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2016 Pittsburgh Steelers Big Board: By Ranking (Mar. 29)

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Continued updates, with a focus on the 2nd and 3rd-tier corner backs.

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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).

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."

HV

Info

1:01

Jalen Ramsey, S/CB, Florida State - 6'1-1/4", 209 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms and 9-1/2" hands. 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, DE, Oregon - 6'7", 291 lbs. with long 34-3/8" arms and monstrous 11-3/4" hands. 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. As always, the gif-supported scouting report from retired NFL player Stephen White is about as good a place to start as you can find ("a few moves away from greatness").

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

Joey Bosa, EDGE/DL, Ohio State - 6'5-1/4", 269 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms. Going in the top 5-15. Period. End of story. No need to waste any more space. If you want to know more, I suggest this gif-supported scouting report from retired NFL player Stephen White, who does pretty much the best work you are going to find. He favors the 10-15 range and suggests that Bosa's best fit might actually be as a 3-4 DE. Bosa or Buckner to the Steelers... [Sigh]. I ought to know better. For those who want more of the "Bosa is not a top 5" opinion, I suggest this Bleacher Report scouting report as a good source of ammunition. Like Mr. White's piece, it makes some good arguments that Bosa ought to be a mid-1st pick without knocking how great a compliment that really is. There is a nice profile on Bosa in this set of scouting profiles/grades from our sister site for the Rams.

1:05

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida - 5'10-1/2", 204 lbs. with 30-5/8" arms and tiny 8-3/4" hands. The best cover corner in the draft. You want superlatives? Mike Mayock's comment in the Combine coverage was, "He has the best feet of a Corner we've seen in maybe 5 years." 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. This scouting profile considers a Steelers-specific fit.

1:10

Andrew Billings, NT, Baylor [Meeting at Pro Day] - 6'0-1/2", 311 lbs. with 33" arms and 10" hands. 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. NOTE: The Steelers attended his pro day in force, with no less a presence than Colbert, Tomlin, Butler, Haley, and the one and only Mean Joe Greene, who took Billings out to dinner and had nice things to say. You think the team might be interested...?

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." Want another fun quote? Here's one from Todd McShay: "If you're drafting a guy off of one game, Baylor DT Andrew Billings is a top-10 pick vs WVU. This tape is a crime scene!" This goes to a Steelers-oriented interview at SteelersWire.

For those who want to really dig in, try this hour-long video scouting report by Matt Waldman, who considers Billings to be a truly dominant 1-tech with tremendous athleticism and some decent versatility. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants has no doubt that Billings can be a pass rusher, projects him as a potential 3-tech, and concludes that he'd be fair value at #10 overall. There is a nice profile on Billings in this set of scouting profiles/grades from our sister site for the Rams ("He's like a younger Vince Wilfork").

1:10

Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson [Meeting at the Combine and Pro Day] - 5'10-3/8", 190 lbs. with 31-3/8" arms and 9-1/8" hands. 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. There's also a weird statistical anomaly that he has zero (0) interceptions in his entire college career. This goes to Fear94's BTSC scouting report, which puts Alexander only a hair behind Hargreaves in the competition for #1 Corner. This goes to a marvelous Sports Illustrated article that reads like you're a fly on the wall in a really good team interview. The author started off to get the life story of this son of Haitian immigrants from the Florida tomato farms, and ended up with a 30-minute dissertation from Alexander on five plays he thought were worth the time. Film study is not going to be a problem for this kid! If you want a taste of the young man's background and personality, see this profile of Eli Apple and Mackenzie Alexander by Rebecca Rollett. No one does personality better than Mama Rollett.

If you want to be an Alexander fan you should also 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. This scouting profile considers Alexander's fit with the Steelers in particular. This tweet-heavy scouting profile from HogsHaven, our sister site for the Redskins, concludes with the statement that Mackensie Alexander is the "clear #3 Corner in the draft." There is a nice, if small, profile in this this DraftWire review of the CB class. Here is a "floor and ceiling" video scouting report discussion between former scouts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks.

1:15

Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville - 6'1-1/8", 299 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms and 9-3/8" hands. 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 a similar defensive system]. Rankins has similar athletic ability but heavier hands, better play against double teams and experience 2-gapping in odd fronts.

He is a nonstop, energizer bunny of a lineman who'd be even higher on this Board if we were all a bit more sure that Steel34D is right. This article gushes that he should easily go in the 1st, and this article is much the same ("Is he the next Aaron Donald?"). Early on 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). By the Combine coverage his opinion had risen enough to enthuse, "if [Rankins] doesn't go in the top 20 I'll be stunned." 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. This is a late-January scouting profile from our sister site for the Panthers. This gif-supported scouting report from our favorite Dallas writer considers Rankins to be an extremely promising 3-tech gap shooter in the Warren Sapp mold who is so worthy of a late-1st pick that Dallas should consider trading up from the 2nd to get him. (That could be an interesting scenario from a Steelers point of view, couldn't it?). This scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants follows the analogy to Aaron Donald, but considers Rankins a tiny bit of a reach at #10 overall. Here is a gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Lions, which ends with an ardent plea for the Lions to pick him at #16 overall. There is a nice profile on Rankins in this set of scouting profiles/grades from our sister site for the Rams.

1:15

A'Shawn Robinson, NT, Alabama - 6'3-1/2", 307 lbs. with 34-1/2" arms and big 10-1/2" hands. NOTE: Reportedly played at 320 pounds. Mike Mayock describes him as a natural 5-tech who has the ability to one-gap too - which fits the exact model Pittsburgh has enjoyed so much with Heyward and Tuitt. 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. OTOH, he didn't test out as particular unusual in any of the Combine tests. Not bad, mind you: just not up to the standard that people expected. The special flashes on film are nevertheless real and lead to rosy scouting report like this on, which argues that any grade out of the top 15 would be a shock. And this gif-supported scouting report from retired NFL player Stephen White, who does the best work on the Web bar none, and who agrees that the floor is "excellent run stuffer" with the potential boom being nuclear.

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. This scouting report from Bob Sturm in Dallas sums it up as follows: if you think you can unlock his potential in for Year 3, he's an early Round 1 pick. If you doubt that, then Robinson becomes an early Round 2 value as an already-accomplished run stuffer. The profile on Robinson in this set of scouting profiles/grades from our sister site for the Rams disagrees, and considers him the "alpha male" of this year's class.

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.

1:20

Vernon Butler, NT, Louisiana Tech [Meeting at the Combine] - 6'3-1/2", 323 lbs. with long 35-1/8" arms and big 10-3/4" hands. 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. He had a good but not startling Combine - nothing remotely in the ballpark of the Dontari Poe analogies that tend to fly around.

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 DE's somehow). This goes to the DraftWire gif-supported scouting report.

1:20

William Jackson III, CB, Houston [Meeting and Dinner at Pro Day] - 6'0-3/8", 189 lbs. with 31-3/8" arms and 9-1/8" hands and an amazing 4.37 dash at the Combine. Here is the gif-supported BTSC scouting report from our own Fear 94. 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," a position they stick to in this nice DraftWire review of the CB class. 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. This particularly detailed scouting profile is highly recommended for a deeper view, especially if you like the idea that a 1st-Round grade might be appropriate.

Interestingly, the biggest knock on Jackson at the beginning of the process were questions about his long speed, which many projected around 4.55-4.60 but has now been established as a stunning 4.37. Other assets were already acknowledged, 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. Perhaps most encouraging, Mike Mayock went out of his way at the Combine to observe that WJ-III has improved during the offseason just from the more intense training he's begun to receive. Oh yes - he's also known 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, but has shot up draft Boards so far that there's now a question about whether he will even be available to Pittsburgh in the 1st.

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. This PatsPulpit scouting profile has New England targeting Jackson in Round 2. Here is a brief scouting profile from a Raiders site. Here is a scouting profile from a Saints perspective. This dual scouting profile (DJ White & WJ-III) from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel pegs Jackson as a #3 or #4 Corner in Year 1, with a lot of potential moving forward. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the 49ers.

1:25

Kenny Clark, NT, UCLA - 6'2-1/2", 314 lbs. with 32-1/8" arms and big 10-1/2" hands.  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. The question is whether he has the stamina/speed to be a 3-down lineman, or will he be a straight, 2-down run stuffer? Six (6) sacks in his Senior year suggest a good ability to get after the QB. NOTE: Kenny Clark looked awesome at the Combine, flashing tremendous balance and body control throughout the drills, and he also had a very impressive 7.73 time in the 3-cone drill at his pro day, which answered a lot of questions about the lateral quickness missing on his film. Those performances edged him up a notch on this Board. Film watchers should note that Clark has a reputation for feasting on lesser talent while getting stymied against teams like Stanford that are technically sound. The explanation seems to be a knack for generating great leverage that overwhelms lesser players, tied to a lack of lateral mobility and pass rushing moves that lets better ones grind him to a tie. How much could he improve with better coaching? That is the million dollar question.

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. That limitation is belied by more recent and careful evaluations, however, such as this DraftWire scouting report, which gives Clark a 1st-Round grade based partly on his ability to get after the QB. This scouting report from SteelersWire notes Clark's pass rushing ability en route to an early-2nd grade. This gif-supported scouting report from our favorite Dallas writer provides a good analysis that ends with a fringe-1st grade. This scouting profile from Pro Football Focus finds a few nits to pick with Clark's ability as a NT, but considers his upside fairly high for sub packages. This goes to a scouting profile from a Panthers perspective, which considers Clark a fine young backup for the all-star combination Carolina already has. This somewhat odd scouting profile examines Clark from a Chiefs perspective, with the idea that he'd be a 3-4 DE. In that role it gives him a Round 2 grade. This scouting profile from a Packers perspective concludes with a Round 2-3 grade as a "future Nose Tackle who could eventually anchor the defense against the run and occasionally generate pressure up the middle." The scouting profile in this Sports Illustrated list describes Clark as a fringe-1st player with a high, run-stuffing floor balanced by a lower ceiling because of pass rush limitations. This gif-heavy scouting report from a Bills site disagrees, seeing Clark as a talented but raw pass rusher who has tremendous room for improvement from good coaching, paired with great versatility for a hybrid scheme and sub package work. This scouting profile from our sister site for the 49ers sees a prospect who "needs a lot of polishing, but could evolve into something special at the next level." Another scouting profile that treats Kenny Clark like Jarran Reed: a 1st-Round run stuffer who might not be a 1st-Round pass rusher. This goes to a scouting report that ends with a clear Round 1 grade as a 1-tech (nose in a 4-3 defense). This scouting profile from our sister site for the Packers sees Kenny Clark as a fine 1st-Round replacement for B.J. Raji. This Vikings-oriented scouting profile ends with a comparison to Domata Peko and a Round 1 grade. Who does Clark himself try to study? Haloti Ngata. There is a nice piece on Clark in this Bleacher Report article on 5 standout defensive linemen. This goes to a brief but good scouting profile that averages out most of the others, ending in a fringe-1st grade.

1:25

Jarran Reed, NT, Alabama - 6'2-7/8", 307 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms and big 10-1/2" 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. Reed is the easier to project - he is considered to be a rock solid, reliable run stuffer with a tremendously high floor. The questions go to whether he has the flexibility needed to stay on the field in sub packages. About that you'll hear sharply opposing views. 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. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants falls into the "great two-gap, two-down run stuffer" camp. Here is a gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Titans.

1:25

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State [Meeting at the Combine] - 6'0-1/2", 199 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms and 9-3/8" hands. Ran well at the Combine (4.40) and according to Daniel Jeremiah was equally good in the field drills. 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. He is also very young - he won't turn 21 until next August. 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. People have also mentioned a persistent problem staying with receivers when they make their cut at the top of a route, which has led to grabbiness of the sort that produces NFL holding penalties. If you want a taste of the young man's background and personality, see this profile of Eli Apple and Mackenzie Alexander by Rebecca Rollett. No one does personality better than Mama Rollett.

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. This article considers Eli Apple as a fit for the Steelers in particular. Apple is profiled as a 1st Round option for the Steelers in this article. This goes to a long, gif-supported scouting profile from our sister site for the Jaguars that considers Apple something of a boom-or-bust project, with every tool you could ask for but also a significant chance to be a bust if thrown to the wolves too early in his career. This DraftWire scouting profile ends with an early-3rd grade for very similar reasons. This nice DraftWire review of the CB class considers Apple the most physically talented prospect of all the Corners, but with so much to learn that he falls to an early Day 2 grade.

1:25

STEELERS PICK AT 1:25

2:01

Reggie Ragland, ILB/EDGE, Alabama - 6'1-1/4", 247 lbs. with 32" arms and 9-7/8" hands. Reportedly played closer to 260 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 goes to a good ESPN article on Ragland from the Senior Bowl. 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.

2:01

Noah Spence, EDGE, Eastern Kentucky (by way of Ohio State) - 6'2-1/2", 251 lbs. with 33" arms and big 10-3/4" hands. 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. This goes to a lengthy and gif-supported Bleacher Report article/scouting report that describes Noah Spence as "the best edge rusher in the 2016 NFL draft". Toward the end of this article with a scouting profile, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller compares Noah Spence to - wait for it - Joey Porter. There is a nice profile on Spence in this set of scouting profiles/grades from our sister site for the Rams. Here is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

2:01

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia - 5'9-1/2", 205 lbs. with 32-1/8" arms and 9-3/4" hands. Reportedly played at 195 lbs. Deion Sanders did a great interview with Karl Joseph during the Combine telecast. Among other things, Joseph explained his quick feet and coverage skills by explaining that he grew up as a soccer player, which transfers well. Sanders also mentioned how Joseph had been busily picking his brain off-air for tips and techniques, which confirms that he is a hard worker and a student of the game. He's also an articulate young man who clearly has lots of "Wanna". Yes, I admit it: Karl Joseph is one of my personal favorites of the class. If you want the pocket summary, it would be this: (A) Mike Mayock compared his tape to Earl Thomas, but (B) Karl Joseph hits a lot harder than Thomas. This quote from a Bleacher Report article on undersized players captures the essence: "Joseph is a sledgehammer masquerading as a defensive back." Note that Joseph 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 minor discount for the risk. (That's right - I believe a healthy Karl Joseph would have earned a clear 1st-Round grade).

This goes Andrew Kipp's BTSC scouting report. 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 a bit lighter than you'd like. 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. This goes to a tweet-heavy scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins. This gif-supported scouting report concludes that Joseph is a 1st-Round talent who will fall to Round 2-3 because of the knee injury. This goes to a brief but solid scouting profile from a Vikings perspective. This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Joseph.

2:01

Darian Thompson, S, Boise State - 6'1-7/8", 208 lbs. with 30-3/8" arms and 9-1/8" hands. Here is the BTSC scouting report. According to SteelersWire, the Steelers are exceptionally interested in Thompson. A well rounded player who plays with decent speed even if he ran a poor 4.69 at the Combine, 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. Our sister site for the Jaguars offers this thorough, gif-supported scouting report that concludes as follows: "Thompson could offer a solution to the insanity of the [Jacksonville] secondary. He is assignment sound. He is physical. He is a playmaker. To ignore this type of player would be insanity to the fullest." Don't you wish authors would conclude with an actual opinion sometimes? BTW, for those who might worry about Thompson's "merely good" Combine, he was apparently so sick all weekend that he lost 7 pounds. This goes to a Pittsburgh oriented scouting profile from Still Curtain. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants gives a 2nd-Round grade on the assumption that Thompson's Combine numbers were unfairly low. This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Thompson.

2:01

Jack Conklin, OT/G, Michigan State - 6'6", 325 lbs. with long 35" arms and big 10-3/8" hands. Dropped 18 pounds for the Combine (from 325 to 307). 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. In the Combine coverage Mike Mayock called him a "starting Right Tackle in this league" and he performed to that standard. Mayock made some Kyle Long comparisons too, at least with regard to aggressive playing style. Conklin 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. This goes to a DraftWire article about an ESPN interview that Conklin gave, in part to defend some criticism that's been leveled against his QB Connor Cook. Good teammates stand up for each other, and Conklin gets points in my book for doing exactly that. This short Bleacher Report profile makes the point that Conklin has an extremely high floor. Here is a gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Lions, which ends with a surprising Round 2-3 grade.

2:12

Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida - 6'3", 285 lbs. with 33-5/8" arms and 10" hands. Another 3-tech with obvious 1st-Round talent but a lack of fit with the Pittsburgh defense that causes a downgrade on our Board. On 4-3 teams 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. . Here is a gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Lions, which ends with a Round 1 grade. This gif-supported scouting report from our favorite Dallas writer sees Bullard as a universally solid, across-the-line defensive tackle who's done a disservice by those that try to cast him as a big-time pass rusher. The description would be great for Pittsburgh at any spot other than NT.

