Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

2020 Steelers Big Board (Final, By Position)

131 min read
2020 NFL Draft: Initial College Pro Day Schedule...


HVDESCRIPTION2:17STEELERS ROUND 2 PICK (# 49 OVERALL)3:38STEELERS COMPENSATORY PICK (# 102 OVERALL)4:18STEELERS ROUND 4a PICK (# 124 OVERALL)4:29STEELERS ROUND 4b PICK (#135 OVERALL – from Tennessee via Miami)6:19STEELERS ROUND 6 PICK (# 198 OVERALL)7:18STEELERS ROUND 7 PICK (# 232 OVERALL)0:00O-Line Pocket Analysis. There is a thorough analysis of the Offensive Line situation in this article. Bottom line: the Steelers may have the Offensive Line as their top priority, but it is not an emergency situation. Guard looks like a bigger priority than Tackle, and Center depends on the team’s view of Maurkice Pouncey’s next few years, which we can only speculate about.0:00T/G Mekhi Becton, Louisville. (Junior). 6’7¾”, 364 lbs. with absurd 35⅝” arms and 10¾” hands. A gigantic, 20 year old grizzly bear with the feet to be a blindside protector. Top 10-15 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen. 0:00T/G Andrew Thomas, Georgia. (Junior). 6’5⅛”, 315 lbs. with big 10¼” hands and astonishing 36⅛” arms. Top 10-15 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00T/G Jedrick Wills, Alabama. (Junior). 6’4¼”, 312 lbs. with long 34¼” arms. Top 10-15 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00T/G Tristan Wirfs, Iowa. (Junior). 6’4⅞”, 320 lbs. with long 34” arms, big 10¼” hands, and thighs the size of your waist. Top 10-15 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.1:20OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State. (RS Junior). 6’6”, 311 lbs. Will turn 22 in May. [MTG. FOR VISIT] Imagine a higher pedigree and more accomplished version of Chuks Okorafor when he came out; a solid, toolsy athlete with enough potential to earn whispers of the occasional Round 1 grade – including a strong late-1st grade in our own Alex Kozora’s late March, gif-supported scouting report. Alex ended with a comparison to no less than Joe Staley. He also came in at #23 overall on Gil Brandt’s well respected annual big board. BTW, make that a “special” athlete with a top 10% SPARQ score and an athletic profile good in every area but hand size. He will require at least one redshirt year to build NFL levels in both strength and mass, plus all the normal work required on technique, but there aren’t many men on the planet with the physical ability to be a blindside protector, and he is one of them. Here is a good NFL.com scouting profile from Lance Zierlein, who notes that Cleveland is a particularly tricky evaluation due to playing through 2019 with a nasty turf toe injury. This Giants-oriented, late-February scouting profile hits the center of the fairway: a toolsy prospect who needs a year of NFL strength training before any other work. This more cynical March scouting profile from a Rams POV sees a Round 4-5 talent who may be more track athlete than football player.1:20OT Austin Jackson, USC. (Junior). 6’4⅞”, 322 lbs. with long 34⅛” arms and 10¼” hands. Just turned 21. Yet another of this year’s Offensive Tackles who possess Round 1 athletic ability and could easily develop into pro bowl blindside protectors, but will need a redshirt year to build enough strength and technique for that dream to start becoming reality. Daniel Jeremiah has said, “He could be a Top 20 pick.” He came in at #19 overall on Gil Brandt’s well respected annual big board. The rawness shows up on tape as vulnerability to opponents with sound technique. Bradley Anae took him to school, and this entirely negative screed went up in late December after Jackson got butchered by the Round 1 prospect A.J. Epenesa. “Raw but gifted and likely to be coveted by a variety of teams thanks to his true left tackle traits,” is the conclusion in Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile. He gets extremely high points for being a well grounded young man, which actually translates into being the sort of human you’re likely to bet on. Known for some high character events like donating bone marrow to his ailing sister, that may be a very important part of the evaluation because it also cost him the entire 2019 preseason. No training on technique; no strength training in the gym; all-but-quarantine preventing work with coaches; etc. Project how good he might have been, and… You get the point. His stock requires more projection than most of his peers. This marvelous Combine article from The Draft Network is a great starting place for a big picture. This full-length, January scouting profile from Walter Football ends with a fringe-1st grade and a comparison to a young D.J. Humphries. Nick Farabaugh’s gif-supported January scouting report ends with a Round 3 grade based on huge flashes and major flaws in the 2019 film. This brief January profile summarizes him as a pure boom-or-bust prospect. This Bleacher Report article worries that he could be the next Greg Robinson, an athlete who went at #2 overall on pure potential but is now on team #3.1:25T/G Josh Jones, Houston. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 319 lbs. with 9⅝” hands and shorter than ideal arms (32⅛”). Will be a 23-year-old rookie. No one will ever doubt that Josh Jones has the tools to be a high quality NFL starter, including good hand usage, a mauler’s mindset, a superior and well rounded athletic profile, and just enough mechanical issues to provide plenty of room for improvement. He can improve physically too, since he looks more like a basketball player than an NFL Tackle. One has to wonder what a year of specialized NFL strength training will produce! Who knows? He might even bulk up enough to succeed at Guard too. It’s just… he’s never “arrived” in a dominating way, and one worries that a four year starter should look a bit less raw. Bottom line: the ore glints with a lot of gold but the team that drafts him will have some serious digging and refining to do. This gif-supported January scouting report from Nick Farabaugh describes an exciting developmental prospect and ends with a Round 2 grade. That is right in the middle of the pack, or maybe on the pessimistic end. This late December scouting profile sees him as a potential riser into the 1st based on pure athletic potential. This solid-looking January scouting profile ends in a fringe Round 2/3 grade based on bad habits like popping up when he moves; but it ends with an interesting player comp to Oakland’s Kolton Miller, who has become a very solid blindside protector. He flat out brutalized opponents during the Senior Bowl practice week, improved steadily all week, and displayed serious pop in the actual game. Stock on the rise. This February scouting profile sees him as a potential Round 1 pick. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile emphasizes how much and how steadily Jones improved in 2019, and describes the remaining issues as “coachable.” This good, if wordy, March scouting profile from a Rams POV makes an entertaining read and gives a decent idea of where the issues lie.1:25C/G Cesar Ruiz, Michigan. (Junior). 6’2¾”, 307 lbs. with huge 11” hands. Will be a 21-year-old rookie. A surefire NFL starter (the Combine broadcast used the words “Day 1”) who faces longer odds against stardom. His stock has gone nowhere but up as the process moves forward. Smart, young (21 years old), athletic (77th percentile SPARQ score), and extremely mobile, he would be a fine successor to our current Center if you keep the expectations to “starter with a lot of upside” rather than “HOF votes to be counted.” Also projects as a solid but not exceptional pulling guard, which would let him earn NFL snaps while he understudies for Pouncey. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported April scouting report concludes that Ruiz is one of those prospects who is very good at everything but not exceptional in any particular way. This goes to a nice Giants-oriented scouting profile from January. This nice February scouting profile argues that he is the best interior offensive lineman of the entire class. The NFL.com scouting profile agrees that he should be an early starter.2:01C/G Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU. (RS Junior). 