discussion of three 2016 Tight Ends at a Packers site.

4:01

Jake McGee, TE, Florida - 6'5-3/8", 252 lbs. with average 32" arms and 9-1/2" hands. Jake McGee has very good speed and stellar hands. The rest of his game is a work in progress. According to the NFL.com scouting profile he has barely adequate route running skills and inconsistent run-blocking. But there's something in between the lines with the reviews about McGee that makes you think he will find a way to stick in the league - probably as a #2 TE, but for a good many years. Part of it may be the constant din about his being a marvelous team player and locker room presence. That is not the only article from local sources about how central he was to the team as a whole. Here is yet a third article on that theme, with some nice background built in on McGee's own growth as a player. This scouting profile from a Cowboys site projects McGee as a 6th Round "gem," which he probably would be. This Pats Pulpit article on the 2016 TE class has a nice snippet on McGee.

4:01

Josh Ferguson, RB [and WR and KR?], Illinois - 5'9-5/8", 196 lbs. - The ultimate water-bug in the draft, with instant change-of-direction elusiveness. The only problem is that he's really small for an NFL back, and this will prevent him from being more than a change of pace guy. The most intriguing part, however, is how he might be able to transform. Ferguson is known as a fabulous pass catcher out of the backfield, so why not a Julian Edelman-type slot receiver? And what about punt returns? So far as I've been able to discover, Ferguson was never even tried as a return guy despite having the prototypical skill set. If he could prove himself punt-return capable, don't be at all surprised if the Steelers develop a serious interest. The NFL.com scouting report is a really fun read with lines like "Electric short-area acceleration," "Blazing speed to the corner," and this nice summary: "Can string together move after move with subtle direction changes, sharp jump cuts and wicked spin moves. Tacklers spend more time corralling him than hitting him with clean shots." This goes to a "Sleepers" scouting profile on Ferguson.

4:16

Kyler Fackrell, EDGE, Utah - 6'5", 244 lbs. This is a lower grade that Fackrell will get on most boards, and perhaps lower than he deserves on this one. Why? Two reasons. First, he will be 25 going into the draft and the Steelers really prefer to pick younger talent. Second, everything I read about Fackrell reminds me of a less-productive-in-college Jarvis Jones. I'm a fan of Jarvis Jones and I would be of Fackrell too, but how many of those guys do you need on one team? Fackrell is the sort of player with no real holes and no particular athletic genius, but with an ideal attitude toward making himself the best possible football player and teammate. He will never, ever let you down unless you expect greatness. He will always have a nose for the football and manage to make plays that will help your team. He will always be an asset to your locker room and your city. He will always get a certain number of sacks, and will do the work needed to make himself NFL-caliber in run support and coverage too. But if you expect much more than those pretty wonderful features, he will always manage to give you some reason to be disappointed.

4:16

Alex McCalister, EDGE, Florida - 6'6", 250 lbs. A potential OLB in the Bud Dupree mold; long, athletic, and raw. Alex McCalister is a favorite sleeper of several BTSC posters due to his tremendous physical talents. Make no mistake - those talents are very real. As discussed in this set of scouting profiles surveying the Edge rushers, McCalister has "amazing" length, "awesome" bend, "off the charts" athleticism, and a "shoulder dip around the edge [that] is beautiful and very effective." He averaged something like a sack per game in his final year. The drawback, as outlined in the CBS scouting profile, is a series of unknown off-field problems that began with a first-game suspension and culminated in his getting dismissed from the Florida program completely - at least supposedly. According to this article, which includes McCalister's farewell letter to Gator Nation, the school never made that dismissal official. The interim or appealable nature of that "dismissal" could also be behind the way his now-former coach questioned the decision to go pro. For what it's worth, rumor has it that uncontrollable urges for the not-yet-legal herb of choice may be at the root of the problem. If you will forgive the pun, that smells consistent with the bits of evidence that are publicly available. The bottom line is that McCalister is a true boom-or-bust project who's potential is all-pro-stardom at one end versus never-sniffs-the-field at the other, and his draft prospects range from early in the 2nd to UDFA.

This goes to an article from April, 2015 on McCalister's growth from a 210 pound freshman into a 250 pound edge rusher. Here is a summary scouting profile. This goes to a Buffalo scouting profile built on quotes from that profile and the CBS one, with one nice gif as a bonus. This NFL.com article compares McCallister's build and skills to Randy Gregory, which may be a backhanded hint about the weed thing too.

