While the NFL postseason may have one or two games left to play for those that are interested in that sort of thing, the Pittsburgh Steelers are already looking ahead to 2019. Rather than concerning themselves with the fates of the four teams in the Championship Round of the playoffs, it will be events at the East/West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Florida that has most of their attention this week.
With practice having started on Monday, the Steelers not only have scouts on hand to watch the draft prospects go through their paces, but also general manager Kevin Colbert, according to NFL.com reporter Andy Fenelon.
The @Shrine_Game does not usually draw top execs from NFL clubs but I've seen at least five here so far, including Doug Williams (Redskins), Kevin Colbert (Steelers), Jon Robinson (Titans), Mike Mayock (Raiders) and Jason Licht (Bucs). Strange to see Mayock in Raiders gear.— dré (@Andy_Fenelon) January 15, 2019
Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders personnel people all well represented here at the first Shrine practice. Ravens always here and always working.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 14, 2019
Thanks to a whole host of reposters on site, there is already news of some individual player meetings with Pittsburgh’s representatives in attendance, as per Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter Trevor Sikkema of the Pewter Report.
Team-Prospect meetings Day1 of #ShrineWeek— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) January 15, 2019
TE Kendall Blanton - PIT
WR Cody Thompson - WAS
S Tyree Kinnel - NYG
LB Justin Hollins - PIT
DL Derick Roberson - BUF
DL Landis Durham - DEN
At 6-foot-6 and 265-pounds, Kendall Blanton projects to be more of a blocking tight end than a receiving option and recorded just 44 receptions for 476-yards in four years at the University of Missouri. Expected to be a day three draft selection at this stage of the process, this player profile from The Draft Network is far from glowing.
Edge rusher Justin Hollins is another sizeable prospect the Steelers appear to be interested in, measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 238-pounds. He finished his senior season with 64 tackles, 14.5 for a loss and 6.5 sacks. However, this scouting profile, again from The Draft Network, will do little to excite you about his potential.