6’3⅛”, 312 lbs. with big 10⅜” hands and arms like vines (34⅛”). [MTG. AT COMBINE] Will be a 22-year-old rookie. He’s got all the raw physical talent you want, and won numerous honors for his character and leadership at LSU, with the coveted #18 jersey and “permanent team captain” being just the start. Showed better than expected technique at the Senior Bowl; so much so that The Draft Network’s Jonah Tuls wrote: “He’s cemented himself as the top center prospect in this class.” In the actual game, he and teammate Damien Lewis stood at as rocks on an offensive line that otherwise got destroyed. Flashes good quickness but only-good range when pulling. Has a very good sense of using angles to create a running lane, and a tremendous anchor against power rushers on the inside. Tom Mead’s gif-supported scouting report from late January questions “a passiveness to his style”, but other sources disagree and he has certainly earned his teammates’ respect. Should also be an acceptable pulling Guard, which would give him a chance to earn NFL snaps while he understudies at Center. Has enough fixable technique issues to project as the sort of prospect who often disappoints in his rookie season and then makes a major Sophomore leap. This goes to a very solid January scouting profile from a Giants POV, that catches the main points well. Here is an equally solid February scouting profile from a Patriots POV. This is a gif-supported February scouting report from a Chiefs POV. The NFL.com scouting profile applauds him as a do-your-job prospect and genuine team leader.2:01T/G Lucas Niang, TCU. (Senior). 6’6”, 315 lbs. with long 34¼” arms and big 10½” hands. Turns 22 in September. Lance Zierlein is a fan: the NFL.com scouting profile calls him “a scheme diverse Right Tackle [and] help-now right tackle prospect who should be a long-time starter.” Tom Mead’s gif-supported March scouting report describes a sound player who would probably have been a Round 1 lock if he had not declined in 2019 due to a nasty hip labrum injury that ultimately ended his season when surgery could no longer be avoided. He basically shut down both Nick Bosa and Chase Young when they played in 2018. Niang said at the Combine that the hip was a long term problem that had slowed him down significantly all year, and that everything is now perfect. Readers should be aware that his grade has been seriously depressed on many public boards by worries about that medical flag. This nice, Cleveland-oriented January article on Round 2 OT’s describes Niang as an ideal Right Tackle for the sort of zone blocking scheme that will ask him to move in space, find someone to block, and demolish the guy he finds. Here is a brief, Redskins-oriented scouting profile from early January. This Giants-oriented scouting profile from February has highlights from the game against Purdue, and concludes that Niang is an “ascending prospect” who only needs to build more crispness and urgency into his game. Here is a nice, very brief summary from a Cleveland POV.2:01OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 308 lbs. with 10⅜” hands and 33½” arms. Just turned 22. A Round 1 athlete as a blind side protector who could develop into a shut down guy if everything goes just right, but is generally pegged for Round 2 because he requires so much work on his technique, and has a minor medical red flag (he missed the Senior Bowl and Combine to get his knee scoped). Long, smooth, mobile, and smart, one is tempted to describe him as a higher pedigree version of Chuks Okorafor. Start by reading the excellent background material in this March scouting profile. He never stepped on a football field until high school because he emigrated to America with basketball as the dream (ended by a nasty broken leg). Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile (he is particularly good with OL prospects) agrees with the pass protection upside and poor run blocking, grading Wanogho out as a likely starter after a year of dedicated coaching and work. Tom Mead’s mid-April, gif-supported scouting report acknowledges both the physical assets and the technical issues, concluding: “I think he has the ability to fix those issues and I think he’s going to have a long career and will be drafted early.” Late-1st to early-2nd grade from a tough grader. This late February TDN article from the Combine digs into the personality and admirable approach to the game a bit. This good looking December scouting profile emphasizes his pure athletic talent and overall intelligence, but knocks him for a case of severe inconsistency. Here is a Redskins-oriented scouting profile from December. This New Year’s article gives nice insight into some character and background issues, as does this top notch NFL.com article from September. This nice, Cleveland-oriented January article on Round 2 OT’s describes Wanogho as a better pass protector than run blocker, which is fair so long as it isn’t taken as a limitation. This nice Draft Network interview begins by describing Wanogho as a “natural pass protector who teams will hope to turn into a better run blocker”. This less convincing February scouting profile sees a good run blocker with poor pass protection technique. Here is a nice, very brief summary from a Cleveland POV.2:01T/G Isaiah Wilson, Georgia. (RS Sophomore). 6’6½”, 350 lbs. with looong 35½” arms and big 10¼” hands. First point: he is young, as in only 21 years old. Second point: he looks extraordinarily good on the hoof; this is the young man who looked like a Greek god at the Combine. As the two-year starting Right Tackle for a run-heavy offense, Wilson has earned a reputation as a ferocious run blocker with Round 1 athletic potential, but (for the NFL) poor technique in pass protection. Georgia often protected him with a chipping RB or TE on his side for pass plays. But Oh! The potential! Wilson has the raw talent to achieve any heights; so much so that he’s become a late riser earning serious Round 1 buzz from the likes of Daniel Jeremiah. It helps that his run blocking ability suggests the ability to play Guard if the movement skills at Tackle can’t be perfected. That added floor/versatility should enhance his appeal to the Steelers in particular. The athletic testing showed great explosiveness but poor COD skills, which combine to an NFL-top-third (67th percentile) SPARQ score. This gif-supported March scouting report from Tom Mead sees very little in the way of physical ceiling, but many issues (starting with foot- and hand work) that need to be addressed before he can earn pro snaps. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile notes that he improved throughout 2019 and has massive upside, but also assumes at least one redshirt year of work on both the hands and feet before he can be fairly judged. This NFL.com article provides good background. This January, Bears-oriented scouting profile summarizes the issues well: very good going downhill, not so much stepping back for pass pro. Here is a nice, very brief summary from a Cleveland POV. He came in at #35 overall on Gil Brandt’s well respected annual big board.3:01T/G Ben Bartch, St. Johns. (Senior). 6’5¾”, 309 lbs. with shorter 32⅞” arms. 22 years old. This year’s small school phenom played Tight End until 2018, when he moved up to Left Tackle and began to utterly dominate his D-III opponents. How does one project that to the NFL? Boom or bust, with the real issue being the multilevel step up in competition. The obvious analogy is to Tampa Bay’s Ali Marpet, who played at D-III Hobart (a school best known for lacrosse and the production of fantastic attorneys in perpetual search of new clients, but who instead waste time writing Steeler Big Boards). Marpet moved inside to Guard. Bartch looks like he may have more position flexibility, in part because he’s a tight 308 pounds with room to add more good weight on his frame. As Lance Zierlein wrote in the NFL.com scouting profile, “He’s an enticing left tackle prospect who continues to evolve, but a step up in competition and a need for continued physical development will require patience and could determine whether his final calling is swing tackle or starter.” Here is an admiring, gif-supported scouting report from November, along with a thorough Draft Network article/profile from the same period. This Giants-oriented scouting profile from February found nothing but total domination against totally inferior talent. Here is a nice, very brief summary from a Cleveland POV.3:01C/G Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin. (RS Junior). 