2:12

Javon Hargrave, NT, S.C. State - 6'1-3/8", 309 lbs. with 32" arms and 9-5/8" hands. Javon Hargrave has been an underground favorite on this Board for some time. Originally described as a 3-tech or a poor man's Steve McLendon, the more people have looked at him the more there's been to like. He's got decent size, nice quickness, good power, and showed some real dominance at the Shrine game. Mike Mayock loves him, and anointed a Round 3 grade. This scouting profile from a Panthers point of view appeared soon afterwards. This Steelers-oriented scouting profile from Steel City Insider is even more positive, viewing Hargrave as a Round 2 pick due to size and level of competition, but a potential Round 1 talent. That will get you on the radar! Sports Illustrated has put him at #45 overall, albeit with a cautionary note for Steeler fans: "He'll need to be in a 4-3 base front to find success..." I guess they view him as a pure 1-tech... The title of this long Bleacher Report profile says it all: FCS Standout pass rusher Javon Hargrave deserves first-round hype.

2:12

Austin Johnson, DL, Penn State - 6'4-3/8", 314 lbs. with 32-3/4" arms and 9-7/8" hands. NOTE: Reportedly played around 325 lbs. I can't get the analogy to McLendon out of my head. Big man, very hard to move, great work ethic, great team player, bright enough to learn the system (he graduated in 3-1/2 years), and motor of the gods. This puts his floor around HV 2:24, which seems like an appropriate grade for a long term, reliable, defensive line multitool who can be a perfectly solid starter in the base defense. Of course, if you take that player and make him just a little bit better as a natural athlete he would be exactly what Pittsburgh is looking for. That would be HV 1:20. Some people say that Austin Johnson has that little bit extra, but others disagree and he certainly didn't put on an athletic display at the Combine.

This is a typically good 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.

2:12

Chris Jones, DE, Mississippi State - 6'5-3/4", 310 lbs. with long 34-1/2" arms and very big 10-3/4" hands. 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 Geno 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. OTOH, he comes with very real problems that require a downgrade. His Combine drills were limited by a problem I've had to help many people with over the years: keeping a low enough center of gravity to stay on balance even when you move explosively. But those problems, and his other technical issues, are all things that Coach Mitchell will be able to fix with a year of good, hard work.

So what's the bottom line? Chris Jones has clear-1st natural talent (mid-teens worthy) but won't be competent for an NFL field until Year 2, and won't start to become a peer of Heyward and Tuitt until at least Year 3. Fair enough. That's not as good a prospect as Tuitt was even if he has the same potential. But people forget that we had Tuitt at 1:10 or 1:15 for most of the draft season, and that included some minor but nagging doubts about his health. Tuitt dropping to Pittsburgh in Round 2 was a DeCastro-sized bonus win. So if Tuitt was a legit 1:15 and Jones is a solid half-round worse as a prospect, that makes him... what?

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. This goes to an enthusiastic gif-supported scouting report from DraftWire that ends with a solid 1st-Round grade.

2:12

Carl Nassib, DE/EDGE, Penn State [Meeting at the Combine] - 6'6-7/8", 277 lbs. with long 34-1/2" arms and big 10-3/8" hands. 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. BTW, Nassib looked athletically solid at the Combine, which didn't kick his grade up any but can make us feel comfortable that he deserves it. Mike Mayock compared him to Jared Allen!

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.

2:12

Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss - 6'3-1/2", 294 lbs. with very long 34-3/4" arms and very big 10-3/4" hands. 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 more unusual older brother seems to be attached at the hip and would prevent the ‘total immersion in the locker room' experience we usually rely on to handle outlier personalities. 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."

OTOH, BTSC has an inside source at Ole Miss who's able to give us first hand insight rather than relying on what reporters wrote about what other people said regarding what they were told about a young man's hidden internals. Poster nozzy43 would put the odds much more favorably. He writes:

It's not that they [the Nkemdiche brothers] are weird. I know Robert and Denzel (his older brother) pretty well. They're more interested in the rockstar/moviestar lifestyle than anything else. Denzel is a very talented player in his own right, he played the "Stinger" weakside linebacker/safety position in our (Ole Miss) 4-2-5. They're both involved in their older brother's clothing line Timeless Generation I think is what it's called. If not for his mindset, Rob would be the first overall pick, he's that good. If we could get him at 25, I wouldn't think twice about it. Yes, Denzel will most likely go with him where ever he goes, both they are both good, smart kids with big hearts. It's not like his "off the field" issues are violence or sexual assault like a lot of this other draftees. If put in the correct system and locker room (like ours), Robert would thrive.

Decide for yourself how big an issue you think that mindset would be for a Pittsburgh Steeler. All I will add is that the talent alone really is worthy of a 1:01 grade. The only issue is whether he will self destruct. NOTE: Reports from the Combine had Nkemdiche bombing the interviews. That dropped him two notches on the Board.

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. This goes to a SteelersWire scouting profile. This Bleacher Report article focuses on Nkemdiche's question marks going into the Combine, and provides a useful overview of everything from the off-field stuff to the surprising lack of production. Here is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

2:12

Shilique Calhoun, EDGE, Michigan State - 6'4-3/8", 251 lbs. with long 34-1/4" arms and 9-7/8" hands. 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). His great performance at the Combine pushed aside the question marks about his ability to play OLB in a 3-4 defense. He's settled that he can do that in addition to being a 4-3 strong-side DE, where everybody knew already that he is a perfect fit. Calhoun would have a late-1st grade if the Steelers had not spent a 1st-Round pick on Bud Dupree last year.

This gif-supported scouting report is a good place to start your research. 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. This goes to a gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Jaguars.

2:12

Kevin Dodd, EDGE, Clemson - 6'5", 277 lbs. with long 34" arms and 10" hands. 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. Mike Mayock and the rest of the Combine crew agreed on Carlos Dunlap as a pretty good comparison, including the few years it may take for Dodd to achieve his potential. OTOH, if the team really is considering a lot of 4-3 looks as either a new or alternative base package, Dodd would be just the guy they need. Regardless, young men who can get after the passer always have enough value to get on this Board, 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. This typically good gif-supported scouting report from our favorite Dallas writer also concludes with a mid- to late 1st-Round grade. Any scouting report from retired NFL player Stephen White is worth reading - imho he does the best work on the Web, bar none.

2:12

Leonard Floyd, EDGE/ILB, Georgia - 6'4", 244 lbs. with long 33-1/8" arms and big 10-1/8" hands. Reportedly played at 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.

2:12

Shaq Lawson, EDGE, Clemson [Meeting at the Combine] - 6'3", 275 lbs. with 32-3/4" arms and 10" hands. A 4-3 defensive end with legitimate 1st round aspirations. Mike Mayock is one of those 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. Here are the NFL.com scouting profile, which suggests that he'd be an ideal "contain" player on the strong side, and the CBS scouting profile, which compares him to Pernell McPhee. Should be long gone before he'd be good value for the Steelers, but they did meet with him at the Combine, where he recorded best-of-show results in both the 40 yard dash and the 20 yard shuttle.

2:12

Darron Lee, ILB, Ohio State - 6'1", 232 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. This goes to an excellent gif-supported scouting report from our favorite Dallas writer, who sees Lee as the least safety-ish of this year's excellent crop of hybrid linebackers. Critiques are levied for stiff coverage skills and a lack of physicality, but with a loud proviso that Darron Lee is very young (still 20) and barely scratching the surface of his potential. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Jets. Here is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

2:12

Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State [Meeting at the Combine] - 5'10-3/4", 199 lbs. with 32-3/8" arms and 9-1/2" hands. 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. Here is the DraftWire scouting profile, which ends with a lukewarm 2nd-Round grade. This December scouting profile is useful to keep filling in the picture. It describes Bell as a "Jack of all trades but Master of none." This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Bell.

2:12

Keanu Neal, S, Florida [Meeting at the Combine and Pro Day] - 6'0-1/2", 211 lbs. with 32-3/4" arms and big 10-5/8" hands. 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. At the Combine he recorded best in class marks for both the vertical and broad jumps, but then proceeded to run a very slow 4.62 dash that paired with distinctly average numbers in the agility drills and a "meh" performance in the field drills. His pro day could make a real difference if he can manage to bring those measurables up. 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. This goes to a very complimentary NFL.com scouting profile, where the only real criticism is that his "Hulk Smash" playing style can lead to missed tackles. Excluding Jalen Ramsey Neal is the #1 Safety at NFL.com (and at Walter Football), so you might want to see this CBS scouting profile for a more sober Round 4-ish grade. Or you can see this outright negative scouting profile that ends with a 7th-Round grade. This article came out after a mock sent Neal to Pittsburgh. This will take you to an interview with Keanu Neal. This goes to a detailed if kind of amateurish scouting profile. This scouting profile from a Falcons site ends with a great quote: "There is no sugarcoating when it comes to Neal and his skill set. He is a heat seeking missile with cruel intentions on the field but a quiet, humble individual off it." This DraftWire scouting report can be summed up by this particularly charming line: "Teammates and coaches say that he is the nicest player off the field, but he plays like he is in The Hunger Games on the football field. Take this with a grain of salt, but if Keanu Neal were in The Hunger Games, there wouldn't be a Katniss Everdeen or Peeta Mellark." This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Neal. This SteelersWire scouting report looks at Neal from a Pittsburgh perspective and ends with a thumbs-down due to being so raw.

2:12

Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State [Meeting at the Combine and Pro Day] - 6'7", 310 lbs. with average 33-3/4" arms and 10" hands. 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.

2:12

Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana - 6'5-3/4", 301 lbs. with 34-1/8" arms and 10-1/8" hands. 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. At the Combine he reaffirmed that he's a very natural and smooth looking athlete, who managed a best-in-show level long jump. 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). Here is a more critical DraftWire scouting report (3rd Round grade). This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

2:24

Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU - 6'6-1/2", 285 lbs. with long 34-1/2" arms and 9-3/4" hands. 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. Really impressive results at the Combine kick his grade up a notch - I am now convinced that he could make that step.

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.

2:24

Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois - 6'5-1/8", 297 lbs. with 32-7/8" arms and 9-3/8" hands. 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. This scouting report from our sister site for the Giants concludes with a nice turn of phrase: "At this point, [Ward] is largely a lump of clay, but one that could be molded into a masterpiece by the right defensive coaching." Ward tested only "okay" at the Combine, but this now-famous slam dunk video should put to rest any doubts about his native athleticism.

2:24

Kamalei Correa, EDGE, Boise State - 6'2-1/2", 243 lbs. with 31-5/8" arms and 9-3/8" hands. 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). It didn't hurt when he went out and crushed the Combine too, where Mike Mayock compared him to 2015 2nd-Round pick Demarcus Lawrence. 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. This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel (Correa, Cowser and Simmons) suggests a player with lots of upside who will probably require a redshirt year before making any measurable impact on the field. This gif-supported DraftWire scouting report ends with a late 3rd Round grade and the conclusion that Correa looks like a smaller and less athletic Bud Dupree.

2:24

Emmanuel Ogbah, DL/EDGE, Oklahoma State - 6'4-1/4", 273 lbs. with very long 35-1/2" arms and 10" hands. 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. If you intend to take that more seriously, keep in mind that he is also a study in inconsistency with blistering hot highs interspersed with polar lows. 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. There is a nice profile on Ogbah in this set of scouting profiles/grades from our sister site for the Rams. This typically excellent, gif-supported scouting report from our favorite Dallas writer covers some of the history about why Ogbah's stock has shot up and down, ending with a lower-1st grade for a team that needs 4-3 DE's.

2:24

Su'a Cravens, ILB/S, USC [Meeting at the Combine] - 6'1", 226 lbs. with 32-1/8" arms and 9-1/2" hands. 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). Coming to the Combine at 226 lbs. seemed to confirm that (as did refusing to run the 40). 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. This goes to an excellent scouting profile by our sister site for the Bears that covers three games in good detail. Highly recommended.

2:24

Deion Jones, ILB/S, LSU - 6'1", 222 lbs. with 32-3/8" 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, Jaylon Smith, Darron Lee, 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, special teams ace, and sub package chess piece who could play in-the-box 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. This DraftWire scouting profile ends with a Round 3 grade, but that was before Jones posted a crazy-fast 40 time at his pro day (4.38 or 4.42, depending on the viewer). Here is a Patriots-oriented scouting profile that emphasizes Jones' use as a four-down "Swiss army knife" type of player. Here is a gif-supported scouting report from a Bills perspective. This solid scouting profile concludes with a borderline Round 2-3 grade. This scouting profile emphasizes Jones' role as a newfangled smallish LB with Safety coverage skills. If it matters to you, Mel Kiper has said Deion Jones could go in Round 1 to exactly the right team.

2:24

Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech - 5'11-1/2", 187 lbs. with 31-1/2" arms and 10" hands. NOTE: Fuller's knee was not up to either the Combine nor to testing at his pro day, but he plans to get in individual workouts for interested teams. This goes to Christopher Carter's BTSC scouting report. 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! OTOH, there are more than a few naysayers who dispute that narrative. Here's one example: this is a very critical, gif-supported DraftWire scouting report that ends with a Round 3 grade due to questions about Fuller's recovery speed and change of direction skills. The author goes so far as to suggest that Fuller would do better at Free Safety because his skills (supposedly) only shine when he's reacting to plays in front of him.

This February BTSC article compares Eli Apple and Kendall Fuller. This survey of the CB prospects by Dave-Te Thomas rates Eli Apple as a franchise corner in the making, but gives Kendall Fuller a 2nd-Round grade. There is a brief profile in this SteelersWire article on CB options under 6' tall. 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. This gif-supported scouting report compares Fuller to Josh Norman before reminding us that Norman was a 5th-Round pick and suggesting that Fuller should go in Round 2 or 3. This summary scouting profile calls him an "insane athlete" and suggests a mid-1st grade. These links go to a scouting profile from a Saints perspective, and a scouting profile from a Redskins POV.

2:24

Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor - 6'0-1/8", 201 lbs. with 31-1/4" arms and 9-1/8" hands. Mayock and crew consistently used one word to described Xavien Howard during the Combine coverage: "Inconsistent." His film shows 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 (4.58) long speed. This gif-supported DraftWire scouting report is a fine place to start. Along with this this nice DraftWire review of the CB class, that site's conclusion is that Howard projects as a fine press-man CB who is strong in all of the secondary parts of the game such as run support, but has real questions about his ability to backpedal, turn, and then run with a fast receiver; primary duties here in Pittsburgh with our heavy use of zone concepts. 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. This gif-supported, Steeler-oriented scouting report considers Xavien Howard a potential 3rd-Round steal.

2:24

Harlan Miller, CB/KR, S.E. Louisiana [Meeting at the Combine] - 5'11-7/8", 182 lbs. with 31-3/8" arms and 9" hands. A talented small-school Corner who needs to be tested against better competition. 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. OTOH, he tested very poorly at the Combine, particularly in the important agility drills. Cold water indeed. The bottom line is that he's a developmental prospect with good but not special size, and who flashed at one really important and public event (the Senior Bowl).

This goes to an excellent, gif-heavy scouting report from the DraftWire concludes with a late-2nd grade. This goes to a Falcons-oriented scouting profile written after that leap onto the national stage. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins. This goes to a scouting profile from a Saints perspective.

2:24

Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State - 5'10-3/4", 182 lbs. with 30-3/8" arms and 9-1/8" hands. He'd get a higher grade if not for a season-ending ACL tear in late October - call it 2:01 if our personal BTSC physicians could certify that he'll make a full and quick recovery. 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. This scouting report ends with a Round 3 grade after saying that Redmond is a "great" and "smart" athlete "with incredible field awareness" who is "sound across the board" other than the ACL and a need to add bulk. This goes to a scouting report from our sister site for the Redskins, which compares Redmond to Will Gay. This scouting profile is also positive, and joins the chorus of "potential mid-round steal. This goes to a scouting profile from a Saints perspective. This very complimentary DraftWire scouting report describes Redmond as "a true off man cover cornerback who can play from a backpedal with smooth, quick feet" who has such a good football IQ that "it seems like [he] is a step ahead of his opponents each and every snap." He's also a physical player, albeit one who seems to lack the raw power to do it right.

2:24

Joshua Garnett, G/C, Stanford [Meeting at the Combine] - 6'5", 317 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms. 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 at everything. Can he grow to be great? Well, the big issues are strength (NFL training works wonders) and a need to polish up various technical areas (Coach Munchak can work wonders). Here is a BTSC scouting report by Andrew Kipp. NOTE: Garnett did not drop as significantly as others with the signing of Ramon Foster because (a) he is said to be Center-capable, and (b) he is a potentially special talent.

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, while this short Bleacher Report profile emphasizes his extremely high floor.

2:24

Germain Ifedi, T/G, Texas A&M - 6'6", 324 lbs. with very long 36" arms and massive 10-3/4" hands. Ifedi tried his hand on the blindside this year and had a lot of trouble. He projects wonderfully as a Right Tackle, however, with the 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 and thus he may have some deeper problem than casual scouting can reveal. 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. Mike Mayock emphasized that he is handicapped by a lot of gaps in his technique, which in some ways could be an advertisement from the Steeler POV because Coach Munchak is such a master at fixing those.

2:24

Cody Whitehair, G/C, Kansas State - 6'4", 305 lbs. but with very short 32-3/8" arms and 10-1/8" hands. (NOTE: Reports from the Senior Bowl had him with comically short 31" arms, but they measured an inch longer at the Combine - where he managed to put up only 16 reps on the Bench press). NOTE: The position flexibility meant his stock dropped but did not plummet when Foster got extended. 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 and substandard strength came out.

