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Steelers NFL Draft Prospects: College Game Day and Open Thread

Time to check in on a rather dull week of college football to see who the Steelers may be targeting in the 2019 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to week 11 of the college football season. This weeks top 25 match ups, highlighted by Miss. St at Alabama.

No. 8 Ohio State at No. 24 Michigan State; noon FOX

No. 18 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama; 3:30 CBS

No. 2 Clemson at No. 17 Boston College; 8:00 ABC

There is also a game at Heinz Field on Saturday involving the ACC Coastal Division leading Pitt Panthers and the Hokies of Va. Tech. A win on Saturday doesn’t guarantee anything for Pitt but who, and be honest, thought the Panthers had any shot at ACC championship game this year. Many were calling for Narduzzi’s to be fired, but would a championship game save his job. Personally I love the guy and hope he gets a shot a Clemson.

Va Tech at Pittsburgh 3:30 ESPNU

This weeks highlight game:

No. 18 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama; 3:30 CBS

Alabama Crimson Tide

Ross Pierschbacher #71 C 6’4” 309

Lester Cotton #66 Lester Cotton G 6’4” 325

Jonah Williams #73 OL 6’5” 301

Irv Smith Jr. #82 TE 6’4” 241

Damien Harris #34 RB 5’11” 213

Terrell Lewis #24 LB 6’5” 256

Isaiah Buggs #49 DL 6’5” 286

Raekwon Davis #99 DL 6’7” 316

Anfernee Jennings #33 LB 6’3” 266

Mack Wilson #30 LB 6’2” 239

Deionte Thompson #14 S 6’2’ 196

Christian Miller OLB #47 6’4” 244

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Nick Fitzgerald QB #7 6’4” 230

Elgton Jenkins C #74 6’4” 313

Darryl Williams G #73 6’2” 310

Aeris Williams RB #26 6’1” 215

Jeffery Simmons DL #94 6’4” 300

Leo Lewis LB #10 6’1” 235

Johnathan Abram S #38 6’ 215

Jamal Peters CB #2 6’2” 218

Montez Sweat Edge #9 6’6” 245

Crimson Tide Breakdown

IDL Quinnen Williams

Williams came out of nowhere from before this season, but he has made everyone take notice. I am starting to think this guy is not just the biggest riser, but also the best player in the draft. His hands are the best I have seen since Aaron Donald, and he is just so strong. He toys with everyone he faces and goes straight into the backfield with ease. Anything move you think he would want, he has it. He has a swim, rip, cross chop, club and it is all just beautiful. He plays with great pad level, and due to that, his fantastic first step is just so overpowered.

His run defense is actually better, as he can just make about as many TFLs as you want to see, or his gap discipline is the best in the country, too. WIlliams is a complete prospect and is can’t miss star.

Round Grade: Top 3

NFL Comparison: Geno Atkins

TE Irv Smith

Here is a guy with an athletic background, and boy does it ever show. Smith can fly for a tight end and makes some incredible catches with his extensive catch radius. He is super smart and can catch any ball in traffic if you want him to. Those hands are strong and he so easily turns catches into huge plays just off of his speed. He is actually an underrated blocker, but just is not strong enough yet to be a great one.

His contested catch ability is somewhat lacking, which is concerning given his catch radius, and with less than ideal route running technique, Smith will need a good deal of time to refine his game. Add on top of that how raw of a blocker he is, and I expect Smith to be a day 2 type of project at TE.

Round Grade: Early 3rd

NFL Comparison: Chris Herndon

ILB Mack Wilson

The early ideal draft pick for the Steelers is Mack WIlson. This guy is a dude who can fly from sideline-to-sideline and not lose a step. His ability to work through traffic and evade blocks up front is some of the most impressive of his traits. No one is catching Wilson once he recognizes the play and comes flying downhill, as he is a rather sure-tackler too. His processing has been great, and man is he ever good in coverage. He can keep up with just about anyone on the field and have great coverage.

The one knock on him is over-pursuing, which seems to be common for all athletic ILBs for some reason. Wilson needs to keep his angles tight in order to counteract that.

Round Grade: Top 5

NFL Comparison: Deion Jones

Bulldog Breakdown

EDGE Montez Sweat

Sweat has shown some fantastic improvement this year. His pad level has dramatically improved and his hips have loosened up, and it shows with how much bend he now has. The guy can bend as long as he uses his quick first step and gets those hands going. He likes the cross chop-rip combo, and it has worked well. His counter moves continue to improve as well.

His run defense could use work, as he needs to set the edge better and then disengage too. That would be his one clear weakness, as a lot of runs are too his side, and man sometimes they go for a very, very long while, unfortunately.

Round Grade: Mid 1st

NFL Comparison: Ryan Kerrigan

IOL Elgton Jenkins

This guy is a huge sleeper in terms of offensive linemen. He is way more polished than people realize. His hands are great. The placement is just as good as you could get and he shows out every time he is bull rushed or tested. His hips are so loose and he can get up to the second level easily due to it. His processing of stunts in pass protection are also great.

He is not a great athlete, or entirely strong, the latter of which can be worked upon, but the biggest concern is a slightly narrow base. That allows the better IDL to beat him inside with rips and catch him off balance. He can still pull well with the lack of athletic traits, but he unfortunately can get evaded easier than one would like to see.

Round Grade: Mid 3rd

NFL Comparison: John Sullivan


UMass WR Andy Isabella #23

Isabella is really quick type of guy that has great slot receiver traits. He is the type of receiver to completely dice up a defense based off of that quickness alone. He is precise and smart out of that slot too. His route tree is huge and he is super precise with his breaks and routes. He finds the open spots in the zone rather easily and has strong hands to make catches in traffic. His body control is also great.

Of course, he is quick, but not fast and has yet to show he can truly be a great outside guy, which would relegate him to slot only. His contested catch ability is not very good and if he does not get separation there is a big issue. His release needs works and he can get caught up in press too often.

Round Grade: Mid 3rd

NFL Comparison: Danny Amendola

Wyoming EDGE Carl Granderson #91

I really like Granderson’s ability to bend around the edge and use his hands to maintain that leverage. His hands are violent and really tough to counter. His cross chop-rip combo is near unstoppable and he even has a spin to win inside. His run defense is spectacular and this year he has started to play lower and implement some bull rushing.

He needs a better first step, no doubt, and his speed-to-power conversion needs work for said bull rush to be any of significance. He is not very athletic so that step will never be explosive, but the processing and quickness have to come with it, simply put. He also needs to get stronger to maintain gap discipline inside on the run.

Round Grade: Mid 4th

NFL Comparison: Nate Orchard


Let us know what games your watching and who you have your eye on this Saturday.