4:16

Victor Ochi, EDGE, Stony Brook - 6'1", 244 lbs. Ochi charged onto the scene after tearing up the East-West Shrine Game. This really should-read, gif-supported scouting report explains why maybe it shouldn't have been such a surprise. Ochi led the FCS in sacks this year, putting up more sacks in fewer games against identical competition than the much-ballyhooed Noah Spence, who had the benefit of being trained at Ohio State before heading down to the FCS. But like so many other Edge rushers in this class, his prospects in Pittsburgh will be limited to extreme bargain shopping situations. In some other year he'd be a great pick early in Round 3; but this year the team won't consider him before the 4th at the very earliest.

4:16

Kevin Byard, SS, Middle Tennessee St. - 5'11", 216 lbs. with long 33-1/2" arms. Byard is a good, solid, small school Strong Safety who did a fine job at the Senior Bowl. His football IQ is supposed to be top notch, and his tackling and hitting are both fine. There are some fairly serious doubts about his coverage skills, however, and also about his long speed. Byard won't be at the Combine so we will have to keep an eye out for his pro day. This goes to the NFL.com scouting report. This goes to a really superior article on Byard at Bleacher Report by someone who ought to get a glance or two from Sports Illustrated if this is a fair sample of his writing.

4:16

Juston Burris, CB, N. Carolina State - 6'0-1/2", 213 lbs. with 31-1/8" arms. A taller corner who uses his height well and possesses good hands, but has questionable change of direction. As discussed in the NFL.com scouting profile, Burris is a 3-year starter with good production in a system where he played both press and off man. Very good in run support too. This goes to an interview after the Shrine game.

4:16

Leshaun Sims, CB, Southern Utah - 6'0-3/8", 197 lbs. with 31-1/8" arms and tiny 7-7/8" hands. A teammate of Miles Killebrew who burst onto the scene with a strong showing at the Shrine game. He is your classic small school prospect with the height, weight and speed that teams want (ran a verified 4.41) but no real experience against higher caliber receivers. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile.

4:16

D.J. White, CB, Georgia Tech - 5'10-7/8", 189 lbs. with 31-1/8" arms. Described by the CBS scouting profile as a Corner whose only real weaknesses are average height and possibly a lack of long speed. He gets hit with the "more quick than fast" label. My impression is that he's a fine prospect to be a slot corner with the potential to grow into something more. High effort guy, team captain, tenacious tackler, very fluid... There are a lot of reasons why the Steelers might be very interested in White for a mid-round pick. Quite frankly, he sounds a lot like a younger Willie Gay except with a bit more of a resume coming out of college. If the measurements given in this article are correct, expect Mr. White to be making quite a jump after the Combine.

4:16

Tyler Johnstone, OT, Oregon - 6'6", 295 lbs. Tall, lengthy, strong, ridiculously athletic, and coming out of a top program. Johnstone was on everyone's watch-list for potential 1st-Round prospects even going into his redshirt junior year of 2013. Then he tore an ACL and missed the entire year. Then 2014 was going to be his year, until he promptly tore the same exact ACL all over again. Fast forward to 2015 where he had to be carted from the field after his first practice... but soon returned to play the entire year (whew!). This scouting report seems about right with its verdict: At this point Johnstone is a potential steal who probably can't be picked higher than the Fourth due to (a) the injury history, combined with (b) the very impressive depth of this year's class. This goes to a nice article from a local paper.

4:16

Morgan Burns, KR/CB, Kansas State - 5'11", 196 lbs. [With thanks to poster bmoody]. Supposed to have liquid speed and good change of direction, which combined to make him an all-Big 12 return man. Doubles as Corner, which doesn't hurt. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on as the process moves forward.

4:16

Tyler Ervin, KR/RB, San Jose State - 5'9-7/8", 192 lbs. An athlete looking for a spot. Ervin has played running back, wide receiver, and even some cornerback in college but no one is sure where he'll end up in the NFL. The odds-on favorite would be as a 3rd-down back on the depth chart and "offensive weapon of opportunity" in actual use. He's sort of like what Dri Archer was supposed to be with a tiny bit more size, a bit more shiftiness, and perhaps a bit less speed. From the Steelers point of view he would be the presumptive punt and kick returner with a chance to contribute in whatever way the coaches see fit. Archer would have had much better results if he'd had a bit more in the way of elusiveness instead of pure speed. That description fits Ervin very well. This goes to a good scouting report t, which includes a direct comparison to Dri Archer. This goes to a brief Bleacher Report profile from before the Senior Bowl. This article includes some background. This gif-supported scouting report is useful but limited because it focuses on Ervin's potential as a running back only, which he really isn't.