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.

2:27

STEELERS PICK AT 2:27

3:01

Hassan Ridgeway, NT, Texas - 6'3-3/8", 303 lbs. with 33" arms and 9-3/8" hands. A solid and versatile defensive lineman whose performance has always been a bit impaired by lack of conditioning and an ongoing series of nagging injuries. Reading between the lines one gets the feeling that his coaches thought those two problems were interrelated, and possibly tied to youth. He had another year of eligibility and Mike Mayock was emphatic in the Combine coverage that next year he could have been "the guy," but coming out this year buries his talent a bit. The CBS scouting profile includes an interesting note: he mostly played a 1-technique (inside DT shooting the A gap), but also spend a good deal of time as a 3-4 DE playing the two-gapping 5-technique. That's someone with the exact kind of versatility the Steelers might be able to use. In this Boston Herald article, Ridgeway trumpets that versatility as a primary asset: "I can play in a 3-4 (scheme) or a 4-3. I've played at almost all the positions from the zero (technique) all the way to a 5-technique... I see myself playing anywhere." His Combine tests were good but not great across the board.

This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile, which ends with a higher grade than either Austin Johnson or Kenny Clark, both of whom have been/are late-1st talents on this Board. This goes to a very summary pre-Combine profile. Here is an article about Ridgeway's views on the new Texas coach, which are positive. This article lists Ridgeway as one of the DL Combine "losers".

3:01

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.

3:01

Deandre Houston-Carson, FS/CB, William & Mary - 6'0-3/4", 198 lbs. with 30-1/8" arms and 9-1/8" hands. Ran a very solid 4.54 dash at the Combine. DHC is 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 with exceptional special teams production (nine career blocked kicks and working as a gunner). 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. Here are the NFL.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile. This goes to a video presentation on Houston-Carson (note that I have not watched it yet). Here is a good article from the Washington Post. This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on DHC. There is a nice, short profile on Houston-Carson in this DraftWire article on next-tier Safeties.

3:01

Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah - 6'1-7/8", 217 lbs. with 32-1/8" arms and 9-1/2" hands. STOP HERE: If you haven't seen the video of Mike Mayock introducing Deion Sanders to Killebrew's tape, go and watch it now. Later in the show Sanders was running around using words like "slobberknocker" and telling his former coaches, "You've got to go look at this kid!" Mayock couldn't describe him without chuckling: "I love his tape. I don't know what he is yet [small linebacker or big safety]; I just know that when he squares you up, you go backwards." So who is it that's produced all the buzz? Miles Killebrew is an athletic marvel from a tiny school who supposedly runs a 4.45 in school, and managed a 4.52 at the Combine - along with best-of-show results in the bench press, vertical jump, and broad jump. He first appeared on the scene with a note in this article by the well respected Daniel Jeremiah, which quoted an area scout as follows: "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. So far, so good. 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. This goes to a scouting profile from a Vikings site. This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Killebrew. This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel notes that Killebrew "flashes man coverage skills" in addition to his undoubted run stuffing ability, but is highly critical of his lack of instincts, route recognition, and receiver awareness.

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Justin Simmons, S, Boston College - 6'2-3/8", 202 lbs. with 32-5/8" arms and 9-5/8" hands. A solid all-around safety who went into the Combine with the following story attached to his name: "He's solid and has no particular holes, but there's a limited upside because he's a bit lacking as an athlete and needs to pack on 20 pounds of grown-man muscle." He answered the athletic questions at the Combine with best-in-show performances in both the broad jump and the vertical (40"). Very impressive! Here is a somewhat optimistic DraftWire scouting report, which you should read alongside this interview by the author. This scouting report from ex-NFL executive Greg Gabriel is pretty darned positive too. Here is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants (a smart player but "not an elite athlete"). Here is a gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Lions, which ends with a Round 2-3 grade. SteelersWire published this article about Simmons fit with Pittsburgh right after his triumph at the Combine. This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Simmons. There is a nice, short profile on Simmons in this DraftWire article on next-tier Safeties.

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Artie Burns, CB/FS/KR, Miami - 5'11-7/8", 193 lbs. with exceptional 33-1/4" arms and 9-1/2" hands. On pure talent he's a first rounder, with very good speed, good hands, nice (but not aggressive) tackling skills, etc. (A shockingly poor 31" vertical jump, however, if you are into that particular stat). Mike Mayock talked him up a bit during the Combine coverage with laudatory words that he is "very zone aware" and has a good "ability to read a QB and a progression." Of course Mayock's opinion might have been tinted a bit by the very moving human interest story that comes with Mr. Burns. His mother died last year, and with his father in jail the family was literally on the brink of starvation and 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 that kind of thing can actually matter for evaluation purposes. You can be 100% sure that this particular kid 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. Artie Burns is profiled as a 2nd Round value for the Steelers in this article. This gif-supported DraftWire scouting report is fairly positive but ends with a 4th-Round grade based in part on questions about recovery speed.

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Maurice Canady, CB/FS/KR, Virginia - 6'1", 193 lbs. with 31-5/8" arms and 9-1/8" hands. 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. Note that Mike Mayock had an interesting observation about Canady during the Combine coverage: his film is very inconsistent, but he played much better at the Senior Bowl. The snippet in the DraftWire article on Senior Bowl takeaways agrees with 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." So Canady may be one of those prospects who is better than the Round 3-4 guy who shows up on the tape.

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...). This DraftWire scouting report describes a long, strong, and very smart player who is quicker than he is fast, with some change-of-direction issues and questions about his catch-up speed that will limit his draft stock.

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Cyrus Jones, KR/CB, Alabama - 5'9-3/4", 196 lbs., with fairly long arms (31-1/4"). Mike Mayock has described Cyrus Jones as an "ideal nickel corner." If you could only remove the word "nickel" he would slot into the Pittsburgh lineup like a jigsaw puzzle made for exactly that purpose. First, he is a genius punt returner who would finally relieve AB from that duty. Second, he is an able CB whose only real limit on the outside is his height and length. Besides, since when does 5'10" and 196 pounds (measured at the Senior Bowl) qualify as "tiny" for a Corner prospect? Third, he is a former WR with great hands. He's a bit over-aggressive, but that's certainly a better problem than being too passive or too gawky. 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. This thorough, gif-supported DraftWire scouting report agrees that a "strong third round grade" is appropriate.

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. Jones is one of the players listed in this Bears-oriented review of the 2015 CFB punt returners. This Bleacher Report profile of return specialists puts Jones first in line. There is a brief profile in this SteelersWire article on CB options under 6' tall. This goes to a fairly thorough scouting profile that describes him as a "phenomenal punt returner" who should be, at least, a solid #3 corner.

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KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame - 5'11-1/8", 192 lbs. with 31-5/8" arms and 10" hands. 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 limited his performance at the Combine.

Here is the media interview at the Combine to get you started with a personal feeling for the kid. Among other things he says that he played all of 2015 with a stress fracture that required him to spend each week in a walking boot. He also says that last year he managed an 11'5" broad jump. Here is film of a 51" box jump - while he's early in rehab from the broken leg.

The NFL.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile describe a 2nd-Round talent with downchecks for the broken leg and the "academic dishonesty" cloud. 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 could succeed at Free Safety because he is very physical and does better when the play is in front of him. Here is a solid game-by-game scouting profile from our sister site for the Panthers. This scouting profile raises questions about overall awareness based on examples where he failed to get his head around to look for the ball.

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Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA - 5'11", 205 lbs. A classic slasher with great vision, speed on demand, and the ability to block within and catch coming out of the backfield. The only knocks are moderate size and questions about his ability to run away from pursuit after he breaks into the open. If the Steelers are looking for a running mate to share the load with Leveon Bell, Paul Perkins in the 3rd could be hard to resist. This DraftWire scouting report ends with a 2nd Round grade after lauding everything about Perkins except his straight line speed (elusive, hard to bring down, great vision, excellent receiver, stout blocker, and so forth). This long and adoring, gif-supported scouting report from Bleacher Report argues that Perkins should be seen as the #2 RB in the entire class, behind only Ohio State's Elliot. This gif-supported scouting report ends with a Round 4 grade, but only on the grounds that Perkins needs to establish his health at the Combine. This brief but gif-supported scouting report from an Eagles site dreams of getting him in the 4th. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Jets sees Perkins as a prospect who would offer so many benefits that he shouldn't make it out of Round 3. This nice scouting profile once again lauds everything but his overall size and his long speed. This long scouting profile from a Cowboys site is especially heavy on the biographical information. This good looking scouting profile describes Perkins as a "good, old fashioned slasher" and concludes with a 4th Round grade due to concerns about long speed and size. This long and gif-supported scouting report compares Paul Perkins to Derrick Henry in an interesting discussion. This goes to a trio of brief RB scouting profiles (Alex Collins, Paul Perkins & Kenneth Dixon). This goes to an article on Perkins' steady rise up draft Boards. This article from our sister site for the Vikings has two-paragraph profiles on half a dozen RB's, including Perkins. The scouting report from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel can be summed up in a single word: Ditto.

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C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame - 6'0", 220 lbs. C.J. Prosise went to Notre Dame as a safety, moved to wide receiver, and then shifted to RB for his final year. In other words, he's a tremendous and versatile athlete with enormous upside but very little idea about how to play the actual position. That flaw could easily cause him to drop in the draft but might actually be an advantage from the Steeler POV since Pittsburgh can afford to give him a year or two of learning time while he stars on special teams. The NFL.com scouting profile describes a glide-and-slash running style with flaws that really come down to being so raw. This article from our sister site for the Vikings has two-paragraph profiles on half a dozen RB's, including Prosise. This early-process scouting report ends with a Round 2 grade "but with 1st-Round potential." This goes to a short but good scouting profile from our sister site for the Jets. This good looking, gif-supported scouting report likewise sees Prosise as a 2nd-Round value who has clear starter potential from Year 2 on. This video film study uses Prosise's inexperience as a model for some issues that college runners face moving to the next level. Here is a gif supported scouting report from our favorite Dallas writer.

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Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas - 5'10-7/8", 219 lbs. with big 10" hands. Williams is right on the edge of the Ain't Gonna Happen list because something would have to be seriously wrong with either the world or some medical reports (either Williams' or Lev Bell's) for him to fall far enough for the Steelers to have an interest. He's a young man with tremendous short area mobility who often leaves defenders grasping at air. He could conceivably be a 1st Round talent if he hadn't missed all of the 2015 season with a broken foot. This will take you to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to another okay scouting profile. This article indicates that he would be able to put on a show at the Combine if he'd been able to run. Here is a brief article published after the Combine, where Williams still couldn't run.

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Matt Ioannidis, DE, Temple - 6'3-3/4", 299 lbs. with shorter 32-3/8" arms and 10-1/8" hands. Looking for a mid-round 3-4 Defensive End to back up Heyward and Tuitt? This is your guy. A former sleeper who put up some very impressive showings at the Senior Bowl (here is link #2 on the Senior Bowl practice sessions). These links go to the CBS scouting profile and the NFL.com scouting profile. During the Combine coverage, where Ioannidis put up best-in-show numbers for the bench press, Mike Mayock described him as a "really good athlete." This is an okay but overly terse scouting profile. This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel is somewhat critical, seeing Ioannidis as an undersized 4-3 DT rather than a 3-4 DE.

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Sean Davis, S/CB, Maryland - 6'1", 201 lbs. with 31-3/8" arms and 9-1/2" hands. He's got the build, with good height and good length. He's pretty athletic, with a phenomenal 3-cone drill, a nice 4.48 dash and best-of-show honors at the Combine for both the bench press (21) and the broad jump. 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. This includes a Bleacher Report profile on Davis as a player who helped his stock with a strong Combine. This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Davis.

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T.J. Green, S/KR Clemson - 6'2-1/2", 209 lbs. with 32" arms and 9-5/8" hands. He ran a spectacular 4.34 dash at the Combine (for a Safety!) and was also a best-in-show on the broad jump. He has also returned kickoffs. But he is still so incredibly raw that his grade needs to be lower than the sheer talent would call for. We're talking a minimum of one redshirt year, and maybe two. It's hard to believe that the 6'3" guy on the team could be the smaller of the two Safeties, but that was the case at Clemson because T.J. Green is the one who played across from Jayron Kearse. The consensus seems to be that Green has a huge amount of potential but made a mistake by leaving school early, before he could add enough skill to show that potential in a better light. Right now his is almost purely a height/weight/speed prospect with a demonstrated ability to tackle (he was second on the team). This goes to a brief ESPN article that gives a little flavor. Search down and you'll find a snippet on T.J. Green in this article, basically saying that he is a great athlete and considered by many as a better prospect than the better known Kearse. Search in this epic length article from Dave-Te Thomas and you can find this quote: "Our scouting staff has placed a "Catch a Rising Star" tag on Green, as he is the type who just needs patient coaching to develop." Fear that his development might take two years instead of the more typical one is the main limiting factor on T.J. Green's draft stock. Here is the NFL.com scouting profile. This scouting profile comes from SteelersWire, and concludes with a "mid-round" grade. This includes a Bleacher Report profile on T.J. Green as a player who helped his stock with a strong Combine. This scouting profile ends with a 4th-Round grade.

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Tyvis Powell, S, Ohio State - 6'2-3/4", 211 lbs. with 32" arms and 9-1/2" hands. Powell went into the Combine with a damned-by-faint-prais problem: "he's good at everything but special at nothing." We had him downgraded as a high floor, low ceiling, journeyman who was a very safe bet for being a solid contributor but not a star. Pittsburgh already has that guy in Robert Golden. Enter the Combine, where he exploded with a 4.46 dash and solid results across the rest of the spectrum. So now he's Robert Golden with the potential for more upside... And you know what? Robert Golden isn't half bad. 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. This goes to a gif-supported scouting report from a Steelers site that considers Tyvis Powell to be a severely underrated bargain.

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Deiondre Hall, CB, Northern Iowa - 6'1-1/2", 199 lbs. with arms like an offensive lineman (34-3/8") and 9-3/4" hands. NOTE: Despite the build (you couldn't design a better body for a press-corner and created quite a stir at the Senior Bowl weigh-in) Mike Mayock reports that Deiondre Hall has never played man coverage and therefore requires a lot of projection. Technique-wise, Mayock reports that he had problems sticking with Senior Bowl receivers at the top stem of their routes. That is consistent with other reports he had 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. Deiondre Hall is profiled as a 3rd Round value for the Steelers in this article. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants, which points out that Hall comes from the same small school as RB David Johnson, who transitioned well to the NFL game. This goes to a scouting profile from a Saints perspective.

It should also be noted that Deiondre Hall had a lot of interceptions even though he played with a broken hand during the early part of the year. A tough kid, obviously. The boom could be enormous, but there is serious bust potential as well.

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Jalen Mills, CB/FS, LSU - 6'0", 191 lbs. with 31-1/8" arms and 9-1/8" hands. 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. There is some off-field concern arising from an incident where he allegedly punched a woman in the face (not a girlfriend, btw). The legal side of it has been dealt with through a diversion program, but it's definitely something for the scouts to explore. There are no reports of any other problems. Mills has gotten a solid downgrade on this Board because of that. He got a bit of a bump from the Combine, where he ran a 4.39 and had a best-in-show vertical jump.

Note that Mills played a lot of Free Safety at LSU but there is serious speculation that he will move back to Corner in the pros - in part because he's also known as a barely adequate tackler. This DraftWire scouting report gives him a 2nd-Round grade, but only as a Corner and not a Safety. Compare that to recent Steeler Free Safeties like Ryan Clark and Mike Mitchell and you'll see the problem. 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. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants is much more optimistic, though it views Mills purely as a Free Safety. This scouting profile ends with a 3rd-Round grade. This goes to an article and video interview from the Senior Bowl, where Mills played quite well but wasn't dominant. This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Mills.

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Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Miss - 5'11-1/2", 199 lbs.. Major, major buzz with lots of teams there to watch his spectacular pro day that featured a 40-time between 4.38_and 4.47 seconds depending on who held the stopwatch (in the rain no less), a fantastic 41-1/2" vertical that would have tied for best-in-show at the Combine, and excellent scores in the other tests such as the short shuttle, 3-cone, and the broad jump. His film looks very impressive too, with a decent game against Amari Cooper in 2014 (8 catches and several defenses, which was better than most). Cooper went pro after that, and Reed went back to school where he has clearly gotten better in 2015. Reed also played in a zone heavy scheme and prides himself on film study and route recognition skills.

This excellent scouting profile from Draft Breakdown is definitely the place to start, and concludes with a Round 2-3 grade. According to this scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins, he's also a willing tackler for a smaller guy. The only knocks are level of competition (Conference USA) and being "only" 5-11. The school website shows that he's started since being a true freshman. This goes to a pretty good interview that includes self-assessed best and worst games, which should be useful if you want to do your own film work. This website is kind of fun if your heavy into metrics. Reed's teammate WR Mike Thomas also had a fine pro day (see this article on their pro day too) a fact that's noteworthy for those of us who believe in the ‘iron sharpens iron' philosophy that two outstanding small school prospects on the same team would tend to provide competition for each other to replace the lack of NFL talent on some of the teams they played.