6’3½”, 314 lbs. Name a better factory for linemen than Wisconsin. [Crickets]. Name the leader of the Wisconsin OL. You got it. A very good technician who’s only big flaw is the lack of shining athletic brilliance, and the normal losses that come when that creates physical mismatches against elite DL talent. He gets a round or so downgrade on this Board for medical red flags arising from a 2019 hip surgery and a 2020 shoulder issue. The hip seemed to slow him down for most of his 2019 season. “Solid but unspectacular” is the verdict from Lance Zierlein in the NFL.com scouting profile. Should become a starting Center eventually, but could also be effective at Guard. Might he play that secondary position while being the understudy for Pouncey’s eventual retirement? Here is a good January scouting profile that emphasizes the key point: he grades out as very good to exceptional in almost all areas, but never achieves ‘What did I just see?!’ in any of them. Tom Mead’s early February, gif-supported scouting report ends in a fringe-1st grade based on the lack of flaws, and the relative ease with which he could fix the others. This high quality February scouting profile notes that an offseason hip surgery may account for some of the decline in visible athleticism from 2018 to 2019. I highly recommend this late February scouting profile from a Wisconsin Badgers site because it does an excellent job of surveying the issues and the assets. Here is a nice, very brief summary from a Cleveland POV.3:01G/T Saahdiq Charles, LSU. (Junior). 6’4⅛”, 321 lbs. (Up from a reported 2019 playing weight of 295 lbs.) 20 years old. Charles started at Left Tackle for the unit that won the national championship, won the Joe Moore Award as the nation’s top OL, protected the Heisman Award winning QB and presumptive #1 overall pick, and opened holes for one of college football’s best and most productive RB’s. From Pittsburgh’s perspective it also helps that he is exceptionally young and comes from a program that used blocking schemes very similar to Pittsburgh’s. What’s not to love? Every scouting report sounds basically the same: smooth, easy moving athlete with excellent feet even for an NFL Tackle; great pad level even as he moves; needs to build strength; will get off balance by leaning into his punch; and a laundry list of things to polish. The measurements are much more typical for a Guard than a Tackle, but within the boundaries of guys who have succeeded at both positions. He ran a 90th-percentile 40 time, with an even better, top-of-class time for the more important 10-yeard split. Mobility won’t be a problem. The big issue is the fact that he got benched for six (6!) games due to an unidentified “selfish and stupid mistake”, as Charles himself described it. The current grade assumes it really was just that – being young and dumb – but applies a mild downgrade due to the residual taste of smoke. Tom Mead’s gif-supported April scouting report (one of his best) documents both the assets and the flaws. The well respected son-of-an-OL-coach Lance Zierlein gives him a good “potential starter” grade. (That is a particularly helpful read, btw). The Draft Network scouting profiles are dead in line, as does this nice, late March scouting profile that emphasizes his need for NFL strength training. The DraftWire scouting profile notes that he packed on weight for the Combine but we do not know if that weight will equate to added play strength. Here is a March, Seahawks-oriented scouting profile to gild the lily with more of the same.3:01C/G Matt Hennessy, Temple. (RS Junior). 6’3⅞”, 307 lbs. with shorter 32¼” arms. 22 years old. His athletic profile is wonderful for everything but size and strength, he came in at #34 overall on Gil Brandt’s well respected annual big board, and Daniel Jeremiah gave him a Round 2 grade during the Combine broadcast. Carries good weight, moves well, and is a sound, high football IQ technician who excels at pass protection. He was a rock who consistently stoned the all-star Senior Bowl pass rushers too, in drills that give the defender an edge because they have more room to move. Really needs to add strength, is no more than solid as a puller, and would probably suffer if asked to fill in at Guard for anything but an emergency. But… Alex Kozora, who got to meet him at the Senior Bowl, has described him as a player who also gives off a “Steelers vibe”, and professional scout Dave-Te Thomas has expressed confidence in Hennessy’s ability to play any of the three IOL positions. The NFL.com scouting profile gives him an “early backup, eventual starter” grade as a pure Center who’d be much weaker as a Guard. Tom Mead’s late February, gif-supported scouting report ends with a Round 3 grade and a bit more confidence about his ability to be a decent backup at Guard. Here is a good March scouting profile from a Giants POV.3:01G/T Robert Hunt, Louisiana. (RS Senior). 6’5⅛”, 323 lbs. Will turn 24 as a rookie. By all accounts the pure athletic talent is awesome to see. Tom Mead’s gif-supported February scouting report ends in a solid Day- and probably Round 2 grade. In college he played Tackle and systematically destroyed the lower level competition with strength, power, and dominating bad intent that they could not resist. He also looked quite solid in the occasional game against the likes of Alabama. In the NFL he projects as an agile road grader who should be a good Guard with swing Tackle ability, though there is still a fair amount of work to be done. This goes to a long but interesting November article from the Draft Network. This good, Giants-oriented February scouting profile also notes some smoke to be cleared away in the form of a 2019 groin injury and a 2017 arrest for criminal mischief that got solved. Earns a relatively high “starter in a year or two” grade from Lance Zierlein.3:01G Damien Lewis, LSU. (Senior). 6’2”, 329 lbs. with 33⅜” arms. Will be a 23-year-old rookie. A people mover with good, quick movement inside the phone booth and acceptable mobility when pulling. Knows how to use both power and angles in the run game. His performance during Senior Bowl week led Alex Kozora to write: “LSU’s Damien Lewis seriously might be one of the best players – not just linemen – in Mobile. Quick, technically sound, great ability to reset and repunch, with a quick first step, capable of mirroring in the pass game and reaching backside cutoff blocks in the run game. Super impressive week.” He and teammate Lloyd Cushenberry stood out as rocks in the actual game on an offensive line that otherwise got destroyed. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported February scouting report is about as negative as any you’ll find, and even it ends with a Round 4 grade. Kudos to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein for this great summary: “The run-blocking tape shows a forklift dressed as a right guard with the power and leverage to move some of the best interior defenders in the conference. The pass-blocking tape shows a heavy-footed guard who lacks length and lateral quickness to hold up if asked to block on an island.” Not so heavy-footed in general, given his top-third SPARQ score that was held back primarily by a lack of height. This nice February scouting profile from a Giants POV sees a find Day 2 prospect who should be a starting Guard for many years in the right system.3:01OT Matthew Peart, U. Conn. (RS Senior). 