5:01

Javon Hargrave, DL, South Carolina State - 6'1", 315 lbs. A solid developmental guy who could develop into the next Steve McLendon. He's got decent size, nice quickness, good power, and showed some real dominance at the Shrine game. This scouting profile from a Panthers point of view appeared soon afterwards. He's too short to be an across-the-line guy for the Steelers, which limits his value on this Board a bit.

5:01

Dadi Nicolas, EDGE, Virginia Tech - 6'3", 235 lbs. Dadi Nicolas is exactly the kind of developmental pass rusher I could see the Steelers going for in the middle rounds. It might take some kind of a trade to add extra picks, and Nicolas may go earlier to a hungrier team, but at the start of Day 3 I think he'd be ideal. In college he played as a 3- and 5-technique defensive lineman where he was (too put it mildly) too small to get the job done. He survived at all because he's a tremendous athlete with so much burst and bend that he could often sidestep or slip between the hulking behemoths he was forced to face. In the NFL he would be asked to learn a completely different position - a light but fast OLB in a 3-4 defense. He has all the tools it would take to excel in that role - even to star in that role - provided you're willing to give him 2-3 years to get it right. To my mind that is a great Day 3 pick any year you want to name. Here is a DraftWire scouting report, which is most notable because it cites rumors of a low football IQ. That could be a real problem for someone who has "learn new skills" as the #1 job description. This scouting report is a bit more positive and quite in line with the overall perception. This is one of Greg Gabriel's two-player scouting profiles, and covers the essentials if only in a general way. If you scroll down this set of scouting profiles you'll find an okay one on Nicolas. This goes to one of Dave Te Thomas' article/scouting profile epics, in this case a fairly positive one. There is a nice bit on Dadi Nicolas in this set of scouting profiles on this year's Edge Rushers.

5:01

James Bradberry, CB, Samford - 6'1", 213 lbs. with very long 33-3/8" arms. A height-weight-speed guy from the same teeny school that give us Nick Williams. Here's a fun article published during the Senior Bowl that you'll definitely enjoy. It seems that the Eagles have serious interest after a good showing during the Senior Bowl practices. The NFL.com scouting report is quite negative and gives Bradberry a fringe-draftable grade.

5:01

Joe Haeg, T/G, North Dakota State - 6'6", 310 lbs. A highly successful Left Tackle for the perennial small school football power. Questions exist about whether he has the athletic talent to play Tackle in the NFL, but everyone seems to be pretty sure that he can play Guard. His reviews from the Senior Bowl practices were in line with that: lost regularly as a Tackle due to poor footwork (which may be fixable) but looked like he'd do fine on the inside. Overall, he is a very fine prospect for early on Day 3 - which will be tough on the Steelers because they have no pick in either Round 5 or Round 6. If he falls to Round 7 don't be a bit surprised to hear his name, however. This goes to a brief Bleacher Report profile from just before the Senior Bowl. This goes to an article/interview from a local paper. This scouting report comes from a Patriots draft blog and ends with a Round 3-4 grade.

5:01

Dominick Jackson, G/T, Alabama - 6'5", 320 lbs. I kind of feel for this kid. Alabama had one problem bigger than all the rest in the national championship game: Clemson DE Kevin Dodd consistently dominated the Alabama Right Tackle. The victim in question was Dominick Jackson. Don't let that one bad game destroy your overall opinion of a young man who was, after all, good enough to hold down a premium position on a premium college team. That game showed that Jackson should probably move inside to Guard, but it says very little more about his ability to build a longtime NFL career. The NFL.com scouting profile is an odd combination of praise about physical tools and question marks about the lack of physical genius in any aspect of the game, with some doubts about football IQ.

5:01

Darion Griswold, TE, Arkansas State - 6'5", 264 lbs. An athletic former basketball player who stood out at the Shrine Game practices. He is extremely raw, especially as a blocker, but has the build and overall athleticism that teams look for. This goes to a brief scouting profile in a Bleacher Report article.

5:01

Henry Krieger-Coble, TE, Iowa - 6'3", 248 lbs. A bit undersized but otherwise a nice, solid, well-rounded prospect with no glaring flaws or special assets. He's been accused of fumbleitis but there were all of two in 2015 so it's hard to say how big a deal that really is. This goes to a fun video of a great one-handed catch during a Senior Bowl practice. This goes to a scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel, which is basically positive. The NFL.com scouting report is quite similar - a solid #3 tight end who could easily become a #2 and has the potential to mature into a starter on many teams if he can bulk up and perfect his blocking skills. This DraftWire article on the Senior Bowl TE's and FB's has a little piece on Krieger-Coble. This goes to a fun ESPN article on his family background.

