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Steelers meet with highly rated linebackers at NFL Scouting Combine

Devin White, Mack Wilson and Jachai Polite are the latest three names linked to Steelers while in Indianapolis.

LSU v Texas A&M Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

A day removed from having met with most of the top wide receiver prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine, it would appear that the Pittsburgh Steelers are starting to meet with their first defensive players of the week. And much like it was with the wideouts on Friday, the names linked with Pittsburgh so far are some of the more highly ranked players at their positions.

Devin White of LSU and Mack Wilson of Alabama are two of the more popular names to mock to the Steelers in Round 1 and both will be having formal meetings with them while they are in Indianapolis, according to Joe Rutter of TribLive.

Florida defensive end Jachai Polite is a consensus name among the top 5 edge rusher in 2019 and another highly rated prospect who will have a formal interview with Steelers this week, as per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Pittsburgh’s needs at inside linebacker are clear for all to see and either of White or Bush would represent a significant upgrade over most of the options they currently have on the roster. The Steelers needs at outside linebacker might be less severe, but a lack of depth and question marks over the long term future of Bud Dupree could once again put the position in play in Round 1 if the right player was available.

Scouting reports and highlights.

Devin White scouting report by Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network

“Devin White has the ceiling of a star in the NFL. White’s explosive range, hitting power and explosiveness compliment a sturdy frame and some awesome reps of reads at the LOS. The contact balance issues with White may scare some teams, but provided he’s able to square up his challenges with more consistency it’s difficult to project anything less than Pro Bowls in his future. White plays through contact and trash well, he’s a viable starter in any system.”

Mack Wilson scouting report by Jon Ledyard of The Draft Network.

PROS: Shows good form to bring fight to blockers and utilize his hands effectively. Processing is still a work-in-progress, but did get better toward the end of the season. Aggressive with a great motor. Brings the fight to the line of scrimmage, won’t back down in the box. Range and instincts to be effective in coverage. Created turnovers with good reactions to the quarterback and strong awareness of routes developing around him. Athletic ability to have a high ceiling if he develops. When he sees it, he’s quick to the trigger and explosive to close. Range as a run defender was on full display late against Georgia. Rose to the occasion in national title game and was one of the best players on the field.

CONS: Angles of attack when pursuing perimeter work can be suspect. Often over-pursues tackles and gets maneuvered around in space. Needs to dial it down a notch at times and show better form as tackler. Never going to be great at getting off blocks. At times, swallowed up by size. Still growing into the position from a mental perspective. Listed 6-0, 230, but that weight might be generous.

Jachai Polite scouting report by Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.

PROS: Jachai Polite illustrates flashes of brilliance as a speed rusher. Capable of releasing with suddenness from a two point stance and gaining large amounts of turf in steps two and three in order to gain leverage on the edge. Athletic ability translates beyond short area explosiveness and into lateral mobility and slipping blocks at the point of attack as well. Polite shows understanding of how and when to fold back inside against over-committed blockers and gain penetration into protection.

Polite possesses enough length to continue to develop his long arm ability and become a better speed to power rusher. Projecting through rough edges currently, Polite has the necessary physical tools to become a special pass rusher and impact player. There is enough functional strength present to stack up blockers at the point of attack and Polite is effective holding outside contain. Against the running game he can be counted on to execute his primary responsibility.

CONS: Jachai Polite currently has too many lulls between the splash plays and will need to focus on further bettering his consistency as a player. Effort and motor are terrific, although seemingly a half-step faster on money downs and when the stakes are highest. Furthermore, Polite would be well served to continue developing his immediate hand counters. Currently too reliant on his first step, Polite can create much more room to slash and penetrate with more proactive attacks with his hands.