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Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma - 5'10-7/8", 185 lbs. with 31-3/8" arms and 9-3/8" hands. A steady riser as his technique slowly improved over his college career, but that technique still has a long way to go. Here are the NFL.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile, both of which emphasize his excellent ball skills, coverage ability and instincts, but have significant questions arising from his string-bean build and lack of playing strength (but note: He hefted 19 reps at the Combine, which is a best-in-show number). This goes to a must-read article on Sanchez life and background. If you have any interest whatsoever in this prospect, read that article. He's noted for "outstanding ball skills and hand-eye coordination," but he is very slight of frame. Sanchez is profiled as a 4th Round value for the Steelers in this article. Here is an article on Sanchez from a Cowboys POV. There is a brief profile in this SteelersWire article on CB options under 6' tall.

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D.J. White, CB, Georgia Tech - 5'10-7/8", 193 lbs. with 31-1/2" arms and 9-1/4" hands. Described by the CBS scouting profile as a Corner whose only real weaknesses are average height and possibly a lack of long speed, and by Mike Mayock as "a very solid football player." Often hit with the "more quick than fast" label, he ran a 4.50 at the Combine which shows that the speed he'll need is there. 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. This dual scouting profile (DJ White & WJ-III) from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel pegs White as a Day 3 pick, who could have been a 1st rounder if his 2015 season hadn't been so disappointing compared to 2014.

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Shon Coleman, OT/G, Auburn - 6'5", 307 lbs. with 35-1/8" arms and 10-5/8" hands. This is a very deep class for Offensive Tackles. Shon Coleman is another one who drops 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. This scouting profile from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel sees a player limited to RT or OG, but with potential there due to his run blocking ability.

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Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU [Meeting in Pittsburgh] - 6'6", 305 lbs. with 34-1/4" arms and big 9-5/8" hands. He's got the prototypical length for a tackle and excellent quick feet, but doesn't always use those feet and will need to add some sand in the pants to hold up at the NFL level and a good bit of strength if he's to be an asset in the run game. Hawkins is a fairly good Left Tackle prospect, but he has very little in the way of flexibility if that doesn't work out. NOTE: If you believe the report in this pre-Combine article/interview, Hawkins played all of 2015 on a gimpy leg, hobbled by a high ankle sprain severe enough to keep him out of several practices. If you are a Jerald Hawkins fan like our own Big_Jay71, that could be the key fact that makes you look like a prophet in a couple of years. This goes to a particularly interesting scouting profile at NFL.com. Film watchers take note of the warning: "You have to watch him in a few games because he's not asked to do as much in some games as others." This brief scouting profile from our sister site for the Patriots projects Hawkins as a mid- to late- Round 2 pick. The CBS scouting profile emphasizes that Hawkins is a marvelous, multi-sport athlete. This brief but gif-supported scouting report agrees with the late Round 2 grade, but has a very different take because it sees Hawkins as too much of a waist bender to succeed at Tackle, but believes he can move inside to Guard. This goes to a short but apparently competent scouting profile.

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Adolphus Washington, DL, Ohio State - 6'3-3/8", 301 lbs. with 34-1/2" arms and 9-7/8" hands. 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. Mike Mayock's Combine coverage included the observation that Washington has potential 1st-Round value because he can push the pocket on passing downs, but that's balanced by a weakness against the run.

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 an extra-large 3-tech will have trouble doing all the jobs that Pittsburgh requires. OTOH, he does have those ridiculously long arms... This goes to a typically excellent, gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Jaguars. This goes to a harsh but well-supported, gif-heavy DraftWire scouting report that brutalizes Washington for his lack of ability to either hold the point against double teams or get any push on running plays. If you're a Washington fan, be sure to read that one because you'll need to be able to refute it.

3:24

Alex McCalister, EDGE, Florida - 6'6-1/8", 239 lbs. with pythonesque 36" arms and 9-3/8" hands. Reportedly played around 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, which were on full display with some jaw dropping numbers at the Combine. 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. This thorough and gif-supported DraftWire scouting report ends with a 5th Round grade based on specific flaws such as the very limited number of snaps McCalister was able to earn, his extremely limited repertoire of rushing moves, and the fact that all but one of his 2015 sacks came against two Freshman RT's.

3:24

Yannick Ngakoue ("IN-gah-kway"), EDGE, Maryland - 6'2", 255 lbs. with 32-1/2" arms and 9-1/2" hands. "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. He was clearly the best performer in the Combine DE-to-OLB conversion drills. 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.

3:24

Jeremy Cash, SS, Duke [Meeting at the Combine] - 6'0-3/8", 212 lbs. with 32-3/8" arms and 10" hands. A smart, tough, in-the-box Strong Safety who's willing to hit, excels at blitzing and run support, but is much, much 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 plays like a very undersized 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. Of course, Pittsburgh has been interviewing exactly that type of prospect throughout the draft process.

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. This thorough, gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Jaguars agrees: the pro comparison has to be Bucannon, but Cash is even more of an in-the-box player even though he's smaller. This set of ten summary scouting profiles on the Safety class includes a nice one on Cash.

3:24

James Bradberry, CB, Samford - 6'0-3/4", 211 lbs. with long 33" arms and 9-1/8" hands. 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. This goes to a Steelers-specific scouting profile with gifs from the Senior Bowl practices, that concludes with a Round 3-6 grade and the suggestion that Bradberry, like Doran Grant last year, has the physical tools and style to play Safety too. Bradberry is profiled as a 6th Round value for the Steelers in this article.

3:24

Juston Burris, CB/FS, N. Carolina State - 6'0-1/4", 212 lbs. with 31-1/2" arms and 8-7/8" hands. 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. Mike Mayock already views him as a cover-capable Free Safety.

3:24

Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota - 5'10-1/2", 199 lbs. with 31-3/4" arms and 9" hands. A gritty, physical Corner who's been plagued by pass interference calls when pressed by better receivers. Mike Mayock describes him as a very physical player with lots of technique issues that will require good coaching. 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. This is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants, which concludes that "Murray isn't especially big or fast, but he is smart and competitive." This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel is more critical, seeing Murray's lack of measurable athleticism as a flaw that will limit him to being a #4 zone corner (one wonders if Murray's good Combine numbers might cause Gabriel to reconsider).

3:24

Vadal Alexander, G/T, LSU - 6'5", 326 lbs. with long 35-1/4" arms and big 10-1/2" hands. 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. That flexibility caused him to drop but not plummet when Foster got extended. 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).

3:24

Spencer Drango, G/T, Baylor - 6'6", 320 lbs. with 32-3/4" arms. 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. That flexibility caused him to drop but not plummet when Foster got extended. 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. This is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

3:24

Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford - 6'6-1/4", 305 lbs. with 33-1/2" arms and 9-3/4" hands. 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

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah - 5'10", 208 lbs. In a word, he's a somewhat smaller and slightly slower version of Leveon Bell - a patient, sturdy runner who blocks well, is a tremendous receiver, has elite vision, and makes a lot of hidden yards via his elusiveness in tight spaces. Some zone-running team is going to fall in love and take him in Round 3. But there is a chance he could fall through Round 4, in which case the Steelers might be interested too. Booker might be a step down from Bell but has such a similar and versatile skill set that subbing him in would not require any significant changes to the play book. A torn meniscus in his left knee cost him the final three games of 2015 and will hinder what he can show during the pre-draft process, but should not interfere with his prospects moving forward. It should also be noted that he isn't as young as the Steelers sometimes prefer (24), had a lot of touches in college, and there have been some ball security issues he'll need to clean up. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to a nice scouting profile that ends with an early-Day-3 grade (i.e., Round 4). This gif-heavy scouting report from the DraftWire ends with a 2nd-Round grade. This fun to read scouting profile ends with a Round 3 grade. This Cowboys-oriented profile is particularly heavy on the biography data and useful from that POV. Note that Utah's offense tended to dissolve without Booker, which says something too. This detailed and interesting scouting profile ends with a Round 4-5 grade based on a big discount for questions about Booker's durability in light of the heavy college workload, knee injury, and relatively advanced age. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins. This short Bleacher Report profile makes the point that all that versatility makes Booker a very safe pick even if the age & durability questions put a glass ceiling on his stock. Here is a gif supported scouting report from our favorite Dallas writer.

3:24

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 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 - perhaps the single best multipurpose "offensive weapon" in the draft. 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. Commenter RollSteelersRoll, an Alabama football fan, makes light of the "doghouse" concerns but does worry about Drake's ability to function inside the tackle box. There's also an injury history that needs to be explored. Mike Mayock reports that he is also an excellent gunner.

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. This Bleacher Report profile of return specialists puts Kenyan Drake at #2, behind only his teammate Cyrus Jones.

3:26

STEELERS PICK AT 3:26

4:01

Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor - 6'7-1/2", 269 lbs. with exceptionally long 35-3/4" arms and huge 10-5/8" hands. Reportedly player around 20 pounds lighter, but the lack of explosiveness in his Combine tests suggests that getting bigger could be a problem. 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. This goes to a typically long and thorough gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Jaguars (they're doing good work this year).

4:01

D.J. Reader, NT, Clemson - 6'2-1/2", 327 lbs. with 33-5/8" arms and 9-1/2" arms. Reportedly played around 340 lbs. Your classic immovable object at the center of the defensive line. If McLendon leaves in free agency and/or the team thinks that Dan McCullers has no chance to take the next step, D.J. Reader would be a very solid Day 3 pick. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This gif-supported scouting report from a Bills perspective argues that he's more mobile than you'd think and deserves a Round 3-4 grade. This goes to a very summary scouting profile. This article lists Reader as one of the DL Combine "losers".

4:01

Charles Tapper, DL, Oklahoma - 6'2-1/2", 271 lbs. with very long 34-3/8" arms and huge 11-1/2" hands. The height suggests a run-stuffing strong side DE for a 4-3 team but he did play his college career as a 5-tech DE in the 3-4 Oklahoma scheme and with those arms and hands it's possible he could carry that over to the NFL as well. Great results at the Combine support that idea, and both Mike Mayock and Willie McGinest made a point of saying that he's an explosive prospect who is likely to be better as a pro than he was in college. His highest use/description may be as a 4-3 "mutlitool". Or perhaps - just perhaps - as a Pittsburgh tweener who could offer particular value in sub package football.

This scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins hits that exact theme by describing him as a "utility infielder." The NFL.com scouting profile notes serious technique flaws that stain his college film, but acknowledges that all of those are fixable, which gives room for a more optimistic upside. It also notes some decent straight line, chase-down speed even though he's said to have "very little dynamic movement as a pass rusher." This solid-looking scouting report from a Falcons site lauds Tapper's versatility and notes his basketball background, which indicates some overall athleticism. The author concludes with a Round 3-4 grade, just like this very good scouting profile at CBS. This includes a Bleacher Report profile on Tapper as a player who helped his stock with a strong Combine. This article lists Tapper as one of the biggest Combine "winners".

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." This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel is a bit more critical.

4:01

Terrance Smith, ILB/OLB, Florida State - 6'3", 234 lbs. Pittsburgh could do worse than to draft a kid like Terrance Smith on Day 3 to be a longer term replacement on Sean Spence. 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

Scooby Wright III, ILB/OLB, Arizona - 6'1", 246 lbs. with 30-1/2" arms and 9-3/4" hands. 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, and he proved to be substandard in every athletic test at the Combine. Motor? Astonishing. His floor is an all-but-legendary special teams demon. Athletic upside? Very limited. Among other things he ran a hideous 4.91 dash at the Combine, with almost as bad results in all the other numbers. 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 a higher upside." One thing that might help is training 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. This goes to a thorough, gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Jaguars, which agrees that Wright projects best as an ILB. This goes to an interesting eve-of-the-Combine article/interview.

4:01

K.J. Dillon, S, West Virginia - 6'0-3/8", 210 lbs. with 31-5/8" arms and 9-5/8" hands. Dillon played in the shadow of the much more spectacular Karl Joseph at West Virginia, but deserves some real attention for his own merits. He is one of the more fully-rounded Safeties of the class and has the ability to play at both Free and Strong. The issue basically comes down being "only good" at everything, and needing a fair amount of seasoning before he will be ready for the NFL game. He projects as someone who will continue to be "that other guy" on whatever team he goes to, but may well manage to do that for a nice, long NFL career. He had an impressive Combine that, combined with his film, proved to both Mike Mayock and Daniel Jeremiah that Dillon has the ability to drop down to the slot if need be. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to another even handed scouting profile. Here is Andrew Kipp's gif-supported BTSC scouting report. There is a nice, short profile on Dillon in this DraftWire article on next-tier Safeties.

4:01

Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson [Meeting at Pro Day and in Pittsburgh] - 6'4", 216 lbs. with very long 34-1/4" arms and 9-5/8" hands. 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 because to two or three question marks. (1) Does he have the football IQ to learn the pro game? We've seen how important read-and-react skills are for a Safety. (2) Does he have the maneuverability to cover shifty NFL running backs? And (3) Can he develop more of that nasty, tone-setting, enforcer mentality that sends opponents backward instead of just tangling them down to the ground. We do have to keep in mind that the Steelers are carefully examining this entire class of Safety/LB hybrids, and Kearse fits that description perfectly. Kearse wrote this 'Combine Diary' article, and thus it gives a little direct insight that can be useful.

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. This January scouting profile from our sister site for the Jets ends with a Day 2-3 grade, noting that Kearse showed some ball hawking ability in 2014 that was less present last year. This competent-looking scouting profile lauds the "amazing set of physical tools" but worries about above-the-neck read and react questions. The NFL.com scouting profile would agree with that assessment. This Vikings-oriented scouting report covers a broad swath of questions and comes back to the same bottom line: a physical marvel with a few change-of-direction questions, and many more significant questions about his football IQ and ability to learn the pro game. The comparison to George Iloka is echoed in this gif-supported, Bills-oriented scouting report that sees Kearse as an effective but limited player who'd need to be used in the right ways. This somewhat contrarian scouting profile is worth a read too because the author actually likes Kearse's ability to diagnose plays, but thinks his thin frame looks more like a Free Safety than an in-the-box guy..

4:01

Anthony Brown, CB, Purdue - 5'11-1/4", 192 lbs. with 31-3/4" arms and very small 8-1/4" hands. Was best-in-show at the Combine for both the dash (4.35) and the bench (19 reps), and middle of the pack for the agility drills, all of which adds up to show a player with good physical tools. The NFL.com scouting profile describes a bit of an enigma who is 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. This is a good grade because I'm guessing there is a particular flaw that led to him getting burned - and because the team around him wasn't exactly a series of all stars.

4:01

Taveze Calhoun, CB, Mississippi State - 6'0-3/8", 192 lbs. with 31-7/8" arms and 9" hands. Reportedly played at 177 lbs. 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

Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia - 6'0-3/4", 204 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms and 10-1/4" hands. 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.

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Willie Beavers, G/T, Western Michigan - 6'4", 324 lbs. with average 33-1/2" arms but smallish 9-1/2" hands. We are going to hear a lot of comparisons between Willie Beavers and Kelvin Beachum, so here are Beachum's Combine measurements for those who care about such things: 6'2", 303 lbs. with 33-1/4" arms and 9-3/8" hands. So Beavers is very similar except two inches taller and 20 pounds bigger. The comparisons come because both are undersized but compensate by having exceptionally quick feet. Of course, there is the fact that Beachum has completely outplayed any reasonable hopes based on his college record while Beavers is still tabula rasa against pro competition, but you've got to make some kind of projection and Beachum is probably the closest.

The NFL.com scouting profile describes Beavers as 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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Tyler Johnstone, OT, Oregon - 6'5", 301 lbs. with 34" arms and big 10-3/8" hands. 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. Had a fine pro day in addition to a good Combine.

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Christian Westerman, G/C, Arizona State - 6'4", 298 lbs. with 33-1/2" arms and monstrous 11-7/8" hands. NOTE: The position flexibility meant his stock dropped but did not plummet when Foster got extended. 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! (NOTE: In the event his 34 reps were best in class, but nowhere near the record of 41). 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. Mike Mayock made a comment in the Combine coverage that's worth noting. He said that Westerman has extraordinary balance continuing through contact with other players. That is a subtle but really valuable athletic trait.

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Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas - 6'4-7/8", 250 lbs. with 32-3/4" arms and 9-1/4" hands. A nice, well-rounded TE who is widely viewed as the best in a very poor class. With Ladarius Green on the roster, however, the need for a TE has plummeted and taken Henry's stock with it. 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. But this goes to a lengthy and critical, gif-supported DraftWire scouting report that concludes with a 3rd Round grade because he lacks the extra explosiveness that author looks for in a truly premier TE prospect (BTW, if you are interested in Hunter Henry as prospect that is a don't-miss link because it covers all the bases you will want to look at in more detail). The scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel disputes the view that Henry is well rounded. Gabriel profiles a very good route runner with excellent hands and nice run after catch ability, but a "below average blocker (run and pass) [who is] unable to get movement [and shows] inconsistent effort." The verdict: Hunter Henry is "A long ways away from being a complete tight end but in today's game there is a place for him."