5:01

Bryce Williams, TE, East Carolina - 6'6", 258 lbs. Williams has two real assets. First, he has really excellent hands and knows how to make a catch in traffic. Second, he has fairly good straight line speed. After that the former fullback turned H-back he is a serious work in progress. According to the NFL.com scouting report his route running could only be described as lousy, and his blocking consists mostly of getting his body in the way and trying not to get run over. He does have room to add a lot of muscle onto his lanky frame, and route running can be learned, but there are real questions about whether he'll ever be quick enough to successfully break away from a decent NFL cover guy. Where does that average out? Somewhere in Day 3, and probably not too late given the general paucity of Tight End talent in this year's draft. Bucky Brooks has him all the way up at #3 in the class! This scouting report from DraftWire pegs him as a 6th round talent. This scouting report from a Saints perspective is vastly more upbeat. Williams is listed at #5 in this high on the superlatives Niners Nation article about this year's Tight End class.

5:16

Anthony Brown, CB, Purdue - 5'11-1/4", 195 lbs. with 31-1/8" arms. The NFL.com scouting profile describes a player who's a bit of an enigma. He's described as an "efficient and effective" player with extensive experience in zone coverage, good hands, and very reliable tackling skills. The only thing wrong is a number: 17 touchdowns. That's a terrible number, but according to the author (Lance Zierlein) there is nothing in the film to explain how and why it happened.

5:16

Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia - 6'2", 198 lbs. The NFL.com scouting profile describes a player with terrific size and speed who might succeed as a Corner in a system that taught him to play physical press coverage and then left him to do it. What he lacks are the fluid hips and quick-twitch agility to play off-man or zone, which is what the Steelers prefer. OTOH, there's also a suggestion that his excellent size, speed, and ability to be a willing tackler could translate to Free Safety. There's an idea... This goes to a brief scouting report from a West Virginia site.

5:16

Joe Dahl, G/T, Washington State - 6'3-7/8", 300 lbs. with shortish 32-3/4" arms. Joe Dahl played Tackle in college but will move inside for the NFL - possibly with the ability to fill in on the right side if an emergency strikes. He's a bit small and foot heavy for a Guard but makes up for that with exceptional toughness, diligence, and work ethic. Dahl is the sort of guy that coaches adore and who will only make your locker room better. All of that gives him a fairly high floor. Unfortunately his ceiling seems to have a fairly solid cap formed by limitations to his size, length, and athletic talents. I haven't looked at any film and won't, but the descriptions remind me a lot of Cody Wallace. I like Wallace and the comparison is certainly no insult to Dahl - but of course Pittsburgh already has the original version there on the roster. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to a scouting report from our sister site for the Jets.

5:16

Cody Kessler, QB, USC [MEETING AT SENIOR BOWL] - 6'1-1/4", 224 lbs. Cody Kessler is a successful Quarterback with a good but not exceptional arm, and the real advantage of playing in a pro-style college system. What's not to like? It basically comes to two things. First, he lacks the ideal size and arm talent that Pittsburgh seems to value. That limits his upside. And second, he has a reputation for getting the yips if opposing defenses put serious pressure on the pocket. This scouting profile gives a fair description of the polarized opinions on Kessler, concluding with a fairly optimistic grade in the Round 3-4 range. This goes to a really long, detailed, and high quality, gif-supported scouting report that would be my first recommendation for anyone who really cares to get a full analysis of Kessler's game. This 4-minute video scouting report from Matt Waldman is interesting to. This goes to a scouting report from our sister site for the Jets. This DraftWire scouting report gives a 6th Round grade, complaining about "significant" arm strength issues. This scouting profile gives a Round 5-6 grade. This is a good, gif-supported scouting report that points out how Kessler's film from 2014 was Day 2 worthy, while that from 2015 was UDFA territory. It splits the difference and also ends up with a mid- to late-Day 3 grade. This is a typically high quality scouting profile from Draft Breakdown. This more optimistic scouting profile ends with a Day 2 grade, mostly because the author thinks Kessler has a strong enough arm to make all the throws. If you want to meet Cody Kessler more directly, try this 11-minute interview at the Senior Bowl.

