It’s that time of the year of again. The NFL Scouting Combine is upon us and it’s what I like to consider to be the halfway point of draft season. This is where unknown prospects to the public rise in major media rankings, along with some more notable players falling or rising as well.
Personally the scouting combine for me is the time to either confirm my film findings on a prospect or disprove it, meaning I have to go back and look at the film. The positions I believe the scouting combine helps the most there is the cornerbacks. This is where we get to see them pedal and run, showing off their hip fluidity and testing their change of direction in the 3 cone drill.
I’m also very interested to see how prospects weigh in at the combine, what their wingspan is, how big their hands are, etc. A lot of this information can be useful if applied to the right positions.
This is also the time where I like to see how the troubled off the field prospects end up interviewing and the buzz on them. Then the injury history prospects like Carl Lawson, this is a crucial time for them as combine medical checks can really kill a prospect’s stock. It will be interesting to see how the medical checks go for those prospects.
I’m particularly interested to see who the Steelers end up interviewing at the NFL combine and what positions. One position I have not not ruled out is Quarterback because Rooney did talk about the need to have a successor to Ben and in this class I know major media don’t consider it to be the best, it’s got one of my favorite QBs that I’ve watched the past 3 or so years.
I’m also interested to see if they interview some talented prospects that have some off field issues. Guys like Al-Quadin Muhammad who are projected to play on the edge but possess great talent that could help them.
Of course we’ve all seen who’s gotten mocked to the Steelers before the combine but it would not surprise me to either see them not get mocked to them any more due to either rising or falling stock. A lot of these mocks from major media sources will factor in the interviews as well.
This is also the time where we can get a better idea on who the Steelers will be looking at with their first round pick. I’m particularly interested in two guys that fit the Steelers mold of 3-4 OLBs, Haason Reddick and Tyus Bowser. Reddick is currently a first round rated prospect but is very much a tweener between an off ball LB role and EDGE role.
Tyus Bowser if you’ve payed attention to recent mocks, has been a guy who’s been rated around the third round to second round range but it would not shock me at all to start seeing his name pop up in the first round. The reason is that he’s quite athletic and it will show at the combine, he’s a real fluid athlete dropping into coverage and playing in space but is a bit raw in the pass rush department.
He’s also a guy with an above average arm length and size. He fits the recent mold of Steelers OLBs. They like the athletic, fluid guys who can drop into coverage, even if they are a bit raw. Not many are as raw as Dupree was coming out of college though, especially considering he had no LBs coach at Kentucky.
The point is, this is the time where we’ll be able to see who the Steelers show interest in and who fits their recent mold of players.
Now without that out of the way, I’m going to list some prospects at respective positions that I believe will have an all around great combine in just about ever facet. This means they killed all the important drills and interviewed well.
QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB: Dalvin Cook, Wayne Gallman, Marlon Mack and Christian McCaffrey
WR: Arderius Stewart, Kermit Whitfield, Noah Brown and Curtis Samuel
TE: David Njoku, OJ Howard, Adam Shaheen and George Kittle
OL: Garett Bolles and Ethan Cooper
DL: Jaleel Johnson, Caleb Brantley and Tanoh Kpassagnon
EDGE: Tyus Bowser, Malik McDowell, Solomon Thomas and Myles Garrett (duh)
LB: Haason Reddick, Tanner Vallejo, Duke Riley and Jayon Brown
CB: Marshon Lattimore, Kevin King, Sidney Jones, Ahkello Witherspoon, Jourdan Lewis and Howard Wilson.
S: Budda Baker, Jamal Adams, Obi Melifonwu, John Johnson