6’6⅝”, 318 lbs. with extraordinary 36⅝” arms. Boom or bust. A physical specimen who converted from basketball (a big deal at U. Conn.) to be an OT with sweet feet and good overall athleticism. Peart has blindside protector upside and has been compared to a higher-end Chuks Okorafor, with other comps to the like of Eric Fisher. Interestingly, he tested extremely well in all areas but agility, his supposed strength, earning a top-3rd-of-the-NFL SPARQ score. Like Okorafor, he will need at least one redshirt year before he’s able to use the very impressive physical assets and does not project well as a potential Guard. This Giants-oriented scouting profile from January sees starter upside held back by serious flaws in his hand usage, and the need to keep building NFL strength. Lance Zierlein notes the strength issues in the NFL.com scouting profile, but also says, “it is important to note that Peart has the potential to get stronger and that issues of concern are mostly correctable;” he seems more concerned about whether the requisite amount of nasty is there to be tapped. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported March scouting report ends with a Round 4 grade based on Round 1 athletic potential held back by the need for serious work in a weight room and to tighten his correctable technique flaws.3:01G/T Tyre Phillips, Miss. St. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 331 lbs. with very long 35⅛” arms and big 10⅜” hands. Will be a 23-year-old rookie. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile, which ends in a strong “starter in a year or two” grade, describes a classic Right Tackle with the potential to be even better at Guard. Carries some sloppy weight but moves better than he tests due to short, choppy steps. The Combine athletic testing was not encouraging. He bombed almost everything but the measurements, and ended up with a fifth (5th) percentile SPARQ score. Tom Mead’s late March, gif-supported scouting report agrees with Zierlein’s, and ends with a strong Round 3 grade. Did a better job against Top 10 talent Derrick Brown than almost any other player in the draft.3:01G John Simpson, Clemson. (Senior). 6’4⅛”, 321 lbs. with long 34⅛” arms and huge 11¼” hands. Turns 22 as a rookie. A living stereotype for “power Guard”, he will be a load even at the NFL level so long as he plays in a phone booth. Grade drops significantly for a team that would want him to run a lot for outside zone plays. Stock may be slightly depressed by an ankle injury that hobbled the second half of his 2019 season. Tom Mead’s gif-supported February scouting report describes him as a quick and powerful run blocker who excels in the proverbial phone booth but rapidly goes downhill the further he gets away from tight quarters. Seems like one of those solid human beings who sometimes grow from the toughest soil, as outlined in this tremendous December Sports Illustrated article and this brief, local article from August. Note the solid wrestling background; always a good sign for interior linemen. Lance Zierlein’s pithy summary and “starter in a year or two” grade make worthy reading: “Broad, well-built snowplow of a guard with the traits and power to turn a crease into a full-fledged running lane.” Zierlein also sees better movement skills than many other scouts and has Simpson tied for the 2nd best IOL in the whole class.3:12G Shane Lemieux, Oregon. (RS Senior). 6’3⅞”, 310 lbs. with shorter 32¼” arms. Will be a 23 year old rookie. A genuinely powerful run blocker who thrives in the proverbial phone booth, but isn’t blessed with the fleetness of foot to excel at pulling. Very accomplished as a college pass blocker, but with footwork issues that pros may take advantage of, limited ability to pull (though straight line speed is okay), and a distinctly average amount of overall athletic talent (18th percentile SPARQ score). Known as a smart, tough, team leader type in the OL room, which probably matters more. Here is a short but solid January scouting profile. The view from Josh Carney’s gif-supported January scouting report is more positive: “a new-school interior offensive lineman that is nasty, packs a serious punch in his hands, and can move a bit.” Josh ends in a fringe-2nd grade. This early February scouting profile from a Giants POV agrees: “An above average prospect with multiple above average traits, some rare traits [strength]. [and] some scheme limitations” due to lack of foot speed. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile points to various footwork issues that need to be fixed in order to deal with NFL pass rushers.3:12G Netane Muti (“nuh-than-EE MOO-tee”), Fresno State. (RS Junior). 6’2⅞”, 315 lbs. with very short 31¾” arms but very big 10⅝” hands. 21 years old. Everyone’s favorite sleeper because of a revelatory RS freshman season, Muti has as much pure talent as any Guard in the draft, featuring both power and movement skills. We’re talking serious ceiling here! But does he still have what he flashed so often in 2017? He lost his 2016 true freshman season to an injured Achilles (before those highlights), his 2018 season to a ruptured Achilles on the other leg, and then his 2019 season to a Lisfranc (serious foot) injury three games in. Ye gods! Muti could accordingly go anywhere from Round 1 if a team’s doctors issue a gold plated bill of health, to UDFA if they waive the red flags in warning. We outsiders have no way to guess which one will be true. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported April scouting report basically says, “1:25 or 2:01 grade if the doctors give a gold plated certificate, but 4:01 grade with the uncertainty.” This goes to a top notch January scouting profile with one good gif. This Giants-oriented February scouting profile agrees with the basic picture: a fringe-1st talent even though he’s a Guard, but with major red flags for health. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile sees a fair number of technique issues he needs to work on too.3:12G Logan Stenberg, Kentucky. (RS Senior). 6’6”, 317 lbs. with big 10¼” hands. Will be a 23-year-old rookie. N.A.S.T.Y. He’s really strong and lives for the brutal pancake block, which isn’t that rare on film. His height can become a disadvantage that will get out-leveraged by NFL defenders if he does not develop some better technique. Pure power and attitude only take you so far against professionally trained opponents who have better athletic skills. A mostly-contained habit of popping up from his stance accentuates that flaw. Similar body, size, assets and approach to Matt Feiler but in need of the technical skills that Feiler has learned since his college days. The technical question is whether he can learn to play low enough to prevent quick NFL opponents from taking an angle, getting underneath, and levering him up. The Combine testing showed meh results in a lot of areas (he has too much height for most Guards and looked stiff in motion), which resulted in a distinctly average amount of overall athletic talent (18th percentile SPARQ score). Tom Mead did this nice, gif-supported scouting report in February, which suggests that he’d do better in a pure power system like Tennessee’s. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile is much more pessimistic than most, taking issue with the idea that Stenberg has superior power: “Scrappy, blue-collar guard who plays an assignment-oriented, dependable brand of football. Stenberg is lacking in both body composition and pure play strength… He should be a capable NFL backup who can step in and hold up if he’s asked to step in and start.”3:24G/T Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas. (Senior). 