5:16

Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana - 6'6", 236 lbs. The appealing thing for the Steelers about Nate Sudfeld is the potential upside if he manages to overcome his maddening inconsistency and put all the pieces together. Sudfeld has the height and build of a model QB. He has the arm to make all the big throws, but has a mysterious tendency to throw softballs when there's no good reason to do so. That is interception bait in the NFL. He also has the touch to make the tricky throws and often will, but will mysteriously throw the occasional one so off target that scouts can only shake their heads. He has the work ethic, leadership skills, football IQ, and love of the game. What he needs is 2-3 years of working on his mechanics and learning the ability to go through his progressions. The bottom line verdict would be, "A talented but erratic college QB with the potential to be an NFL pro but long odds of getting there." (Quite frankly, it sounds a lot like Landry Jones' scouting report a few years back). This goes to an epic-length scouting report from respected expert Dave Te Thomas. This goes to a shorter but perhaps more useful scouting report. This goes to a weird site selling "personality analyses" for potential QB prospects, but is notable here because of the massively enthusiastic endorsement it gives to Sudfeld.

5:16

Jalin Marshall, KR/RB/WR, Ohio State - 5'11", 205 lbs. Forget the positions and categories. Jalin Marshall is an "Offensive Weapon" and that is how he will be used. He is one of those guys who is little more than a colossal mass of quick twitch fibers who happens to wear a football helmet. Such players have real limitations. But it just so happens there's a big time hole for just such a guy in the Pittsburgh roster. I fondly expect Jalin Marshall to be a Pittsburgh target with one of its three 7th-Round picks if the young man happens to fall that far. This epic-length scouting profile from Dave Te Thomas will tell you everything you could possibly want to know about why Marshall might be a good pick. This gif-supported scouting report from the SB Nation Ohio State site is a bit more cautious, but still gives Marshall a Round 4-5 grade. This goes to a brief article from his hometown paper on Marshall's decision to leave Ohio State as a redshirt Sophomore. This article compares Marshall to Ted Ginn, Jr. - albeit a Ginn who lacks some college pedigree.

6:01

Kevin Peterson, CB, Oklahoma St. - 5'10", 173 lbs. with 30-1/2" arms. Solid speed, good smarts and a decent tackler, but a good bit more slender than you like to see in a player who'd be matched up against guys that could outweigh him by 50 pounds and have a 5" advantage in height. His lack of size and bulk put a limit on the upside, but it sounds like he has the makings of a solid contributor in a zone system and/or at the slot. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. Note that CBS has him going a little higher, in the 4-5 range.

6:01

Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M - 5'11", 200 lbs. By all accounts Brandon Williams is going to take the Combine by storm with his array of tremendous speed and other measurable traits. He even has a fine backpedal and ability to break out of it. However, according to the NFL.com scouting profile that's pretty much all he has going for him (other than being a good tackler and terrific special teams gunner). Brandon Williams is as raw as they come with regard to position skills. The reason is simple: until this year he played running back, and thus has literally just a single year of experience.

6:01

Tavon Young, CB, Temple - 5'9", 180 lbs. As this adoring Bleacher Report scouting profile discusses, Tavon Young is a flat-out baller. His long speed is suspect, but his change of direction skills are second to none and he's known as an excellent tackler. He's the sort of kid who could easily have a long journeyman career excelling in zone coverage. But darn it, he's another mighty mite and is there any room at all on the Steelers squad for someone with that profile? The CBS scouting report has him going as a UDFA, but if you read the text you'll see a ton of things there that the reviewers really like. It really is a question of whether he can test well enough as a pure athlete to survive in the NFL. I suspect that he is and would deserve a Round 3-4 grade... if he wasn't so darned small. Can't someone buy these guys some platform sneakers or the like? This goes to another complimentary Bleacher Report profile.

6:16

Darius Latham, DE, Indiana - 6'5", 305 lbs. Who? How did a guy with a UDFA grade on CBS and no grade at all on Walter Football make it onto this list as a viable 6th-Round value for Pittsburgh? It's because I am officially declaring him as a sleeper who may be able to develop into the backup that Pittsburgh wants behind Heyward and Tuitt. Read this long article/scouting profile from Dave Te Thomas and then tell me if you disagree. Latham has the size, length, and basketball background that Pittsburgh looks for in its Defensive Ends. He excels at run-stuffing, but also has a bit of twitch when needed. If the D-line has gone unaddressed when the Steelers' 7th-Round picks come around, don't be at all surprised if Latham is named as one of them. You heard it hear first.