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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, great hands, etc. A multipurpose offensive weapon of the first order. 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? According to the Fighting Illini website, Ferguson returned kicks as a redshirt freshman in 2012 (19 for 344 yards, with a moderate 18.1 yard average and a long of 37), en route to also leading the team in all-purpose yards. No word on whether he ever returned punts as well. 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.

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Tyler Ervin, KR/RB, San Jose State [Meeting at the Combine and Pro Day] - 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. During the Combine coverage Mike Mayock emphasized that Ervin is also a tough kid who can run with power, and had several college games with will over 30 touches. He is anything but a fainting flower who goes down on first contact.

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. Ervin is one of the players listed in this Bears-oriented review of the 2015 CFB punt returners, and also in this Bleacher Report profile on return specialists.

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Kyler Fackrell, EDGE, Utah - 6'5", 245 lbs. with 33-1/4" arms and 10-1/8" hands. 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. This very complimentary scouting profile ends with an early-2nd grade. This goes to an equally complimentary scouting profile from a Steelers POV.

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Dadi Nicolas, EDGE, Virginia Tech - 6'2-7/8", 235 lbs. with long 34-3/4" arms and big 10-3/8" hands. (Up to 239 at his pro day). And a downright creepy 41" vertical jump, though he failed so utterly in the LB conversion drills that Mike Mayock assumed he'd be a pure situational pass rusher in the Bruce Irvin mold. He really does have the remarkable bend and explosiveness needed to get around the corner. 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.

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Victor Ochi, EDGE, Stony Brook - 6'1-1/8", 246 lbs. with 33-3/4" arms and 10-1/8" hands. 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. Here is an early-process scouting profile from our sister site for the Jets. And here is a January scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

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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. I.e., Vince Williams. 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. This is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

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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. He is considered one of the major Scouting Combine snubs, so watch for his pro day.

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Kavon Frazier, S, Central Michigan - 5'11-7/8", 187 lbs. with 31-1/2" arms and 10" hands. Reportedly played at almost 220 lbs. A young man with excellent size who believes completely in the Pittsburgh tradition of hard hitting, "enforcer" Free Safeties in the mold of Ryan Clark and now Mike Mitchell. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins describes him as a "heat seeking missile". Like most reports, the author emphasizes that Frazier is a fiery and emotional leader of the team whose passionate approach to the game can be a double-edged sword in the form of penalties, missed tackles from over pursuit, and big plays from getting suckered by double-moves and other tricks. He also has a serious need to work on his coverage skills. In all honesty, if you gave Frazier 4.39 speed his scouting report would start to look like this one from 2009. Mitchell needed several years to learn the discipline and savvy required of an NFL Safety, and Frazier will likely be a Day 3 pick because he will need to do the same. But he will be a special teams demon in the meantime. This goes to an article/interview with Frazier. This goes to a good article/scouting profile that contains this encouraging quote: "Nobody will outwork me anywhere I go, that's the truth," Frazier said. "Whether it's on the field, in the classroom, anywhere. I have the will to win, and I want to prove that."

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Derrick Kindred, S, TCU - 5'10", 207 lbs. with 31-1/4" arms and 9-3/8" hands. Sleeper alert! Derrick Kindred had a 2015 season that would more or less place him in the 5th or 6th Round as a prospect - but he did it with a collarbone that got broken three days before the first game. Now that is tough! Even more so because he's a real thumper. The Combine added fuel to the rising fire by establishing that Kindred has very solid (4.50) speed and explosiveness (37.5" vert), along with extremely fluid movement skills. If Karl Joseph rings Polamalu bells, then Derrick Kindred brings back memories of Ryan Clark. The NFL.com scouting profile sees him as a much later-round prospect, but that is largely because he had so many missed tackles and I am giving him a break on that because of the collarbone.

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Jordan Lucas, S, Penn State - 5'11-5/8", 201 lbs. with 30-1/8" arms and 10" hands. Lucas played most of his Penn State career at Corner before moving to Safety. A shoulder (?) injury that kept him out of the Senior Bowl and also cost him his final three games for a Nittany Lions campus that appreciated him as both a member and an athlete. Hopefully he will be ready to show his stuff fully at the Combine. It would be nice to see him shine. Not only because he's a local player: another viable prospect who can add depth to the Steeler defensive backfield will always be welcome on this Board. This goes to the very brief NFL.com scouting profile, which does contain a suggestion that his coverage skills are good enough to play in the slot.

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Jonathan Jones, CB, Auburn [Meeting in Pittsburgh] - 5'9-1/8", 186 lbs. with 30-1/4" arms and 8-3/4" hands. Ran a lightning fast 4.33 dash at the Combine, while also being a best-of-show guy for the bench press. Let's summarize it in a word: "Senquez Golson Lite." 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. The idea of another Corner on the Steeler roster who would fit in the glove compartment of an average SUV may give me the heebie jeebies, but fair is fair. If we didn't have a couple of Jones-like players on the roster already, I would really want this one. This includes a Bleacher Report profile on Jones as a player who helped his stock with a strong Combine. There is a brief profile in this SteelersWire article on CB options under 6' tall.

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Kevon Seymour, CB, USC - 5'11-1/2", 186 lbs. with 31-3/4" arms and 9" hands. Tested well at the Combine, including a 4.39 dash. 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 the early Day 3 range. Of course if you get him in that range he could be an outright steal. The potential is definitely there.

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Leshaun Sims, CB, Southern Utah - 6'0-1/2", 203 lbs. with 31-5/8" arms and tiny 8-1/8" 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. Sims is profiled as a 7th Round Steeler option in this article.

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Tavon Young, CB, Temple [Meeting at Pro Day and in Pittsburgh] - 5'9-1/8", 183 lbs. with 30-5/8" arms and 9-1/8" hands. As this adoring Bleacher Report scouting profile discusses, Tavon Young is a flat-out baller. Fear94's gif-supported BTSC scouting report agrees with that positive outlook. His long speed is good (4.47 at the Combine) and 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. This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel calls Young "an ideal slot corner" who lacks nothing but size.

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Evan Boehme, C/G, Missouri - 6'2", 309 lbs. with very short 31-5/8" arms but solid 10-1/4" hands. Dropped 16 pounds for the Combine. 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.

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Le'Raven Clark, T/G, Texas Tech - 6'5-1/2", 307 lbs. with freakish 36-1/8" arms and 11-7/8" hands. 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 while teaching almost nothing of what he will need to know in the pros. 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. This scouting profile from a Patriots site agrees that Clark is a boom-or-bust, Day 3 pick who balances almost ideal physical traits with a desperate need for a 2-3 year crash course in how to play the position. This gif-supported DraftWire scouting report ends with a 7th-Round grade.

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Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame - 6'4-1/8", 299 lbs. with 32-1/2" arms and big 10" hands. 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. This is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

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Connor McGovern, G/C, Missouri - 6'4", 306 lbs. with 32-7/8" arms and big 10-3/8" hands. 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. McGovern proved this at the Combine with 33 reps on the bench press (top 3) and a best-in-show vertical leap. 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.

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Rees Odhiambo, G/T, Boise State - 6'4", 314 lbs. with 33-1/4" arms. 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. This goes to a combination scouting profile (Glasgow and Odhiambo) from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel, who echoes the "excellent potential if he can stay healthy" theme.

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Isaac Seumalo, G/T/C, Oregon State - 6'3-7/8", 324 lbs. with 33" arms and 9-7/8" hands. Seumalo impressed me a lot at the Combine with his general air of athletic competence, so much so that I wasn't at all surprised to learn he won best-in-show for both the 3-cone drill and the 20 year shuttle. This is a young man who will have zero problems moving in space, pulling, and doing all the other tasks called for on a Mike Munchak offensive line. He gets full marks for versatility, with the ability to play pretty much any position. OTOH, the main question marks for Seumalo have always been in the area of raw strength - and he earns a half-raised red flag for failing to participate in the bench press at the Combine despite that. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to a fun January on-line newspaper article that listed all the news on Seumalo up to that point (kind of like what I do here). The CBS scouting profile emphasizes that Seumalo's medical checks are going to be very important in light of a nasty foot injury that cost him all of 2014.

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Sebastian Tretola, G, Arkansas - 6'5", 314 lbs. with really short 31-1/2" arms but really big 10-3/8" hands. NOTE: Checked into the Combine 21 pounds lighter than his reported playing weight of 335. NOTE: Dropped several slots when Foster got extended. Tretola is a really fine prospect as a Guard, but only as a Guard. No 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.

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Max Tuerk, C/G, USC - 6'5", 298 lbs. with 32-1/2" arms and big 10-3/4" hands. Put on 13 pounds for the Combine. 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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Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State - 6'6", 257 lbs. with long 34-1/4" arms and 10" hands. A good, all-around Tight End who doesn't flash as "special" in any particular part of the game. The Combine coverage team had many good things to say about Vannett, including praise for a receiving ability that was hidden because of so many playmakers around him, and a favorable comparison to Jeff Heuerman, who ended at HV 3:01 on the 2015 BTSC Big Board. 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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Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State [Meeting at the Combine and Pro Day] - 6'2", 226 lbs. with big 10-7/8" hands. People make a lot of excuses for Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg, and they pretty much all follow a pattern: "He's got the tools and he showed an ability to succeed in earlier years. You can't blame him for more recent results because the offensive line was so utterly horrid that every game he played was like Peyton Manning's Super Bowl against the Seahawks, or Cam Newton's against the Broncos. That kind of pressure makes every QB look like cr@p, even ones who are clear HOF'ers." Fair enough. In which case you should be ready to give Dak Prescott just as big a pass, because he too was getting creamed from start to finish in every game despite having an NFL-caliber arm, solid size, a Tebow-esque ability to run from the pocket, wonderful overall athleticism, and some very promising results in prior years. A superb Senior Bowl raised his profile to the point where most expect him to be picked in the Round 3-4 range, but since the Steelers met with him he is on the Board. Here are the NFL.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile. Here are a scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins, along with one of retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel's dual scouting profiles (Dak Prescott and Jacoby Brissett). For naysayers, here is a long and extremely critical scouting report. And then the best for last - this is such a long, thorough, and impressive article on Dak Prescott that there's no need to go any further. It would be a real surprise if Prescott is available to Pittsburgh in Round 4, and an even bigger surprise if Pittsburgh spent it's 4th-Round pick on a QB. A DUI arrest during the draft process may lower Prescott's stock enough to bring him within reach in Round 4 if the Steelers are really interested.

4:16

Devon Johnson, RB, Marshall - 6'0-1/2", 253 lbs. When your nickname is "rockhead" it's a pretty safe bet that you excel in short yardage situations. He's downgraded a bit on this Board because he doesn't seem to fit the kind of player that the Steelers would want as a compliment to LeVeon Bell. This is a good, gif-supported scouting report that makes a good place to start your research. It explains how Johnson was recruited as a LB, spent two years as a middling TE, and then shifted over to RB where he exploded onto the scene. Other than being a North-South runner, the only knock on Johnson is that he's good at everything but special at nothing. His TE training was more than enough to ensure that he knows how to block and catch at an excellent level. His speed is only okay, but could conceivably improve if he followed the LeVeon Bell approach and slimmed down a bit. Here is the NFL.com scouting profile.

4:16

Wendell Smallwood, RB/KR, West Virginia - 5'10-1/2", 208 lbs. If there were no character issues, Wendell Smallwood would be one of my favorite sleepers. He's a practically ideal outside-zone running back prospect, with great vision, instant short-range acceleration, and exceptional hands. Not a special player when it comes to splash plays or getting extra yardage, but a superb player for getting every inch that the blocking opens up. He's a willing and fairly good blocker too if you account for the lack of size, and an accomplished kick returner with the skill set to try his hand at punts too. On top of which, the NFL.com scouting profile reports a superb football IQ. No surprise, he clocked in with an excellent 40 time at the Combine (4.45) and one top-in-show honors for both the 3-cone drill and the 60 yard shuttle. IMHO he'd be a great #2 back and/or heir to Deangelo Williams. FWIW, the character thing is more weird and startling than directly damaging: Smallwood was arrested in 2014 for attempting to intimidate a witness into withdrawing testimony against a friend of his. The charges were dropped after that friend pled guilty to second-degree murder.

These links go to a brief but solid scouting profile, and an even briefer but still okay list of scouting characteristics. Smallwood is a native of Delaware, which explains this article tying his prospects to the Eagles and their need for RB depth. This article from an Eagles fansite does much the same thing. If you are a football geek you may find this film study video from Matt Waldman interesting. Smallwood is used as the example for studying a particular type of running play.

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. Burns is one of the players listed in this Bears-oriented review of the 2015 CFB punt returners. He is considered one of the major Scouting Combine snubs, so watch for his pro day. This goes to an article on his outstanding return skills. Here is a similar article focused on his "blazing speed".

4:25

STEELERS PICK AT 4:25

5:01

Deon Bush, S, Miami - 6'0-3/8", 199 lbs. with 30-7/8" arms and 9-1/4" hands. Deon Bush is an enigma with excellent upside but also some real questions about his ability to reach it. The NFL.com scouting profile is unusually blunt and specific. It describes Bush as an athlete with tremendous straight line speed but a bit iffy on the change of direction, great leaping ability, sound tackling skills, fine character, and a very significant asset on special teams. That is a lot of positives. The negatives? Play recognition and football IQ in general. In other words, the exact kind of things that we fans can't really gauge. Grrr. Essentially, it sounds like we are looking at a bigger and stronger version of Shamarko Thomas. If he can ever "get it," he will be a very good starter for many years. Until he does, however, he's a special teams demon and nothing more. And it's possible that he never will. Film watchers should take note of a "horrific" Florida State game, which is an outlier, but also of the fact that his production went down from 2014 to 2015.

This particularly good scouting profile from our sister site for the Panthers focuses on the fact that Bush can erratically shift from super to awful in an instant. The NFL.com comment about football IQ ties in well. Here is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins, which emphasizes Bush's physicality. This goes to a two-minute video interview. Here is a video interview from the Shrine game, where he demonstrated some ability to cover TE's. For a view about Bush as a quality young man, see this 7-minute video on helping his father fight liver cancer. (Note he also donated his bowl game per diem to buy Christmas presents for kids in need - a really fine young man).

5:01

Tevin Carter, S, Utah - 6'1-1/4", 218 lbs. with 32" arms and 9-1/4" hands. Something of a boom or bust prospect. His college career was a bit stunted by academic problems, but athletically he's a prize. He has magnificent size for a Safety; he's a very physical player; and he's fast enough to be a High School sprinting champ. He hasn't put those pieces together but if the Steeler brass believes that good coaching will do the trick, Tevin Carter could be a serious target if he falls through the cracks and becomes available to the team in the later rounds. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. Check out this article where he defends an opposing QB that Utah abused (Jared Goff). He's either amazingly media-savvy, or a young man with exactly the sort of attitude you like to see. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins views Carter as a very fast in-the-box Strong Safety. FWIW, the odds of Carter falling to the Steelers Round 7 picks decreased a lot with his highly impressive showings at the Shrine game practices. Here is another Shrine game-related review. There is a note on Tevin Carter's excellent practice here as well, and he gets mentioned in this video report.

5:01

Kevin Peterson, CB, Oklahoma St. - 5'10-3/8", 181 lbs. with 31" arms and small 8-5/8" hands. 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. This gif-supported scouting report also concludes with a Round 4 grade. This goes to a video scouting profile. Here is a hometown article summarizing his Combine performance, which (as supplemented by his pro day run) was solid overall but not enough to make him stand out.

5:01

Graham Glasgow, G/C, Michigan - 6'5-7/8", 306 lbs. with 33-1/8" arms and 9-3/4" hands. On the Board because he has the flexibility to play any of the interior offensive line positions. The NFL.com scouting profile stipulates that he isn't the world's greatest athlete, but agrees with Mike Mayock's conclusion that Glasgow has clear starter potential. This longer scouting profile describes a "solid" and "steady" player who will need a year of good coaching and weight room work before maturing into a long term contributor and potential starter. This long December article in the Detroit Free Press is worth a definite read, and includes some reference to occasional drinking problems that Glasgow has acknowledged. Here is a smaller article from a more local paper. This goes to a combination scouting profile (Glasgow and Odhiambo) from retired NFL exec Greg Gabriel, who sees real value in Glasgow's versatility. This particularly interesting article describes how Glasgow spent the summer studying Alex Mack and the sort of things he learned. This is another interesting article on how Glasgow began to flower in his final year due to the more professional approach installed by Jim Harbaugh. This goes to a similar article with extra notes on overcoming the alcohol issues.

5:01

Denver Kirkland, G, Arkansas - 6'4", 335 lbs. with 34-5/8" arms and big 9-5/8" hands. NOTE: Dropped several slots when Foster got extended. Kirkland is a massive 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. He appeared to be quite stiff in his movements at the Combine.

5:01

Landon Turner, G, North Carolina - 6'4", 330 lbs. with average 32-7/8" arms but big 10-3/8" hands. NOTE: Dropped several slots when Foster got extended. 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. This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel considers Turner a "Late pick with upside if he gets himself in good shape."