6’4⅜”, 302 lbs. with longer 33¾” arms. Played OT in college and has the mobility to do it in the pros too. He tested as an athlete with exceptional explosion and movement skills, good for a SPARQ score in the NFL’s top 25%. But he is quite small for a modern Tackle, and he (currently) lacks the play strength to succeed as a pulling Guard. A real favorite for in-the-know draftniks seeking a versatile puzzle piece with starter potential held back by a limited chance at stardom. Overcame a pair of 2017 labrum surgeries on his shoulders. Hand fighting needs help. No other real negatives except a need to improve just a bit across the board and do hard work on the strength issue. The NFL.com scouting profile agrees with that basic summary. The Draft Network scouting profile sees him as a better fit for teams that run a zone scheme. Here is a DraftWire interview from the Combine. Here is a more negative, pre-Combine scouting profile from a Rams POV.4:01G Ben Bredeson, Michigan. (Senior). 6’4½”, 315 lbs. with very short 31½” arms. Will be a 22-year-old rookie. A multiyear starter and team captain with good power and all the toughness you want from the big guys up front, Bredeson is a good but not great athlete with a solid career at Guard in front of him and almost no chance of being a star. The Draft Network scouting profiles emphasize both of those points: a good dig-em-out prospect playing in the proverbial phone booth, but only that and nothing more. Same with the NFL.com scouting profile. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported January scouting report agrees, describing him as a high floor, low ceiling “throwback to a different era” with no position versatility at all. This is a full retail grade based on the fact that Pittsburgh could use a player of that description. Showed up well at the Senior Bowl. This late January, Giants-oriented scouting profile summarizes him as a good, all-around Guard with athletic limitations.4:01G Kevin Dotson, Louisiana. (RS Senior). 6’4”, 310 lbs. with 33” arms and big 10½” hands. [VISIT] Earned praise at the Shrine Bowl as a tough, nasty finisher that no defender liked to go against. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported March scouting report describes Dotson as a supreme mover of people in the proverbial phone booth with limited mobility and athleticism that routinely cause him to miss targets when pulling or climbing to the second level, and also cause him problems with quick players in pass protection.4:01G/C Jonah Jackson, Ohio State. (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 306 lbs. with big 10½” hands. Will be a 23-year-old rookie. The NFL.com scouting profile finds little to fault in his pass protection skills, and almost everything to fault as a run blocker because he has trouble getting low enough to achieve leverage against a good opponent. This goes to a gif-supported, rave review scouting report published in the aftermath of the Senior Bowl. One wonders how much his agent had to do with it, lol. The Draft Network scouting profile sees an NFL starter who might fit best in a zone blocking scheme. A miserable Combine put him in the bottom 10% from a SPARQ perspective, though the athletic profile looks closer to average for a Center. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported March scouting report ends with a Round 5-7 grade, viewing Jackson solely as a Guard.4:16OT Colton McKivitz, West Virginia. (RS Senior). 6’6⅛”, 306 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] A 24 year old rookie. He looks the part and has the potential to become an NFL starter, but will need a lot of coaching in the classroom, on the practice field, and in the weight room in order to achieve it. He’s also a Steelers fan, which shows the high character that we always look for. Came in just outside the top 100 on Gil Brandt’s respected board.4:16G/C/T Jon Runyan Jr., Michigan. (RS Senior). 6’4¼”, 306 lbs. Mr. Versatility (he can also be a long snapper) started at Left Tackle for a very good offensive line, played Guard in the Shrine Bowl where he looked tremendous, and projects just as well to Center in light of his high football IQ and movement skills. Tough, nasty, and competent, he looks like a prime Day 3 target with a high floor and a low ceiling (except for that versatility). Scouting profiles like this January, Giants-oriented piece observe that he lacks the length and movement skills to continue at Tackle, though he may serve well as an emergency backup. And yes, his father is that Jon Runyan; the retired all-pro LT for the Eagles, retired U.S. Congressman, and now NFL Vice President who hands down the fines. Had a good Combine that resulted in a 56th percentile SPARQ score that was held back more by measurements than athleticism. This gif-supported March scouting report by Alex Kozora ends in a mid-Day 3 grade based on the need to move inside to Guard in order to hide the physical limitations.4:16OT Alex Taylor, S. Carolina St. (RS Senior). 6’8⅜”, 308 lbs. with huge 11¼” hands and astonishing 36⅛” arms. Want to bet on a physical prototype? Try out this small school star from Javon Hargrave’s alma mater, who has more size and length than anyone else in the draft. He’s even got room to fill out, and is a converted basketball player with excellent overall athletic talent (other than a mysteriously poor vertical jump). Obvious leverage problems and a lack of NFL strength will require at least one and probably two redshirt years, but the boom potential is enormous. Here is Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile.5:01T/G Yasir Durant, Missouri. (Senior). 6’6”, 331 lbs. with long 34¾” arms. A JUCO transfer who rose to be a multiyear starter, Durant looks like a prototypical Right Tackle with limited movement skills and good but not special power. He may be Guard capable if he can get low enough, and is definitely a prospect to watch if Pittsburgh gets to Round 6 without an OL pick. Has had issues keeping his weight down but looked pretty tight at the Combine at 331 pounds, and is another Missouri player who might have suffered from the loss of Drew Lock as his QB. Big kid, but neither explosive nor fast, and pundits have said his punches lack some pop. The NFL.com scouting profile seems to capture both the potential and the reality pretty well.5:01G Solomon Kindley, Georgia. (RS Junior). 6’3¼”, 337 lbs. with shorter 32¼” arms. Turns 23 as a rookie. An enormous human being who looks like two people glued together, Kindley is a true road grader who pass blocks well and comes from a traditionally run-first program. Has also flashed some mobility getting to the second level, but may benefit from some training-room work to hit his ideal weight and achieve that extra upside. Occasionally gets over his toes and can be pulled off balance. Here is a good Giants-oriented February scouting profile with a 15 minute clip of plays. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile ends with a mid- to late Day 3 grade based on concerns with his bend, mobility, and lack of NFL technique.5:01G Michael Onwenu, Michigan. (Senior). 6’2⅝”, 344 lbs. with long 34⅜” arms and big 10½” hands. Will be a 22-year-old rookie. Sleeper alert! Owenwu was a defensive NT who moved to Guard, and he is every bit as big, wide, strong, and long as that suggests. The question marks obviously go to his mastery of OL technique versus all the parallel bits that are Trenches-In-General, and his ability to reach linebackers on the second level. This good looking, late January scouting profile catches the essence: “While Onwenu is quick for his size, that does not mean that there aren’t any mobility concerns here. He is a massive man. Guys like this only move so fast.” Note that Owenwu impressed all watchers with surprising movement skills at the Shrine Bowl practices; a trend that continued and led TDN’s Benjamin Solak to call him, “clearly the best offensive lineman [at the Shrine Bowl] on either team.” Could he lose 30 pounds and gain the extra mobility he’d need to block the likes of Devin Bush at the second level? Those ifs and maybes make him hard to grade. Maybe we should ask Devin; they did play on the same team. Owenwu will be a hell of an obstacle even for someone without that kind of mobility, and it should be noted that Foster hasn’t exactly been a dancing bear for the past few years. His limitations might be less of an issue for Pittsburgh than they would be for other teams. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile gives him a Day 3 grade based on the assumption that he will remain an immobile but immovable pivot point that blocking schemes will have to protect.5:01C/G Darryl Williams, Mississippi State. (RS Senior). 6’2½”, 304 lbs. with very short 31½” arms. Tom Mead did this gif-supported January scouting report that agrees with everything else you’ll read: he presents a classic case of the high floor, low ceiling prospect with solvable problems for everything other than the T-rex arm length. Anchors well against power but is not a people mover. The NFL.com scouting profile describes him as a stalemate-and-position type of blocker, much like B.J. Finney has become. Looked great at the Shrine Bowl.5:16T/G Cameron Clark, Charlotte. (RS Senior). 6’4½”, 308 lbs. with solid 34⅛” arms and big 11” hands. A good, solid, developmental pick who has flashed NFL ability against the occasional good competition, but also shown a lot of pass protection “meh” in between those flashes. The run blocking is consistently good. A wee bit undersized for a Tackle but well within the acceptable boundaries and has good potential at Guard. Team leader and 2-year captain. Lance Zierlein’s scouting profile agrees that, “The flashes are there but he needs to play with better consistency to make a mark.” This January scouting profile loves the run blocking but thinks he needs weight room time.5:16C Jake Hanson, Oregon. (RS Senior). 6’4⅜”, 303 lbs. With shorter 32¾” arms. A four-year starter who plays Center like the stereotypical coach’s son. What he lacks is the model size and strength to go with his solid technique and smarts. High floor, low ceiling. This early February, Giants-oriented scouting profile agrees with that summary: a likely starter, but only in the right, zone blocking system. Tom Mead’s early February scouting profile agrees that he could become a starter, but casts major doubt on any hope of stardom.5:16C Nick Harris, Washington. (Senior). 6’⅞”, 302 lbs. with 32⅛” arms. This gif-supported scouting profile from Tom Mead describes Harris is smart, savvy, strong, and possessed of exceptional mobility. He’d be a Round 1 Center if he was 3-4” taller, was 30 pounds heavier, and had arms that were 2” longer. And there’s the issue; those are very big numbers, it shows in his play, and it cannot be fixed. Among other things, Harris may mature into a good Center but there is little chance he will ever be able to serve as a backup at Guard. This brief but positive scouting profile believes that Harris’ deficiencies can be disguised in a running scheme designed to do so.5:16G Sadarius Hutcherson, South Carolina. (RS Junior). 6’4”, 320 lbs. Lots of strength. Lots of power. Needs lots of help with his technique.5:16C/G Donell Stanley, South Carolina. (RS Senior). 6’3”, 322 lbs. A solid, full-sized Guard who happens to play Center. He gets damned with faint praise at both positions, but the size is great for that kind of versatility.5:16G Simon Stepaniak, Indiana. (RS Senior). 6’4⅛”, 313 lbs. with shorter 32” arms and big 10⅜” hands. Will be a 23 year old rookie. The dude is flat out strong, nasty, and has the knack of exploding out of his stance. You just know that DL’s hung their head at the thought of dealing with him all day long. Mobility limitations make him vulnerable to quick pass rushers, and he will have trouble in the NFL at first because quick power can get underneath him. He lives by explosion and can die by it too.6:01G Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson. (Senior). 6’1⅞”, 314 lbs. with 33⅝” arms. An undersized but athletic Tackle in college who needs to add some grown-man strength and then become a versatile pulling Guard if he wants to succeed in the NFL. Has an odd build with all the weight underneath. Short, but has long enough arms.6:01G/C Gage Cervenka, Clemson. (RS Senior). 6’2¾”, 321 lbs. with big 10½” hands and acceptable length (32⅛” arms). Sleeper alert! Cervenka started college as a monstrously strong Defensive Tackle who was moved across the line to Guard in 2016, played some Center too in 2019, and is still learning the techniques of OL play. Technically, he’s a half step behind. Physically, he’s right up there with the best in the class when it comes to playing in the phone booth. Cervenka set the all-time Clemson record for the bench press and has the elite body dynamics, balance and other assets to be expected from a three time state champion wrestler. There is real upside here to play people-mover in the power running game if he can absorb the necessary coaching to play with NFL technique.6:01T/G Jack Driscoll, Auburn. (RS Senior). 6’4⅝”, 306 lbs. He started at U. Mass., transferred to the SEC based on his development, and then won the Right Tackle job for a very good program. And did okay there. But he is undersized for the NFL and sort of a square peg who’s hard to fit in any particular hole. One can speculate about a different position… but one has to speculate. This Giants-oriented scouting profile from January calls him a supreme tough guy with various physical and technical limitations. The NFL.com scouting profile sees a potential future on a team that runs mostly outside zone concepts, but that isn’t Pittsburgh.6:01G Steven Gonzalez, Penn State. (RS Senior). 6’4”, 341 lbs. Lots of strength. Lots of power. In need of lots of help from the technical point of view.6:01OT Charlie Heck, North Carolina. (RS Senior). 6’7⅝”, 311 lbs. with 34⅛” arms and 10¼” hands. Tremendous length of the “oversized TE” variety, which leads to a higher center of gravity unless the technique is really good. His father was an NFL star and is an NFL O-line coach, so the basics are sound, but they are not up to NFL standards yet. The son needs to add a lot of pure strength, and is just an average athlete. The length means he has a chance to succeed as a blindside protector, which is rare. Probably offers no no real position flexibility. Showed good drive on run blocks at the Senior Bowl.6:01G/T Justin Herron, Wake Forest. (RS Senior). 6’3⅝”, 308 lbs. with long 34½” arms but amazingly small 8⅞” hands. Will be a 25 year old rookie. An always-in-the-way blocker more than a power or length player, Herron nevertheless gets results. He did not allow a sack in 2017, missed all of 2018 to an ACL tear, and then came back with a solid if not special 2019. Obviously needs to get bigger and stronger in an NFL weight room, but those vine-like arms make up for the lack of height. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile suggests that he might do best as a pulling Guard and emergency Tackle, but both would require a lot of work to build the requisite strength, hand fighting technique, and general coordination.6:01C/G Keith Ismail, San Diego State. (RS Junior). 6’2⅞”, 309 lbs. 22 years old. Described in the Combine broadcast as an “athletic and sticky blocker [who is] more pest than power.” The NFL.com scouting profile grades him out as a sound backup with starter potential at Center. A redshirt year in the weight room looks inevitable.6:01G Tommy Kraemer, Notre Dame. (Senior). 6’6”, 319 lbs. Wide as a boat, which makes him hard to either get around or go through, but he occasionally moves like a boat as well. Strength is okay, but not up to the level he will need to succeed as a power-oriented NFL Guard.6:01G/T Terence Steele, Texas Tech. (RS Senior). 6’5⅞”, 312 lbs. with arms like vines (35⅛”). A good, physical Right Tackle who will require a year of NFL strength and technique training to build a better anchor, and to work on a variety of related subtleties. A pretty good target if the Steelers wait for the end of the draft and want a prospect for the pipeline. He has played every OL position except Center. Got brutalized by more advanced talent at the Senior Bowl.6:01G/C Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 315 lbs. A college Tackle who will need to become a pulling Guard or Center at the next level. Projects as a higher pedigree Ramon Foster if the coaching staff can help him solve some technical issues with his use of leverage against NFL talent. Got absolutely butchered at the Senior Bowl trying to play Tackle. Distinctly sub-average testing results across the board (bottom 5% SPARQ score). A smart kid who is on track to become a surgeon, and is accordingly nicknamed “Doc Throck.”6:16OT Trey Adams, Washington. (Senior). 