6:16

Dean Lowry, DL, Northwestern - 6'5", 305 lbs. As the NFL.com scouting profile say, Lowry has a classic frame to play 3-4 Defensive End. He also gets props for being a high-effort guy and a good teammate. Limitations include arms on the short side for such a tall man, and some overall limitations as an athlete when graded on the NFL curve. His standout performance at the Shrine Game moved him well into draftability and earned him an invite to the NFL Combine, so we will have a chance to learn more. This article from a local news source contain a long set of quotes from various pundits, which almost serves as a proper scouting profile.

7:01

Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford - 6'1", 239 lbs. with 31-1/4" arms. The NFL.com scouting profile describes him as a "businesslike machine" going downhill against the run, "functional" in pass coverage, and "instant value" on special teams. The issue is a limited upside. More physically gifted NFL athletes may simply be able to beat him by being that little bit faster and stronger. From the Steeler point of view he would project as a solid backup at the Buck position - a spot that is already occupied by Vince Williams. He should easily find a much better home at a team with more use for his particular talents. This very capable scouting report suggests that the Bills might be one good spot. There's also a snippet on Martinez in this DraftWire preview article for the Senior Bowl.

7:01

Aaron Wallace, EDGE/ILB, UCLA - 6'3", 240 lbs. If you believe the NFL.com scouting profile, Aaron Wallace is a young man with the native athletic talent to become a successful 3-4 OLB and maybe to move inside as his career progresses. His father had a long career with the Raiders if bloodlines matter to you. Perhaps more importantly, he may be flying under the radar a bit because Myles Jack stole all the attention directed toward the UCLA defense. Sound arguments can be made that Aaron Wallace is a strong pick if you are looking for an athletic late-round flier who can learn a position while making an impact on special teams. This goes to an interview before his final UCLA game. This excellent newspaper article will give you some insight into the young man and his low visibility career in college. Our sister site for the Rams published this summary scouting profile after he met with the team.

7:01

Michael Caputo, SS, Wisconsin - 5'11", 216 lbs. A fierce and competitive Strong Safety with limited athletic talent. He's overachieved his way through college into a draftable grade, but only just. Likely to be a core special teams guy if nothing else. This goes to a "sleeper scouting profile" from a Vikings site.

7:01

Jonathan Jones, CB, Auburn - 5'8", 178 lbs. with 30" arms. Okay. It's an unfair grade. As described by the NFL.com scouting report Jonathan Jones is a single-purpose player but it's a legitimate and necessary purpose: He's the mighty mite who can stick with even the nastiest and most mobile of water-bug receivers in one-on-one man coverage. That's why CBS gives him a Round 5 grade. It's just that I can't stand the idea of another Corner on the Steeler roster who would fit in the glove compartment of an average SUV. Call it bias if you want. It is bias. I admit it. Tough noogies as we used to say back in the day.

7:01

Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU - 6'1", 183 lbs. How does an LSU Corner with that kind of height fall down to the point where he's almost certain to go undrafted? Simple: He flunked out. Robinson was declared academically ineligible after his Freshman season and never saw the field again. He's on our Board because the physical talent is undeniably there, and he might make a decent boom-or-bust pick in the final round if there's some reason other than lack of brains for his inability to pass the kind of courses that major schools set aside for star athletes. This goes to a summary Bleacher Report profile. There was also some kind of odd and possibly criminal mess involving his college QB, which raises some red flags that require deeper scouting.

7:01

Joel Stave, QB, Wisconsin - 6'5", 229 lbs. Another divisive late-round prospect who could be special if he could somehow fix his mechanics and put it all together, but who failed to do so in college and will require at least 2-3 years of hard work on his mechanics before having a chance to contribute in the NFL. At the same time, Stave has a small number of very loyal fans who think he will be the ultimate sleeper pick of the draft. It's not just the physical characteristics. Joel Stave can sometimes get that special QB air of inevitability in his play and look like a world-beater. The problem is that those times are few and far between, with interceptions galore in between. Here is a fan's eye scouting report from our own igloojoe. This is a solid scouting profile that describes the combination of very unimpressive numbers with excellent physical tools. This goes to a 12-minute video scouting report from Matt Waldman. This ESPN article is well worth a read - it's by a Big-10 writer arguing that Stave is his "person of the year," and gives a really fine look into the young man beneath the uniform. This article on Wisconsin's Holiday Bowl win over USC gives Stave a well-earned MVP, and along the way gives a good flavor of his issues too.

7:01

Jakeem Grant, KR/WR, Texas Tech - 5'7", 168 lbs. A Dri Archer clone right down to the ridiculous speed. Downgraded a bit because I still have a disappointed taste in my mouth, and because his secondary position fills no holes on the roster. Grant gets a brief mention in this Bleacher Report article on undersized prospects.