5:01

Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas [Meeting at Pro Day] - 6'1", 217 lbs. with little 8-7/8" hands (this is the kid who went to a massage therapist to increase his hand size from the itsy-bitsy 8-1/2" measured at the Senior Bowl). As summarized by the NFL.com scouting profile:

On one hand, he is smaller than teams usually like and operated out of a play-­action offense that didn't ask him to get through many progressions. On the other hand, Allen has a quick release, an NFL arm, solid accuracy and good mobility.

This scouting profile and this scouting profile both agree with that assessment.

5:01

Daniel Lasco, RB, California - 6'0-1/4", 209 lbs. Made it onto the Board after winning the Combine Underwear Olympics going away. Lasco was a top 3 best-in-show in the 40 (4.46), the vertical jump, the broad jump, and the 60-yard shuttle. According to the NFL.com scouting profile he was considered a one-year wonder who had a marvelous 2014 and then faded in 2015 because of a hip injury. I guess that hip injury was a lot more severe than people thought! Here is a rare pre-Combine scouting report - it ends with a 2nd-Round grade. Here is a nice scouting profile from a college fan site. This goes to a brief profile from a Bleacher Repot article on mid-round RB prospects, and this to a similar Bleacher Report profile on players who helped their stock at the Combine.

5:01

Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida - 5'10", 209 lbs. His father was Fred Taylor, one of the more notorious Steeler-killers of recent memory. The son isn't up to that standard but he does have the potential to be a solid #2. The problem is that the father was known as "Fragile Freddie" because of the numerous injuries that kept him from achieving true greatness, and the son is a little less stout than his dad. Sure enough, he missed the Shrine game due to a ‘banged up shoulder.' There aren't many scouting reports to be found yet, but ones such as this brief scouting profile and this December article indicate that he's a better runner than mere statistics would indicate.

5:01

DeAndre Washington, RB/KR, Texas Tech - 5'8-1/4", 204 lbs. with smaller 9" hands. Definitely someone who is short but not small, Washington is plenty willing as both a blocker and an inside runner in addition to being a tremendous receiver out of the backfield. That skillset makes him one of the more desirable 3rd-down backs in the draft and fits the Steeler "want" for a general purpose offensive weapon. His running style revolves around the skills he flashed at the Combine: best-in-show results for both the 3-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle. In other words, he can cut on a dime. The CBS scouting profile and the NFL.com scouting profile both emphasize that he is a tough competitor who does not go down easily. The note about having been used as a return man was welcome news too - if deeper study proves that he is capable of handling punt returns, Washington could move up a full round on this Board. His Texas Tech profile lists only a few kick returns as a Freshman, with a respectable 18.7 yard average. An ACL tear cost him all of 2012, but he seems to have fully recovered. This goes to a very solid scouting profile. This goes to a short but fun scouting profile ("What's not to like with this 2016 NFL prospect?"). Here is a very brief scouting profile.

5:01

Charone Peake, WR, Clemson - 6'2-3/8", 209 lbs. with blazing speed (4.45 at the Combine and 4.36 at his pro day, but has been clocked in the 4.2's on more than one occasion). If the Steelers are (a) ready to throw in the towel on Martavis Bryant, (b) have no faith in Sammie Coates, and (c) believe that Markus Wheaton will depart when his rookie contract is up, it might make sense to look at other options. Like Coates and Bryant before him, Charone Peake is a 1st-Round physical talent who ought to go in Round 3 because of some overblown questions about his hands, with limited production due to a pair of knee injuries as an underclassman. Zero in the way of off-field questions. If he somehow falls from Round 3 to a spot where the Steelers would be interested in a receiver, the upside could prove to be irresistible. Here are the NFL.com scouting profile and a pre-Combine CBS scouting profile that notes an expected rise from his February 4th-Round grade. Here is a short article published after Peake starred in the Senior Bowl. Here is a critical scouting profile from our sister site for the Jets, with a significant downgrade for fear of the dropsies. This article includes mention of the Steelers presence at Malleck's impressive pro day. This gif-supported DraftWire scouting report ends with a 3rd-Round grade based in large part on Peake's film against the consensus #1 DB of the draft, Jalen Ramsey.

5:01

Mike Thomas, WR/KR, Southern Miss - 6'1", 200 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms and big 10-3/8" hands. [NOTE: Not to be confused with the higher-ranked WR Michael Thomas of Ohio State]. A favorite sleeper among many draftniks who seems to have a bit of the Hines Ward about him due to a tough minded, try-hard attitude combined with sneaky athleticism rather than the obvious kind. An able kick returner, but probably not a punt returner too. This glowing, gif-supported DraftWire scouting report and this gif-supported scouting report from our sister site for the Lions are about as positive as any you are going to see. Both end with a Round 3 grade. A comparison to the NFL.com scouting profile is revealing because they both identify the first few yards of a route as Thomas' biggest problem area before going on to disagree about the skills later on. I find that encouraging in a way because release from the line and hand fighting are among the most teachable WR skills, and even the critics acknowledge that Thomas will outwork everyone else on the field. This SteelersWire article considers Thomas a potential sleeper from the Pittsburgh point of view. This goes to a Matt Waldman "sleeper alert" and 5-minute video on Thomas. This scouting profile also sees Thomas as a real sleeper who is underrated by the biggest public boards, a position this Bleacher Report scouting profile/article wholeheartedly embraces. This scouting profile compares Thomas to former Bengals WR Marvin Jones, ending with a Round 2-3 grade. This scouting profile compares Thomas to Odell Beckham, Jr. in playing style, albeit not so much with the crazy level of athleticism. Here is a brief scouting profile from Pats Pulpit. This is an interview with Cincy Jungle. This intriguing scouting profile ends with a conclusion worth quoting:

Thomas is an ideal No. 2 receiver at the next level. Most No. 1 corners will shut him down because they'll have superior athleticism and if he can't force them into a misstep, he won't break free. But his route running is already developed to the point that he'll burn many inexperienced cornerbacks, even as a rookie. Surrounded by enough talent, he'll make an instant impact in the NFL, but he shouldn't be viewed as a prospect who can change an offense by himself.

Mike Thomas and teammate Kalan Reed both had a fine pro day, a fact that's noteworthy for those of us who believe in the ‘iron sharpens iron' philosophy that two outstanding small school prospects on the same team would tend to provide competition for each other to replace the lack of NFL talent on some of the teams they played.

5:16

De'Vondre Campbell, EDGE, Minnesota - 6'4", 232 lbs. with 33-5/8" arms and 9-5/8" hands. A boom or bust pass rush prospect. It's just that simple. Here are the NFL.com scouting report and the CBS scouting profile. This long article from the Shrine game is the place to go for more information. This scouting profile from a Vikings perspective agrees with pretty much everything else you will read: totally raw with poor recognition skills, but "barely scratching the surface of his potential."

5:16

Eric Striker, ILB, Oklahoma - 5'11", 227 lbs. with 31-1/4" arms. Another undersized linebacker with some ability to play in-the-box Strong Safety. His Combine measurements pretty much ruled out playing Safety full time. Before getting into the football stuff, Striker should also be commended for being a young man who will speak out for his beliefs. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to his Senior Bowl bio sheet, which has good data on playing time and the like. This somewhat "out there" scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins projects Striker as a "potentially elite edge rusher." Or maybe not so out there. The full length Walter Football scouting report describes Striker as follows: "His body type is that of a safety or undersized outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense, but his game is that of a 3-4 edge rusher. Thus, he is a tough evaluation in terms of finding the right team and scheme for him to be successful... The issue for Striker as a pro is that he is a 3-4 pass rusher in the body of a strong safety." The scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel sees Striker as an ace 3-4 Nickel linebacker, which is how he'd most likely be cast in Pittsburgh. This goes to a fine article on Striker as a person. This scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants offers a nice nugget: "Striker isn't just a tweener, but he is a three position tweener. Striker is a pass rushing [4-3] outside linebacker in the body of a safety."

5:16

Mike Jordan, CB/FS, Missouri Western - 6'0-3/4", 200 lbs. with 31-1/2" arms and 9-3/8" hands. A small-school standout at the Shrine Game who has intrigued everyone with his combination of height, weight, speed (4.55 40-time), and explosiveness (37-1/2" vertical, 10'7" broad jump). His grade would be higher if he'd faced a better grade of competition. Here is a good article/scouting profile from a Steelers perspective. The NFL.com scouting profile considers him a raw but promising player who'd be a better fit in a zone-heavy scheme and/or as a Free Safety (with an astonishing 138 tackles he can clearly handle that part of the job). This goes to a long "get to know the prospect" article that will fill in a lot of the general picture for you in a very encouraging way. This article discusses his standout Shrine game practices. The brief profile in this article from our sister site for the Rams points out that Jordan effectively shut down Arizona's star rookie WR John Brown when the two played in 2014. There is also a brief profile buried in this article from our sister site for the Bears.

5:16

Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU - 6'1-1/2", 171 lbs. with 32-1/4" arms and 9" hands. 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. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

5:16

Cleveland Wallace III, CB, San Jose State - 5'10-3/4", 188 lbs. with 31-3/4" arms and 9-1/2" hands. Don't be surprised if we start to hear more about the young Mr. Wallace. He has the quick-twitch, instant change of direction, fluid movement style that the Steelers prize. He's supposed to have an exceptional football IQ as well. The big weakness is what the NFL.com scouting profile calls "atrocious" tackling and a tendency to play small that can get him bullied by bigger receivers. The CBS scouting profile is a bit kinder on the tackling front, calling Wallace "willing" but desperately in need of physical training before he'll be able get the job done.

5:16

Joe Haeg, T/G, North Dakota St. - 6'6", 307 lbs. with long 33-1/2" arms and big 9-3/4" hands. 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.

5:16

Dominick Jackson, G/T, Alabama - 6'5", 313 lbs. with 33" arms. 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.

5:16

Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina - 6'5-1/8", 247 lbs. with long 34-3/8" arms and 9-3/4" 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. At the Combine he showed excellent speed (4.64) and was noted as both a fine special teams contributor and a willing blocker. 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. He does come with a reputation for the occasional bout of the dropsies. 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.

5:16

Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky - 6'5-3/4", 249 lbs. with 33-1/4" arms and 10-1/4" hands. 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. Search down the typically long epic from Dave-Te Thomas on small-school TE's and you'll find a nice scouting profile on Tyler Higbee.

5:16

Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford [Meeting at the Combine] - 6'3-3/4", 249 lbs. with 33-3/4" arms and 10-5/8" hands. 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. This gif-supported DraftWire scouting report praises Hooper's hands and ability to make contested catches, details his many problems with route running, and rates his run blocking as average; all of which adds up to a Round 3 grade. At the Combine Mike Mayock called him a willing but average blocker with a "rare feel for route running."

5:16

Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon [Meeting at the Combine] - 5'10-7/8", 200 lbs. with 9-1/8" hands (NOTE: Many teams will not consider a QB with hands under 9" across, so he meets that threshold according to the Combine measurements. He'd somehow been measured with 8-3/4" hands at the Shrine game). Quarterback is acknowledged as the single hardest position to project accurately and Vernon Adams has to be one of the hardest QB's to guess about. The downsides are so obvious that many pundits think he won't be drafted. If you follow these things you hear the occasional debate about which physical deficit is easier to overcome: being unusually short (6'1" and under), or having unusually small hands (under 9"). Vernon Adams fails the height test by a lot and comes close on the hand size. The thing is, he wins everywhere else. Mobility? Check. He's downright Wilson-esque. Football IQ? Check. Way ahead of his peers. Leadership? Absolutely. Ability to make all the NFL throws? No problem. The "It Factor"? Spectacularly. Anyone who saw the 2016 Shrine game witnessed the typical not-quite-in-sync fumbling around of an all star game, interrupted by sudden machine-like efficiency when Adams took the field, and then returning to ineptness when he left. It was startling that one player could make so big a difference. Ability to simply win? Oregon did a lot of that under his leadership.

Thus it comes down to whether you believe that a certain minimum of height, weight and hand size are needed to succeed in the NFL. If so, then Vernon Adams should be completely off your Board. If not, he's a mid-round pick. The Steelers will be looking for boom or bust upside in anyone they pick. Adams' offers a strange version of both, but both are definitely there. The NFL.com scouting profile falls in the "just too small for the NFL" camp. Matt Waldman's article and 45-minute video scouting report provide the upside view with about as much artistry and clarity as possible. This scouting profile from our sister site for the 49ers capably presents both sides of the debate, concluding that Adams' ceiling may be "potentially great backup quarterback -- not rugged enough to risk for 16 games a year, but plenty smart and focused enough to be ready to come in on short notice, and talented enough to win a tough playoff game against a strong opponent." Ding ding! That's pretty much where I would end up after hearing all sides of the argument. This goes to a 5-minute video scouting report (skip the initial 1 minute of commercials) that's pretty thorough and concludes with a 3rd Round grade, though it doesn't address the durability question. This January article updates his draft stock after the amazing Shrine game performance. This article on how he "opened eyes" at the Shrine game does the same. This goes to a Sports Illustrated article on the eve of the Combine. Here is an article from SteelersWire on Adams meeting with Pittsburgh at the Combine.

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, and another almost-as-long and very positive scouting report from a contributor to Matt Waldman's site. 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

Jay Lee, WR, Baylor [Meeting at Pro Day] - 6'1-5/8", 214 lbs. with solid 4.50 speed, 32-7/8" arms and 9-5/8" hands. We made much ado when the Steelers showed up at the Baylor pro day with the entire front office to see Andrew Billings. Todd Haley was there too, but probably not to look at Billings. Nor to look at 1st-Round receiver prospect Corey Coleman. No, Haley was most likely there to look at the guy who's been living in Coleman's shadow: a height/weight/speed specimen named Jay Lee who stood out at the Senior Bowl practices for his "tight, sudden cuts and sure hands on a choppy field with a wet football". Rob Rang at CBS has also drawn a tentative line between Jay Lee and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL.com scouting profile lists two real weaknesses: the inevitable lack of a route tree since he comes from a spread offense, and an "unorthodox hand position" for snatching balls, that can sometimes lead to drops (but can be cured with proper coaching). He's also known as an excellent run blocker. For a personal look, see this Draft Diary post written by Lee himself back in February. This goes to a nice interview/article at the Baylor pro day. This is an article from Dallas (the Cowboys site), where Lee grew up.

5:16

Kolby Listenbee, WR, TCU - 6'0", 187 lbs. with blazing 4.3 speed and small 8-1/4" hands. If the Steelers are ready to write off Martavis Bryant they may turn to another player who is raw enough to fall in the draft but has home-run hitter speed. That is a good description of Kolby Listenbee. He only ran something like four routes at TCU so he will need to learn just about everything when it comes to being a professional receiver. But there aren't a lot of human beings who can run those four routes - and the others he will learn - with the sort of speed that Listenbee can. Plus he has shown excellent hands even if they are doll sized. The biggest drawback is that he's really skinny and will need a year of work in the weight room to avoid getting split in half by the likes of Mike Mitchell. Here are the CBS scouting profile and the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Eagles. This profile comes from a Milwaukee newspaper after Listenbee's team meeting with the Packers. If you scroll down in this epic-length Dave-Te Thomas article on 2016 WR prospects, you'll find a really good "Catch A Rising Star" profile on Listenbee (along with documentation that he's run the 40 in 4.29 seconds during other testing).

5:16

Jalin Marshall, KR/RB/WR, Ohio State - 5'10-1/2", 200 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, especially when the long speed is less than spectacular (ran 4.60), 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. This Bleacher Report profile of return specialists puts Marshall as the #3 guy, and notes that it's pretty extraordinary to stand out athletically on the Ohio State roster.

5:16

Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia - 5'11-5/8", 198 lbs. with solid 4.45 speed, big 10-1/2" hands, and 32-5/8" arms. A solid receiver in every department. He may lack the physical genius in any one area to stand out from the crowd, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone with better odds of building a long career as no worse than a #2 or #3 receiver. He's known to be a high-character kid with tremendous hands and a willingness to go over the middle too. The biggest knock is a series of knee injuries as an underclassmen (medical clearance will be essential) and a very limited college system that tends to hide the receivers from sight. Here are the NFL.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile. This Patriots-oriented scouting profile may be an even better place to start because it captures the essential point - Mitchell is going to be a very fine pro even if it is hard to project him as a great one. This goes to a 4-minute video interview on what Mitchell is doing to prepare for the pro game.