6’8”, 318 lbs. with very long 34⅜” arms. Will be a 23-year-old rookie. This is a tragic grade. Two years ago, Trey Adams was projected as an all but guaranteed Round 1 talent with sound technique, prototypical length, excellent strength, and enough mobility to start at either Tackle spot in the NFL. The description would have been, “A better pass protector than run blocker, though he’s quite good at both.” Then came the injuries. As discussed in this article, Adams has tenaciously fought back from both a 2017 ACL tear and a 2018 disc surgery. He has never recovered either his mobility or his overall athletic edge, tested with a distinctly average athletic profile that produced an outright horrid SPARQ score (second percentile; i.e., bottom 2%), and looked klutzy in the field drills. It does not help that he said the medical concerns are well behind him in this late February article from the Combine. Can he regain what he’s lost? If so, he could be the steal of the draft. If not, he won’t even stick on a practice squad. Please let us know what your personal team doctor has said. The NFL.com scouting profile also emphasizes the boom-or-bust-for-injury bottom line, with extra notes about the need to build play strength. This February scouting profile questions whether he is a special athlete, but agrees he would have been a mid-1st pick if not for all the injuries and their lingering effects.6:16T/G Scott Frantz, Kansas State. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 303 lbs. Moves well and plays with good strength, but a bit of a T/G tweener who doesn’t wow at either position. A better target for a team that needs reliable depth, rather than one that can afford to take risks on star potential.6:16C/G Danny Pinter, Ball State (RS Senior). 6’4¼”, 306 lbs. with shorter 31⅞” arms. Played Tackle in college because he was the best OL on the team, but he was worked out as a Center at the Combine and he looked like an excellent, highly athletic prospect in the Pouncey mode, but with much shorter arm length. May be better suited for zone blocking teams, though Pittsburgh does ask it’s Center to do a lot of pulling.6:16C Zach Shackelford, Texas. (Senior). 6’3”, 303 lbs. with short 31” arms. A solid technician who lacks the size, length, and strength to slide out to Guard, and the mobility to be special as a pure Center. Floor is, “should be a reliable backup” (subject to the normal risks in all rookies) but the ceiling may be “average starter.”7:01C/G Cole Cabral, Ariz. State. (Senior). 6’5”, 300 lbs. A nice, solid, backup IOL with distinct limitations on his athletic talent.0:00QB Pocket Analysis. Round 1 talents are discounted to Round 2 with the understanding that only a huge bargain would tempt the team that early. A Day 3 pick to create competition makes more sense.0:00QB Joe Burrow, LSU. (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 221 lbs. Oh please. Likely to go #1 overall.0:00QB Justin Herbert, Oregon (Senior). 6’6¼”, 236 lbs. with big 10” hands. Said at the Senior Bowl that he plays around 233-235. The clear star, MVP, and most consistent QB at the Senior Bowl, he will go in the Top 5-10.0:00QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (Junior). 6’0”, 217 lbs. with big 10” hands. He’d be neck and neck for the #1 overall pick but for a season ending hip surgery. The medical news was good. So much for that fantasy.1:20QB Jordan Love, Utah State (RS Junior). 6’3¾”, 224 lbs. with very big 10½” hands. Size, strength, rocket arm, mobility, etc., Love has every physical asset and should get picked in the front half of Round 1 for nothing more than his pro bowl ceiling. Does that make him worth a pick for the Steelers at 2:17 since he could end up being the next Paxton Lynch just as easily as the next pick-your-star-who-got-it? You decide. Had an amazing ratio of TD’s to INT’s in 2018 (32 to 6!), that changed significantly (22 to 17) as he tried to do more in 2019. His former, and K.C.’s current RB Darwin Thompson sees a real similarity to Patrick Mahomes.2:24QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma (Senior). 6’1”, 222 lbs. with very solid 9¾” hands. STOP! Do not form any opinions on Jalen Hurts until you read this wonderful late-February article on how his skills might fit the Steelers. Done? Very well then. The typical question people start with is this: Hurts is a wonderful athlete but is he an NFL Quarterback? Nick Farabaugh’s gif-supported January scouting report emphasizes that JH has all the physical assets you want even if you ignore the somewhat amazing talents as a runner. The issues go to whether he can learn the position (it helps that he is a coach’s son), and how long it would take him in light of his undeveloped processing skills and ability to go through the progressions – let alone to call blocking schemes. This December scouting profile from DraftWire would add in ‘elongated release’ as another worry. The Depot Day 2 Senior Bowl report emphasized that Hurts can be amazingly streaky; when he’s hot, it’s Mt. Doom molten lava, but when he’s cold it’s a storm on Mt. Caradhras. Epic either way. His consistent record of success matters too, especially if you believe that Bill Parcells knew his craft. Fans should also consider JH’s tremendous intangibles, which may be the main selling point at the end of the day. This Bleacher Report article describes how Hurts flat-out won the starting job at Alabama, lost it to the young phenom Tua Tagovailoa on prime time TV, and continued to display pure class throughout that process. He then moved on to Oklahoma, where he looked like a world beater, came in second in the Heisman voting, continued to act with amazing class and maturity, and has by all accounts has continued to hold the love and loyalty of his teammates in both places. Jalen Hurts has “it”. The often-mentioned comparisons to Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson are fair in that regard, without the developed accuracy. Or perhaps Tim Tebow, if you want a great leader at the QB position who failed in the NFL. It comes to this: Hurts is a risky bet on from the QB skills perspective, but a great bet on if you’re looking for a winner. Let the battle commence. The title of this January Sports Illustrated article should add fuel to the fire: “If Jalen Hurts Falls in 2020 NFL Draft, the Steelers Shouldn’t Think Twice”. This long January scouting profile notes how much his accuracy has been approving, but still worries that it isn’t up to NFL levels. This February article addresses Hurts’ ability to succeed as a dual threat QB in the NFL.3:01QB Jacob Eason, Washington (Junior). 6’5⅞”, 231 lbs. The best arm talent in the class, he also satisfies every physical box from size to overall athleticism, but needs to show he can play the NFL position from the neck up. Definitely a boom-or-bust prospect, but the “boom” part is too high and too apparent to believe some team won’t take a shot on his upside in Round 1. Still, stranger things have happened. Should the Steelers consider him in Round 2? Only if he impresses in the interviews. Note that he lost his starting job at Georgia to Jake Fromm in a tortoise-over-the-hare plot line. Here is a January scouting profile that complains of slow reads and issues with his accuracy under pressure. This February scouting profile pretty much agrees with that take: huge arm talent; slow processor; issues appear when he’s pressured. Ditto for this late February scouting profile.3:01QB Jake Fromm, Georgia (Junior). 