7:16

Jared Norris, ILB, Utah - 6'1", 239 lbs. with 31-1/4" arms. The NFL.com scouting profile is a study in faint praise, and basically says that Norris is a young man with an NFL linebacker spirit who is stuck in a body that's probably topped out with college-level talent. There's a similar conclusion in this snippet on Norris in this DraftWire preview article for the Senior Bowl.

Developmental Players On The Roster

Why draft what you already have? Here are the lesser-known players that are waiting to compete with this year's incoming draft class.

Info

Pos.

Montell Garner, CB - 5'11", 188 lbs. Futures contract. Played for the Rams practice squad in 2015.

CB

Al-hajj Shabazz, CB - 6'2", 180 lbs. Futures contract. Played for the Buccaneers in the 2015 preseason.

CB

Isiah Frey, CB/S - 6'0", 190 lbs.

CB/S

Clifton Geathers, DE - 6'8", 300 lbs.

DE

Caushaud Lyons, DE - 6'5", 284 lbs.

DE

L.T. Walton, DE - 6'5", 295 lbs.

DE

L.J. Fort, LB - 6'0", 232 lbs.

ILB

B.J. Finney, C/G - 6'4", 318 lbs. - Spent 2015 on the practice squad.

OL

Micah Hatchie, OG - 6'4", 297 lbs.

OL

Matt Feiler, OT - 6'6", 330 lbs. A 2014 UDFA for the Texans who spent a year on their practice squad, got cut, and was then signed by the Steelers.

OL

Cole Manhart, OG - 6'4", 298 lbs.

OL

Brian Mihalik, OT - 6'9", 295 lbs.

OL

Kelvin Palmer, OT - 6'4", 290 lbs.

OL

Byron Stingily, OT - 6'5", 315 lbs.

OL

Dustin Vaughan, QB - 6'5", 220 lbs.

QB

Rajion Neal, RB - 5'11", 220 lbs.

RB

Daryl Richardson, RB - 6'2", 205 lbs.

RB

Jordan Todman, RB - 5'11", 200 lbs.

RB

Abou Toure, RB - 6'2", 229 lbs.

RB

Jordan Dangerfield, S - 5'11", 200 lbs. A fan-favorite UDFA who's made big preseason splashes but couldn't make the team.

S

Jacob Hagen, FS - 6'3", 205 lbs.

S

Ray Vinopal, S - 5'10", 201 lbs. Played his college ball with Pitt.

S

Rob Blanchflower, TE - 6'4", 256 lbs. A multi-purpose tight end. Maybe. Rumors say the coaches like him.

TE

Xavier Grimble, TE - 6'4", 261 lbs.

TE

Ray Hamilton, TE - 6'4", 262 lbs.

TE

Isaac Blakeney, WR, Duke - 6'6", 225 lbs.

WR

David Nelson, WR - 6'5", 211 lbs.

WR

Levi Norwood, WR - 6'1", 185 lbs.

WR

Tobais Palmer, WR - 5'11", 174 lbs.

WR

Shakim Phillips, WR - 6'2", 204 lbs.

WR

Ty Long, K - 6'2", 187 lbs.

K

The Ain't Gonna Happen List

NOTE: This list isn't meant as a "garbage slot" for players who aren't worthy of an exalted spot on the Steelers roster. Most of the following prospects are more like Tiffany window jewels that the Steelers lack the draft-capital to buy at a proper price. Or to look at it another way, these are the players who, if they fall far enough to be worth the pick for Pittsburgh, would be worth more yet as trade bait that would net a premium price from a team with greater needs at his position. Plus its just plain silly (and a little offensive in some ways) to give these guys a Steelers # that is so much lower than where they should (and almost certainly will) get picked.

Name, Rank & Serial No.

Pos.

Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida - 6'3", 283 lbs. Round 1 talent for a pure 3-tech tackle on a 4-3 defense. Not a system fit.

DL

Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska - 6'1-1/4", 300 lbs. with shorter arms. A pure 3-technique defensive tackle on a 4-3 defense. Not a system fit.

DL

Sheldon Day, DL, Notre Dame - 6'3/4", 286 lbs. A pure 3-technique defensive tackle on a 4-3 defense. Not a system fit. Unless you start talking about special-use subpackage guys who are more "unique talents" than players of a position...

DL

Willie Henry, DL, Michigan - 6'3", 311 lbs. A pure 3-technique defensive tackle on a 4-3 defense. Not a system fit.