5:16

Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati - 6'1", 206 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms, 9-3/8" hands, top-of class tests for the broad jump (10'10") and 3-cone drills (6.76 seconds, second only to Braxton Miller), and scores near the top of the class in all the other agility and explosiveness drills. In other words, Moore is another SPARQ-score wonder who might seriously interest the Steelers as a late round project. But here's the kicker: all of the weaknesses listed in the NFL.com scouting profile go to a lack of agility, explosiveness, and change of direction skills. In other words, the testing results were 100% and 180 degrees opposite from what Zierlein saw on film. Something strange is going on... The thing is, if Moore really does have the ability to win contested catches, block, go over the middle, and do the other things that Zierlein praised, and has the physical talent to improve on all the things that Zierlein criticized, you could be looking at a genuine Day 3 steal. The CBS scouting profile was more worried about Moore's lack of bulk, which he solved by coming in at 206 lbs. instead of his reported playing weight of 190. Another box checked. This epic length scouting profile from Dave-Te Thomas is focused entirely on Chris Moore, and could not be more positive. Thomas, a long-time if somewhat renegade professional scout, sees Moore as a Day 2 pick if I understand him correctly. This scouting profile from EaglesWire emphasizes that Moore is an accomplished deep threat.

5:16

Demarcus Ayers, KR/WR, Houston - 5'9-3/8", 182 lbs. Keep an eye on this one. He is another player who is really a multipurpose offensive weapon of the sort that Todd Haley loves to play with. The fact that he ran a shockingly slow 40 time at the Combine (4.72) might even make it possible. He's also noted for having really good hands as a receiver, and although he is still very raw, has the potential to easily grow into a legitimate option for the slot after the Markus Wheaton's rookie contract expires and he leaves for greener pastures. Like the NFL.com scouting profile and most other reviewers, the author of this scouting profile sees a huge amount of potential in Ayers but believes he should have gone back for his senior year. That might have been best for the player, but it also makes for a reasonable chance that he could fall to the Steelers in Round 7. Ayers is one of the players listed in both this Bears-oriented review of the 2015 CFB punt returners, and this set of Bleacher Report profiles on the top returners. This news snippet may give a little insight into Ayers' personality. This is a brief, pre-Combine article on Ayers being a return ace who offers "hidden value".

5:16

Aaron Green, KR/RB, TCU - 5'10-3/4", 203 lbs. with small 8-3/8" hands. A moderate-sized, waterbug offensive weapon and punt returner with great cuts and elusiveness in the open field. This goes to a scouting profile from our sister site for the Jets, which notes a tendency to go down at first contact when playing at RB. After the experience with Dri Archer you'd think that this is something the team will spend extra time on. This goes to an audio interview after the Senior Bowl, where Green had a nice week of practice and a nice TD run in the game.

6:01

Adam Gotsis, DL, Georgia Tech - 6'4-1/2", 287 lbs. with long 34-1/8" arms and big 10-3/4" hands. An October ACL tear combined with some tweener characteristics to knock Gotsis to a lower spot on this Board than he would have for some other team. He projects as a tough, 2-gapping run stuffer who can play any position that needs someone like that except NT. The lack of any pass rush ability really hurts him, as does being two inches short of "ideal" 5-tech measurements (though if he comes in with 35" arms that would not be a problem). This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile, and this goes to a particularly fine CBS scouting profile. This "under the radar" player profile emphasizes that Gotsis has really good chase-down speed in addition to the toughness you expect from a defensive lineman. He really will be a good player on run downs. This goes to a scouting profile/remembrance from the Georgia Tech SB Nation site.

6:01

James Cowser, EDGE, Southern Utah - 6'3-1/8", 250 lbs. with 32-7/8" arms and 10-1/4" hands. A highly productive and record-setting edge rusher in the FCS who made his bones on nonstop effort and what the NFL.com scouting profile calls a "funky" movement style and some well developed counter moves, including a particularly effective spin. He's a few years older than the Steelers like them, which lowers his grade a few notches, and he sounds like he'd provide a kind of odd mashup between Jarvis Jones and Anthony Chickillo without adding something new to the mix that those guys do not. This goes to a local news article from when he won FCS player of the year. This article/profile from a Jaguars site followed Cowser's very strong showing at the Shrine game (DraftWire chimed in with an "Honorable Mention" for its mythical defensive MVP game honors). This Saints-oriented article on draft sleepers has a snippet on Cowser, who is described as "extremely smart," "relentless," and worthy of a pick in Round 4. This scouting profile from retired NFL executive Greg Gabriel (Correa, Cowser and Simmons) suggests a solid and reliable contributor who may have limited upside due to some athletic limitations.

6:01

Jatavis Brown, ILB, Akron - 5'11", 217 lbs. A college linebacker who is well and truly stuck in that hybrid LB/S sub package role. As a linebacker he is severely undersized and lacks the frame to add the bulk he'd need to survive, while also lacking the coverage ability he'd need to succeed as a Safety (despite a blazing 4.47 dash at the regional combine). Thus by all reports there is little to no chance he could develop into a full time player. Viewed as a sub package hybrid and special teams demon, however... That's a whole other story. Reports such as the NFL.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile emphasize that he has a tremendous football IQ and more than enough explosiveness to excel in those roles. Yes, he is overaggressive; yes, he bites on fakes and can be played for a sucker by skillful QB's; yes, his tackling needs a lot of work; but those are all fixable problems. The only serious red flag is an unverified accusation of sexual assault that let to a 2-game suspension but no formal charges. That's something for the scouts, but is no more than smoke so far as we are concerned. The bottom line? Jatavis Brown will not be a replacement for Sean Spence but he just might be a good replacement for Terence Garvin. Here is a really good 2-game scouting report with links to many gifs if you want more depth.

6:01

B.J. Goodson, ILB, Clemson - 6'1", 242 lbs. with 33-1/4" arms and 10" hands. A very solid Buck ILB prospect who won't interest the Steelers unless they are looking to replace Vince Williams. Just like Williams, Goodson brings a lot of thump and attitude balanced by some deceptively good athletic skills. Here is the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to a thorough, gif-supported scouting report from DraftWire that concludes with an ideal summary: "His lack of explosiveness and elite range probably drop him into the early portion of the draft's third day. but some team will get one heck of a football player in the fourth round if that is indeed the case."

6:01

Nick Kwiatkoski (quit-KOW-ski), ILB, West Virginia - 6'1", 241 lbs. with 31-3/8" arms. The descriptions remind you a lot of Vince Williams: a tough, hard-driving, spark-plug tackling machine who lacks only that little bit of athletic magic that turns NFL-caliber football players into NFL starters. He's a poor fit for the Steelers because Williams is already here, but I really do believe that Kwiatkoski has a future in the league. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to a brief BTSC Fanpost that suggests he could expand to an Arthur Moats role in addition to being Vince Williams. Here is a nice article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This local news article describes his Senior Bowl practices as "eye catching."

6:01

Elandon Roberts, ILB, Houston [Meeting at Pro Day] - 5'11-3/8", 234 lbs. A Buck ILP prospect in the Vince Williams mold; i.e., the words "football player" are inscribed in every molecule of his bone marrow. He may lack the athletic genius to be a true great but he's got everything else. The Steelers, who were in full force at the Houston pro day to see WJ-III, also saw this ILB's superb workout (at point 2 of the article) and decided to interview Roberts as well. So who is he? The NFL.com scouting profile calls Elandon Roberts "a coach's dream [and] a tremendous leader on the field and off... with heart for days" before warning that he "struggles badly with change of direction,... lacks athletic talent to cover in space, [and has] poor ball skills." This article from the Houston Chronicle gives you the local-coverage viewpoint, which is uniformly good. This Bleacher Report scouting profile/article describes him as "a tackling machine" and then goes on to compare his game, leadership, and football IQ to Steeler nemesis Ray Lewis - except of course for the pure athletic talent. The phrasing is so pretty it's worth quoting in full:

It may not match up on the scale or the measuring tape, but if you were able to peer into the heart that makes Houston linebacker Elandon Roberts tick, you might find it draped in a black-and-purple jersey with a "52" on either side.

This scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins makes the comparison to Denzel Perryman, but basically agrees with the verdict: all-pro heart, all-pro mind, but fringe athletic talent. This scouting profile holds out more hope on pass coverage than most, but by now you get the point. This article has a snippet on how Elandon Roberts was key to Houston's bowl game victory over Florida State. This goes to a draft-nerd commentary thread on Roberts (stone courtesy of the yard in my clear glass house). Roberts certainly has no lack of vocal confidence in himself.

6:01

Prince Charles Iworah, CB, Western Kentucky - 5'11", 193 lbs. One of the players featured in our own igloojoe's Fanpost on draft sleepers, Iworah is on everyone's watch list because of his 4.3-something speed. He also stood out at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, as listed both here (Article #1) and here (Article #2).

6:01

Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M - 5'11-3/8", 197 lbs. with 32-1/2" arms and small 8-5/8" hands. Had an odd day at the Combine with a spectacular 4.37 dash paired to a downright poor 30" vertical jump. Go figure. He also has a fine backpedal, the ability to break out of that backpedal, and pretty good skills as a tackler and special teams demon. However, according to the NFL.com scouting profile that's pretty much all he has going for him. 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

Joe Dahl, G/T, Washington St. - 6'3-7/8", 304 lbs. with 33-1/8" 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, work ethic, and a very natural athleticism. 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. I haven't looked at any film and won't, but the descriptions remind me a lot of Cody Wallace with a little bit higher ceiling. 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.

6:01

Jake McGee, TE, Florida - 6'5-3/8", 252 lbs. with 32-3/8" arms and 9-5/8" hands. Jake McGee has very good speed and stellar hands. The rest of his game is a work in progress. Mike Mayock's comment during the Combine coverage: McGee quietly does everything at an okay level. 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.

6:01

Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia - 5'11-3/8", 219 lbs. with startling 4.30 speed. Made it onto the radar screen after killing the Combine with by far the best 40 time, and a best-in-show ribbon for the bench press too. He was off the radar screen because of a nasty ACL that cost him all but five games in 2013 and all of 2014, with apparent holdover effects in 2015 too. The NFL.com scouting profile nails it on the head with this conclusion: "Marshall could become a lottery ticket for a zone scheme team willing to take a chance that his speed and confidence return with a fresh start in a new location. His ceiling is much higher than many of the Day 3 running backs who could be drafted ahead of him." Here is a long Bleacher Report profile written after Marshall blazed through the Combine. This Baltimore Beatdown article is similar, but shorter. If you've got 15 seconds to spare listen to this (no more spoilers). This includes a Bleacher Report profile on Marshall as a player who helped his stock with a strong Combine.

6:16

Darius Latham, DL, Indiana - 6'2-1/2", 291 lbs. with 34-3/4" arms and 10" hands. 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. NOTE: Latham managed to get himself two brief suspensions in 2015 for alleged violations of the "ethics code", so there may be off-field issues to address as well.

6:16

David Onyemata, DL, Manitoba [Meeting at Pro Day] - 6'3-1/4", 304 lbs. with 33-1/2" arms and big 10-3/8" hands. His standout performance at the Shrine Game practices led to this summary: "Manitoba defensive lineman Ebuka Onyemata is one of the most raw players at the Shrine Game. That being said, teams are falling in love with him after a solid week of practices." Onyemata is known in Canadian college circles as a potential #1 CFL draft pick. This goes to a video interview after Onyemata won a major college award. This fun little article on sleepers from a Jacksonville perspective has Onyemata with a late 5th-round grade. Here is a 5-minute video on Onyemata from a local news source.

6:16

Matt Judon, EDGE, Grand Valley St. - 6'3", 278 lbs. with long 33-7/8" arms. As described by the NFL.com scouting profile, Judon is a "Small-school wonder with monster production over the last two seasons despite an admitted stretch of ‘timidness' after returning from an ACL tear that robbed him off his 2013 season." Boom or bust baby! He achieved best-in-show results at the Combine for his 40 time, the bench press, and his vertical jump. SPARQ scores galore! This goes to a "draft diamonds" interview. Here is an interesting news article from January, written by a local paper. This is a decent but extremely terse scouting profile. And don't miss this fun article on Judon's interview with the Lions.

6:16

DeAndre Elliott, CB, Colorado State [Meeting at Pro Day] - 6'1", 188 lbs. with 32" arms and 9-5/8" hands. Another potential late round sleeper, except this one met with the Steelers after setting some exceptional marks at the Combine, including a 41" vertical, 10'5" broad jump, amazing shuttle times, and an unofficial dash in the mid-4.4's. What you've got here ladies and gents, is a SPARQ-score superstar. The NFL.com scouting profile makes a lot of hay about his supposed lack of recovery speed, but that doesn't square at all with the test results. It makes you think there's some fundamental technique issues that Pittsburgh's coaches think they can fix... Here is a brief SteelersWire article about the pro day meeting with Pittsburgh.

6:16

D.J. Foster, KR/RB/WR, Arizona State - 5'10-1/4", 193 lbs. First he excelled as a scatback. Then he became a somewhat less successful slot receiver. Then... Let's make it simple. He's another of those kids who's an all-purpose offensive weapon looking for a coordinator that needs a toy. And Pittsburgh has a coordinator who likes this kind of toy. He's clearly as quick as hell, having achieved best-of-class scores in all three of the Combine agility drills (3-cone, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle). The big question is whether he can handle punt return duties. Foster says he can play special teams but ASU never used him that way so far as I can tell. His local Arizona Cardinals are thinking the same way - their special teams coordinator was at the team meeting with Foster. Here is a decent scouting profile to get you started. He did not have a great Senior Bowl. This goes to a short article and video interview at the Combine, which mentions the word "versatility" a lot but does not talk about return skills. Here is a slightly longer post-Combine article. This goes to a similar but slightly longer article from right before the Combine.

6:16

Jamal Golden, KR/S, Georgia Tech - 5'10-7/8", 193 lbs. with really short 29-1/4" arms. A top notch kick and punt returner who doubles as an undersized Free Safety. He has nice but not great speed and good click-and-close reflexes, but apparently has trouble when asked to cover bigger targets such as TE's and oversized WR's. Start your research with this farewell scouting profile from our sister site for Georgia Tech football. This goes to the CBS scouting profile, which is admittedly brief. This Shrine game preview article from our sister site for the Eagles describes Golden as "cerebral," "experienced," "dependable," and "physical" but not "the biggest or most athletic." Sounds like a completely different guy... FWIW, Golden had two tackles in the Shrine game but didn't stand out beyond that, either good or bad. He is considered one of the major Scouting Combine snubs, so watch for his pro day.

6:16

Derek Keaton, KR/WR, Georgia Southern - 5'10", 180 lbs. This is a player I'd love to know more about as a potential 7th-Round steal. This is either the most revealing or confusing statistic you'll ever see (I'm not sure which): Keaton averaged a tremendous 15.3 yards per punt return but did not return one for a TD in his entire college career. Go figure. Keaton is one of the players listed in this Bears-oriented review of the 2015 CFB punt returners.

6:45

STEELERS PICK AT 6:45 (COMPENSATORY PICK)

7:01

Joel Heath, DL, Michigan St. - 6'5-1/4", 293 lbs. with long 34-1/2" arms and big 10-1/2" hands. Has the length to play at the 5-tech and is supposed to be an excellent guy in the locker room, but lacks the football athleticism the Steelers look for in this position despite a pretty amazing SPARQ score even better than DeForest Buckner's. A long shot at best because he doesn't look as promising as LT Walton, who is already on the roster. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This summary scouting profile is a bit more complimentary, but not much. This goes to a nice article from the Detroit Free Press (the local paper for Michigan State). This goes to a similar article from a Cincinnati news outlet, where he grew up. Sounds like a solid young man.

7:01

Branden Jackson, DL, Texas Tech - 6'3-7/8", 273 lbs. with long 33-3/8" arms and 10-1/4" hands. A developmental tweener who's got the athleticism to play OLB and almost has the size to kick down to DE. If he has "it" he could turn into a really interesting chess piece for a creative coordinator like Keith Butler. Jackson is a local product (from McKeesport) so don't be surprised if the Steelers find a way to meet with him or grab him as a UDFA. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to a football-related interview.

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

Elijah Shumate, SS, Notre Dame - 5'11-3/4", 216 lbs. with 31-1/8" arms and 9-3/4" hands. A big hitting, decent tackling in-the-box Safety with good straight line speed but a real weakness moving side to side. Plays well on special teams. His liabilities in coverage and questionable instincts/football IQ limit his upside. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. This goes to a "draft diary" that Shumate is writing for the Notre Dame campus newspaper. Good to see an athlete with the ability and willingness to share like that. This goes to a brief Shrine game article with little substance.

7:01

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. A significant Combine snub.

7:01

Ryan Smith, CB/KR, North Carolina Central - 5'10", 189 lbs. with 30-1/2" arms and 8-7/8" hands. Another potential late round sleeper. First, Smith is an able kick returner (no record of handling punts). Second, the NFL.com scouting profile describes someone with decent technical skills, footwork, and football IQ, albeit at a smaller school and with some limitations on his closing burst and overall level of strength. But what struck me is an odd stat they quoted: though he was called an ‘ankle biter' elsewhere, "Smith also accomplished something you don't hear very often; he set the team career record for solo tackles with 168 as a cornerback." You could do worse for a late round flier.

7:01

Caleb Benenoch, T/G, UCLA - 6'5-1/2", 311 lbs. with 34-1/8" arms. The Combine's top performer for OL's in both the 40 and the 10-yard split, but well below average in the 3-cone drill. Did not participate in the bench. Why all the numbers? Because they fit the scouting report. Benenoch is known as an athletic but underpowered prospect who will require a full year of professional work in the weight room before his true potential can be judged. At that point... there might be something there that could make a team happy. Perhaps. He has played and been moderately good in college at both Guard and Tackle, which is a bonus. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile, and this to the CBS scouting profile, both of which agree with that summary.

