The Pittsburgh Steelers, along with the rest of the NFL, are doing their due diligence of virtually meeting with college football prospects leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. With the draft less than a week away, most of these meetings have wrapped up, but unlike in past years teams aren’t releasing the names of players they are meeting.
This year the sources are relying on the prospects to tell media who they have met with virtually, as well as possible meetings at Pro Days completed prior to the shut down caused by the coronavirus.
For the Steelers, news states they have met with two prospects. The first being Cal linebacker Evan Weaver.
Adding to this, #Cal LB Evan Weaver recently held pre-draft meetings over FaceTime with the #Steelers, #Bengals and #Bears.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) April 14, 2020
I previously reported on his meetings with the #Saints, #Cardinals & #Chargers (see below). https://t.co/nuoG41WqSY
For those who might not know much about Weaver, here is a synopsis of his game via his NFL Draft Profile:
Rambunctious tackle sponge and perennial grudge holder who lives to prove people wrong. Weaver certainly doesn’t look the part of All-American inside ‘backer in the uniform, but he lives for football and plays every snap with urgency. He can be patient but has the instincts and play-recognition skills to beat blockers to the spot. He is slow-twitch, and there is no question that his athletic limitations will be harder to disguise against NFL competition. A lack of traits could limit his upside, but he has the intangibles and toughness to compete as a backup box banger in a 3-4 alignment.
- Outlandish production dating all the way back early high school
- Great teammate and elite competitor
- Instinctive with elite recognition of blocking schemes
- Has the patience to not get trapped or goaded by misdirection
- Hustles to stay ahead of backside cut-off blocks
- Feels blocks and alters flow angles when necessary
- Finds and fills his run fits on a consistent basis
- Has aggressive, heavy hands waiting for climbing linebackers
- Punches and plays off blocks with consistency
- Eyes play past blockers and locks in on where the ball is
- Motor and pursuit seem unfazed by contact
- Makes plays on the football in passing game
- Aware of incoming traffic from short zone and squeezes the route
- Won’t be a head-turner at the beach
- Built like an undersized center with stubby arms and fleshy midsection
- Lack of speed offers little margin for error in diagnosing the play
- Lower body tightness creates movement limitations
- Can’t stop-start with any twitch
- Lacks the agility to circumvent traffic quickly when scraping
- Needs to step further downhill to blow up pulling guards and collapse the crease
- Plays upright, leading to occasional inconsistencies as open-field tackler
- Not sudden enough to be an NFL blitzer
The other player the Steelers had a virtual meeting with was A.J. Green, cornerback from Oklahoma State.
If you want to know more about Green, as a prospect, here is a run down of his game from his NFL Draft Profile:
Outside cornerback with size and length, but a lack of speed that could limit his scheme fits. He imposes his size on less shifty targets from press and when playing the ball underneath. He plays with adequate athleticism and route anticipation, but has issues sticking with quick route breaks and longer routes where he will fall behind against NFL speed. Green might be best-suited as a backup in a zone-heavy coverage scheme where he keeps the game in front of him and in smaller spaces.
- Effective use of length in early press
- Fires and resets hands into frame of receiver
- Size tends to be disruptive in contesting catches
- Good route phase underneath
- Performed well against Baylor’s Denzel Mims
- Hits closing burst into passing lane when he’s near
- Attacks high-point with well-timed pokes
- Soaks up loose action as a tackler
- Struggles to find footwork short-cuts in matching breaks
- Forced to play body over ball on in-breaking routes
- Lag in his click-and-close mechanism
- Loses ground when it turns into a footrace
- Forced to grab and ride due to lack of recovery speed
- Inconsistent getting eyes around to the football downfield
- Pulled out of position by route combinations
- Stays blocked by big receivers
What do you think of these two prospects? Do you see some mid-day draft picks? Or do you not have any interest in them being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure you stay tuned to BTSC as the 2020 NFL Draft quickly approaches!