DL

Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville - 6'1-1/2", 304 lbs. with 32-3/4" arms. Round 1 talent for a pure 3-tech tackle on a 4-3 defense. Not a system fit.

DL

Anthony Zettel, DL, Penn State - 6'3", 280 lbs. A pure 3-technique defensive tackle on a 4-3 defense. Not a system fit.

DL

Any OLB/EDGE RUSHER after Round 2 and before Round 5. Pittsburgh might pull the trigger on a special steal or a long term investment, but not on anyone who projects to be merely good

EDGE

Jonathan Allen, EDGE, Alabama - 6'3", 264 lbs. Stout against the run, with excellent power and a tenacious motor. Just not very bendy. A much better prospect for a 4-3 team than a hybrid 3-4 like the Steelers run. This DraftWire scouting profile seems to be dead on target. This scouting report from our sister site for the Jets, a team that needs a good 3-4 OLB, agrees - Allen may be a Day 1 guy for the right team, but that will be a team that needs a 4-3 DE. Same with this gif-supported scouting report ("his size screams 4-3 DE, however his lack of flexibility may force him inside"). Not a player the Steelers will focus on.

EDGE

Shaq Lawson, EDGE, Clemson - 6'3", 275 lbs. A 4-3 defensive end with legitimate 1st round aspirations. There are some who believe he'd be a good 3-4 OLB too, but it's hard to see how he'd be a significant upgrade over Jarvis Jones, and there are others who don't believe he has that kind of versatility at all. That means he should be long gone before he'd be good value for the Steelers. Ain't a fit, and Ain't Gonna happen.

EDGE

Any ILB who can't double as a Safety or OLB

ILB

Jack Allen, C, Michigan State - 6'2", 297 lbs. A fine Center who isn't Guard-capable.

OL

Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama - 6'4", 297 lbs. The #1 Center in the class. If Pouncey can return then Kelly's price will be too high.

OL

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - 6'5", 325 lbs. Going in the top 10-15, and might rise to the top 5.

OL

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Notre Dame - 6'5", 305 lbs. A tremendous prospect who will surprise people if he drops out of the top 5.

OL

Any QB before Round 4

QB

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State - 6'4", 220 lbs.

QB

Jared Goff, QB, California - 6'4", 210 lbs.

QB

Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State - 6'4", 236 lbs. Here is a good video scouting report from our sister site for the Texans.

QB

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis - 6'6", 230 lbs.

QB

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - 6'5", 233 lbs.

QB

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah - 5'11", 212 lbs.

RB

Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas - 5'11", 218 lbs.

RB

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech - 5'10", 215 lbs.

RB

Ezekial Elliot, RB, Ohio State - 6'0", 225 lbs.

RB

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama - 6'2", 242 lbs.

RB

Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana - 6'1", 225 lbs.

RB

Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA - 6'1", 225 lbs.

RB

C.J. Procise, RB, Notre Dame - 6'0", 220 lbs.

RB

Braylon Addison, WR, Oregon - 5'10", 190 lbs.

WR

Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt - 6'2", 190 lbs.

WR

Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State - 6'1", 208 lbs.

WR

Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers - 6'1", 205 lbs.

WR

Cory Coleman, WR, Baylor - 5'10", 190 lbs.

WR

Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina - 5'11", 208 lbs.

WR

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU - 6'4", 195 lbs.

WR

Travin Dural, WR, LSU - 6'2", 192 lbs.

WR

Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame - 6'0", 184 lbs.

WR

Keyarris Garrett, WR, Tulsa - 6'3", 221 lbs.

WR

Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State - 6'2", 188 lbs. This goes to a hymn of adulation disguised as a Fanpost, courtesy of igloojoe.

WR

Kenny Lawler, WR, California - 6'3", 195 lbs.

WR

Kolby Listenbee, WR, TCU - 6'1", 183 lbs.

WR

Jalin Marshall, WR, Ohio State - 5'11", 205 lbs.

WR

Paul McRoberts, WR, Southeast Missouri State - 6'2", 202 lbs.

WR

Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State - 6'2", 215 lbs. The former QB who looked brilliant at the Senior Bowl

WR

Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia - 6'1", 192 lbs.

WR

Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati - 6'2", 190 lbs.

WR

Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma - 5'10", 195 lbs.

WR

Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State - 6'3", 212 lbs.

WR

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss - 6'2", 229 lbs. Going in the top 10-15 or higher.

WR

De'Runnya Wilson, WR, Mississippi State - 6'5", 215 lbs.

WR