7:01

Stephane (steff-ON) Nembot (NAME-bot), T/G, Colorado - 6'6-3/4", 322 lbs. with apelike 34-5/8" arms and big 10-3/4" hands. A boom-or-bust football prospect who is a fascinating young man with the ability to speak three separate languages and eleven African dialects. Despite those long arms he put up 32 reps on the Combine bench press, which is seriously impressive. According to the NFL.com scouting profile he has real deficiencies using that strength in practice because he plays with poor and top-heavy balance. A big man who gets put on skates far too often, and ends up on the ground from trying to keep up with swifter opponents. But a lot of that may be fixable with good coaching, and if that happened he has the size and length to be special. This goes to a particularly good CBS scouting profile. This goes to a really nice article on the Denver Broncos site. This goes to an interesting 3-minute interview with this very interesting young man.

7:01

Dominique Robertson, T/G, West Georgia - 6'4-1/2", 324 lbs. with apelike 36" arms and big 10-3/8" hands. Made it onto this Board because of a remarkable feat at the Combine. Nobody with 36" arms should be able to bench press 225 lbs. a full 30 times. That's amazing! According to the coverage he is a classic boom-or-bust prospect who possesses enormous athletic talent in addition to ideal size, length, and strength. He is just as perfectly raw when it comes to his technique, however, which means you are looking at a year on the practice squad as your best case scenario. Here is the NFL.com scouting profile, which indicates that he managed to dominate his lesser competition by simply being bigger and stronger. This includes a Bleacher Report profile on Robertson as a player who helped his stock with a strong Combine.

7:01

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.

7:01

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 proper DraftWire scouting report was published a month or so later, and ends in a 6th Round grade and a conclusion that he really will have a solid if journeyman's career at the NFL level. This goes to a fun ESPN article on his family background.

7:01

Beau Sandland, TE, Montana State - 6'4-1/2", 253 lbs. with 34-1/4" arms and big 10-1/8" hands. Sandland is a well traveled kid. As outlined in the summary in this Packers-oriented article, Sandland went to High School in California and then took the Junior College route. After a year or two he was rated as the #1 JUCO Tight End in the country and finally accepted a scholarship at Miami. He went largely unused and therefore chose to transfer to Montana State. There is similar information if you search through this Dave-Te Thomas article on 2016 TE's. Here is the NFL.com scouting profile. Note that Sandland blew up the Combine as thoroughly as any Tight End, with best-of-show level figures for the bench press, vertical jump, and broad jump. The skill set can be described as capable in both blocking and receiving, but not particularly notable at either.

7:01

Bryce Williams, TE, East Carolina - 6'5-3/4", 257 lbs. with 33-5/8" arms and 9-5/8" hands. 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.

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

Keenan Reynolds, RB, Navy - 5'9-1/2", 191 lbs. with 8-3'8" hands. You've probably heard about Keenan Reynolds, an option QB for the naval academy who became the all-time leading TD-scorer in FBS (f/k/a Division 1-A) college football history. This article from our sister site for the Vikings has two-paragraph profiles on half a dozen RB's, including Reynolds. The NFL.com scouting report is a case study for serious football questions couched inside of true admiration for the young man himself. Reynolds scores off the charts for all the intangibles: "heart for days," "elite intelligence," "locker room leader," "more than tough enough for the NFL game," etc. From the physical standpoint, however, there are a lot of flaws. Reynolds is described as very "slippery," but he's far from big, not particular strong or physical compared to NFL athletes, and he's been known to have fumbling problems - which may be unavoidable because he has really tiny hands. Note that he never returned punts or kicks for Navy, but his skill set would support that. It's something teams will look at carefully. Here is a scouting profile from our sister site for the Giants.

7:01

Ed Eagan, KR/WR, Northwestern State - 5'10", 185 lbs. Eagan got a shout-out in this set of Bleacher Report profiles on top return specialists, with a note that he performed very well against better competition at the Senior Bowl and could mature into a nice utility receiver too. Eagan is mentioned as a potential Steelers target in this article. This goes to an interview where Eagan says he models his game on Devin Hester. This article discusses Eagan's performance at the Senior Bowl.

7:08

STEELERS PICK AT 7:08

7:16

Dean Lowry, DL, Northwestern - 6'5-3/4", 296 lbs. with very short 31" arms and small 9-3/8" hands. Ouch! Those T-rex arms really hurt his stock because it's hard to imagine him as a 5-tech now despite the height, and that is where most pundits such as the NFL.com scouting profile said he was destined to go. Mike Mayock's comment during the Combine coverage was "a 2-down run stuffer," partly because of that physical limitation. He still gets props for being a high-effort guy and a good teammate. Other concerns include 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. This article lists Lowry as one of the DL Combine "winners" based on numbers comparable to Robert Nkemdiche.

7:16

Destiny Vaeao, DL, Washington St. - 6'4", 295 lbs. One of the players featured in our own igloojoe's Fanpost on draft sleepers, Vaeao has the power and athleticism to be an NFL player but they are buried beneath enough poor technique to make him a boom or bust prospect similar to last year's LT Walton. If Walton doesn't have it, Vaeao could be another late round shot. There is a small but useful snippet on Vaeao in this article (do a search). This goes to a very nice human interest profile from a local paper. Here is the CBS scouting profile, which describes a prime UDFA prospect. Vaeao's stock went up considerably after a tremendous performance at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which is described in this gif-supported scouting profile/article based on that game.

7:16

Vincent Valentine, DL, Nebraska - 6'3-5/8", 324 lbs. with 33-1/8" arms and small 9-5/8" hands. Looks the part of a true NT but often plays smaller than his size. Also has a reputation for carrying ‘bad weight' and falling short in the conditioning department, which may have led indirectly to a history of nagging injuries. A year of dedicated work in the weight room could make him a steal, however. The uncoachable size native talent are there if someone can unleash it. Here are the NFL.com scouting report and an older CBS scouting profile. This goes to an article on why Valentine should have returned to school for a final year, and this goes to a similar article. This article lists Valentine as one of the DL Combine "losers".

7:16

Connor Wujiack, DL, Boston College - 6'3-1/4", 311 lbs. with long 33-1/4" arms and 10" hands. A young man Mike Mayock (a fellow B.C. grad) praised loudly as "a heck of a good football player," but who will be fighting to create a journeyman career because of physical limitations. He's not quite big enough to be a 0-tech Nose Tackle, nor explosive enough to be a gap-shooting 1-tech, nor long enough to play the two-gap positions. In the NFL he will tend to be physically overmatched wherever he plays. OTOH, he has enough grit to consistently win when facing anyone who's a physical peer, so who knows? Here are the NFL.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile.

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.

7:16

Ken Crawley, CB, Colorado - 6'0-3/8", 187 lbs. with 30-1/8" arms and 9" hands. Highly inconsistent on tape with a hideous number of interference penalties and touchdowns allowed. But the native athletic talent is definitely there... A late round developmental project. Here are the nfl.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile, which are entirely consistent.

7:16

Darrell Green, G, San Diego St. - 6'3-7/8", 321 lbs. with T-rex arms (31-5/8"). Described by the NFL.com scouting profile as a "stocky, prototypical right guard with the power to unclog running lanes and help a rushing attack looking to dominate with the physical over the finesse. Greene lacks the length NFL teams usually look for but his tremendous power could be an off­set." Downgraded a little bit here because the Steelers usually prefer versatility in their OL's.

7:16

Cole Toner, T, Harvard - 6'5-1/4", 306 lbs. with 33-1/8" arms and 9-3/4" hands. He's got the build, but there are real questions about whether he has the athleticism to hold up at the NFL level. The Ivy League isn't exactly known for its strength of competition either. Struggled at the Senior Bowl. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile. The CBS scouting profile describes him as a surprisingly "finesse" player for someone that big going against that level of competition. This is a fun Sports Illustrated article on the problem of being an elite athlete coming out of Harvard - there were actually two Harvard prospects at the Combine this year, Toner and TE Ben Braunecker. Here is a more in-depth, football related article. This goes to an interview. This is a small profile in a Bleacher Report article on small-school sleepers. This goes to a really good article from his hometown newspaper in Indiana, with all sorts of interesting details.

7:16

Halapoulivaati (hal-lah-poo-li-VAH-tee) Vaitai (VIE-tie), G/T, TCU - 6'6", 320 lbs. with 34-1/4" arms and big 10-5/8" hands. Another young man who's got the build but may not have the strength and athleticism to step up to the NFL level (though he did put up a best-in-show long jump at the Combine). The team that gets him will be planning on his spending a year in the weight room. After that he might live up to the bright moments that he occasionally flashed, including a really good game against top-5 prospect DeForest Buckner. This goes to the NFL.com scouting profile, which emphasizes that his good technique was weighed down by poor strength and foot speed. The CBS scouting profile is a bit more positive, suggesting that the weight room can cure strength issues and a move inside to Guard could cover the foot speed problems. This rose-colored article with paragraph-profiles on all TCU prospects gives Vaitai a highly optimistic 4th-Round grade. This goes to a brief article with a 13-minute Combine interview.

7:16

J.P. Holtz, TE, Pitt - 6'4", 250 lbs. One of the players featured in our own igloojoe's Fanpost on draft sleepers, Holtz is a well rounded TE who takes particular pride in his blocking skills but is known to be an excellent all-around athlete. I will have to keep an eye on this one since he played his High School football about half a mile from my house. This goes to a brief article from when Holtz was nominated for the Mackey award. This is a local newspaper article on Holtz as a leader and team captain.

7:16

Ryan Malleck, TE, Virginia Tech [Meeting at Pro Day] - 6'4-1/2", 247 lbs. with 32-1/2" arms and 9-3/8" hands. A solid, smart, all-around Tight End who is damned with the "not explosive enough" label... Or was until the Combine, where he was near the top for TE's in both the vertical jump and the broad jump, and at his pro day where he put up a very respectable 4.78 time in the 40. Guess he has some explosiveness after all! Or at least enough to earn a team meeting. These go to the NFL.com scouting profile and the CBS scouting profile. This apparently adequate scouting profile from a Vikings POV describes Malleck as a good blocker but a barely adequate receiver. Interestingly, both this profile and the one from CBS mention difficulty adjusting to balls in the air. This scouting profile more or less agrees, seeing Malleck as a solid 7th Round pick with the potential to make himself a career. A search in this Dave-Te Thomas article on TE's will provide some extra details on Malleck if you're interested. Note that Malleck's receiving skills may have been hidden this year because he was buried on the receiving chart beneath fellow TE Bucky Hodges, who may be the top TE in the entire 2017 draft class.

7:16

Tre Madden, RB, USC - 6'0", 236 lbs. As discussed in the NFL.com scouting report, Madden has a decent amount of potential supported by very little film because his college career has been one series of bad injuries after another. The most important test for him will be the medicals. If those come through clean, he has some potential as a short yardage back. This article from our sister site for the Vikings has two-paragraph profiles on half a dozen RB's, including Madden. This goes to a more solid scouting profile on a Vikings-oriented site, which considers Madden a decent "sleeper" for late on Day 3.

7:16

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. Here is a DraftWire scouting profile.

7:16

Johnny Holton, KR/WR, Cincinnati - 6'0-1/2", 190 lbs. A speedster with excellent credentials as a kick returner, but nothing on record for punts. Here is the NFL.com scouting profile.

7:16

Carlos Wiggins, KR/WR, New Mexico - 5'8", 166 lbs. Another Dri Archer clone: super fast and super small. Wiggins is one of the players listed in this Bears-oriented review of the 2015 CFB punt returners.

7:16

Wendall Williams, KR/WR, Cumberlands - 5'10", 185 lbs. The speedster who broke Chris Johnson's record in the 40-yard dash by running a 4.19. This DraftWire article covers the essentials, including a note that Williams is a multipurpose offensive weapon with excellent kick return skills. This goes to a really good human interest newspaper article on Williams from back in 2014.

7:25

STEELERS PICK AT 7:25

8:01

Derrick Alexander, EDGE, Tulsa [Meeting at Pro Day] - 6'2", 270 lbs. The Steelers are looking at a number of "elephant" types, including this little-known player from Tulsa. This article says that Alexander has bulked up toward 300 lbs. and hopes to move inside for the NFL. Don't know how he'd fit with Pittsburgh if that is the case.

8:01

Nick VanHoose, CB, Northwestern - 5'10", 190 lbs. When you find a late round sleeper it's always fun to include him as an option for people to play with. Nick VanHoose wins that honor by virtue of this adoring scouting profile from our sister site for the Redskins. Here is the CBS scouting profile, which isn't unkind either. It really does sound like VanHoose could be worth a deeper look - his limited athletic talents combined with excellent attention to technique reminds a little of a Corner from William & Mary way back in the day before said CB got into coaching. Finally, if you want to know more this goes to an utterly frivolous interview from ESPN that's good for nothing more than a smile or three.

8:01

DeAndre Reeves, KR/WR, Marshall - 5'10", 180 lbs. Per the CBS scouting profile he is pretty much a pure return specialist - but a pretty good one. Reeves is one of the players listed in this Bears-oriented review of the 2015 CFB punt returners. This goes to a few notes from draft-obsessed fans like us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lavon Hooks, DE - 6'4", 302 lbs.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eli Rogers, WR/KR - 5'10", 187 lbs. A 2015 UDFA who looked great in camp but got injured in August. Earned a recent shout-out from Kevin Colbert, as noted in this BTSC article.

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

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.

Maliek Collins, DL, Nebraska - 6'1-1/4", 300 lbs. with shorter arms. A pure 3-technique defensive tackle on a 4-3 defense with fringe-1st talent. A heck of a good player but not a system fit.

Sheldon Day, DL, Notre Dame - 6'0-1/2", 293 lbs. with 32-5/8" arms and 9-5/8" hands. 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. Not a system fit.

Ronald Blair, DL, Appalachian State - 6'2", 272 lbs. A run stuffing 4-3 DE, or possibly a 3-technique DT. Not a system fit.

Willie Henry, DL, Michigan - 6'3", 311 lbs. with 33-3/8" arms and very big 10-7/8" hands. A pure 3-technique defensive tackle on a 4-3 defense. Not a system fit. The NFL.com scouting profile suggests that he might have enough versatility to move back onto the Board. Here is a really good, gif-supported DraftWire scouting report.

Quinton Jefferson, DL, Maryland - 6'4", 289 lbs. with 33" arms. A Pennsylvania kid and, per the NFL.com scouting profile, a pure 4-3 gap shooter who doesn't fit the Steeler system even though he's a good one.

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

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. DraftWire scouting profile. Scouting report from our sister site for the Jets. Gif-supported scouting report.

Jaylon Smith, ILB, Notre Dame - 6'3", 229 lbs. A clear top 5 talent who tore his knee all to hell in the bowl game (both the ACL and the LCL). After a great deal of speculation, he was flunked by several teams after the Combine medical exams. That moves him, with great regret and sympathy, down to the Ain't Gonna Happen List.

Jack Allen, C, Michigan State - 6'1-1/4", 294 lbs. with 32-1/4" arms and 10-1/8" hands. A fine, tough as nails Center who isn't Guard-capable.

Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama - 6'4", 311 lbs. with 33-5/8" arms and 9-3/4" hands. The #1 Center in the class. If Pouncey can return then Kelly's price will be too high.

Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - 6'6", 312 lbs. with 33-5/8" arms and 10-5/8" hands. Going in the top 10-15, and might rise to the top 5.

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Notre Dame - 6'5", 310 lbs. with 34-1/4" arms and 10" hands. A tremendous prospect who will surprise people if he drops out of the top 5. Here is a nice Sports Illustrated profile. Here is the scouting report from retired NFL player Stephen White.

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas - 5'11", 218 lbs. A 2nd (or possible 3rd) Round talent. Ain't Gonna Happen.

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech - 5'10", 215 lbs. A 2nd (or possible 3rd) Round talent. Ain't Gonna Happen.

Ezekial Elliot, RB, Ohio State - 6'0", 225 lbs. A 1st Round talent. Ain't Gonna Happen.

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama - 6'2", 242 lbs. A 2nd Round talent. Ain't Gonna Happen.

Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana - 6'1", 225 lbs. A 2nd Round talent. Ain't Gonna Happen.

Braylon Addison, WR, Oregon - 5'10", 190 lbs. Just to get him for punt returns alone... Nah. Fuggedabowtit.

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

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

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

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

Pharoh Cooper, WR/KR, South Carolina - 5'11", 208 lbs. Also profiles as a return man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Braxton Miller, WR/KR, Ohio State - 6'2", 215 lbs. The former QB who looked brilliant at the Senior Bowl. He also profiles as a pretty good return specialist. But he will be long gone before the Steelers show interest in another WR.

Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma - 5'10", 195 lbs. Also a fine punt returner. "The Tyler Lockett of this year's draft class."

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

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss - 6'2", 229 lbs. Going in the top 10-15 or higher. Here is the scouting report from retired NFL player Stephen White.

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

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.