6’1⅞”, 219 lbs. with small 8⅞” hands. All the intangibles and assets of Duck Hodges with a better quality arm, though still not a good one on the NFL grading scale. The floor is okay but his 2019 film suggests a pretty hard cap on his ceiling. The comp to Andy Dalton may be one of the easiest you’ll ever find for a QB prospect. One has to give Dalton some due respect despite that annoying “Red Rifle” nickname, but he wouldn’t be the long term answer. This late January scouting profile said ‘Drew Brees without the arm’ based on leadership characteristics, but Dalton seems a lot closer as a player comparison. This gif-supported February scouting report uses Chad Pennington as the comp, which works okay too. Here is a good looking, if brief, scouting profile from February. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported, Combine-day scouting report concludes that “Fromm has the profile of a player who be in the top 15 at his position, but rarely in the top 10.”4:16QB Anthony Gordon, Washington St. (RS Senior). 6’2⅜”, 205 lbs. with 9¾” hands. He’s on the smaller side but he’s got an acceptable NFL arm highlighted a weird the ability to throw from odd positions (he was drafted by the Mets to play shortstop). The issues (beyond size) have to do with questions about his ability to make the leap from an air raid system to the NFL. His decision making has been erratic at best. A decent gamble at some point when the dream of a potential Drew Brees would be worth the 90+% chance of disappointment. Looked decisive at the Senior Bowl, where the broadcast crew praised his timing, anticipation and accuracy.5:16QB James Morgan, Fla. Int’l. (RS Senior). 6’4”, 229 lbs. A major Shrine Bowl winner who proved his ability to be a big-armed pocket passer. If only the level of competition had been a little higher… Described by the broadcast team as “the best interview of the week” according to multiple team sources, he received the 2020 CFB Pat Tillman award as a player who exemplifies intelligence, sportsmanship, and service.5:16QB Nate Stanley, Iowa (Senior). 6’3¾”, 235 lbs. with 10” hands. Plays in a pro style system, which depressed his statistics but makes him a little easier to judge. Stanley is a classic pocket passer with a rocket arm, but hampered by accuracy issues downfield, problems with touch on the short plays, and some decision making concerns. Accuracy is hard to improve, but Stanley’s upside is huge for a team that believes he can tweak things into shape. This January scouting profile wonders why someone with a legit, rocket arm would try so hard to throw gentle passes at a distance.6:01QB Steven Montez, Colorado. (RS Senior). 6’4”, 231 lbs. Boom or bust. He’s got all the NFL size you want, has nice mobility, and possesses a full sized NFL arm, but the accuracy is distinctly hit-or-miss and one can only speculate on his ability to handle the neck-up demands of the NFL position. The biggest issue is footwork that’s been described as “terrible.” OTOH, footwork is an area where some exceptionally studious young men can improve, and improvements in footwork tend to cascade upward into every other part of the game. Stats may be inflated from playing with one of this year’s superb WR prospects, Laviska Shenault. This goes to a post-Senior Bowl interview.6:01QB Bryce Perkins, Virginia. (RS Senior). 6’3”, 215 lbs. Boom or bust. Like his midround peers of this class, Perkins has not-quite-elite athletic talent as a runner, and an arm big enough to make all the throws. Making the throws on time and on target…? Aye, there’s the rub. Along with the questions about identifying which throws to make at an NFL level.6:16QB Tyler Huntley, Utah. (Senior). 6’1”, 205 lbs. A run-option QB with obvious size issues, excellent athletic skills, and maybe the ability to double as a Slash-type WR. As a QB he is very (but not pinpoint) accurate, has a pretty big arm, and can throw both on the run and off platform. The interviews will matter more than anything else. Here is a good February scouting profile from a Raiders POV.6:16QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M. (Junior). 6’3”, 217 lbs. Boom or bust. He isn’t Lamar Jackson, but you’d put him in the next tier of QB athlete and he has a lot of arm talent to go with it. But he has also been inconsistent to say the least, even in college. Josh Dobbs might make a good comparison from the pure talent perspective.7:01QB Brian Lewerke, Michigan State. (RS Senior). 6’2½”, 213 lbs. with really big 10⅝” hands. The classic “damned with faint praise” prospect. He’s been a good leader and has shown improved accuracy (if still not great), but everything is just a step down from what you’d prefer to see. The low ceiling depresses his stock, and he isn’t advanced enough to have an identifiable NFL floor at this particular position.7:01QB Jake Luton, Oregon State. (RS Senior). 6’6⅛”, 224 lbs. with big 10⅜” hands. At the risk of sounding trite, the scouting reports sound like a really tall version of Duck Hodges. A good leader, a smart college-level QB, and accurate enough on short and medium throws when his mechanics are right. But he has a tendency to lose his mechanics and does not have a full-sized NFL arm, which results in way too many floaters when things fail to go right. Sounds a lot like the more damning scouting reports on Tom Brady when they took that ugly photo at the Combine… And I suppose that is the dream that makes him draftable in Day 3.7:16QB Roland Rivers III, Slippery Rock. (Senior). 6’3”, 230 lbs. A local, small school star with a big arm and stats. He could easily end up as this year’s camp arm with a chance to show something extra. This goes to a February scouting profile.0:00TE Pocket Analysis. The Steelers’ biggest hole going into draft season has been reduced to no more than average by the signing of Move TE Eric Ebron to join McDonald. Neither man has enjoyed a whole lot of health over his career, so a pick remains possible, but it is no longer a priority.2:24TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame (Junior). 6’5¾”, 262 lbs. with big 10½” hands. A very young (turns 21 in March) TE who is solid but not exceptional all around. Kmet, Trautman, and Dalton Keene were the only Tight Ends who tested as above-average athletes at the Combine, and Kmet would have had the best overall athletic profile but for a poor, 13th-percentile 3-cone drill. His best feature isn’t physical. It’s a reputation for grit. One rarely goes wrong by betting on the dog with lots of fight. As Nick Farabaugh emphasizes in this gif-supported January scouting report (which ends in a fringe-1st grade), Kmet plays with the hard-bitten, nasty, tough guy attitude you want from a TE. The other issue is a medical jacket involving ankle, leg, elbow and collarbone injuries. He’s fast enough, has good burst in a straight line, and security-blanket hands for move-the-chains throws (he will body catch sometimes but that looks like a bad habit). The NFL.com scouting profile sees a solid starter in Year 2 after a developmental rookie season to build strength and fundamental technique. This gif-supported February scouting report from a Patriots POV, which seems pretty good, concludes that Kmet has all the tools but needs so much work on his game that no real contributions should be expected until Year 2 or 3. Sounds about right. This goes to a brief but fair scouting profile from early January, and this to a more complete, gif-supported January scouting report. Here is a February scouting report from a Notre Dame fan site, and a careful, gif-heavy September film study of the game against Georgia. This late February TDN article from the Combine includes several nuggets like his multisport background, late growth spurt in High School, and the fact that both his father and uncle played in the NFL.2:24TE Adam Trautman, Dayton. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 255 lbs. Like 2019 small school TE sensation Adam Shaheen and 2018’s Dallas Goedert (both Round 2 picks), Trautman suffers under just one cloud: negligible experience, with most of it coming against poor competition. He is, to be blunt, a basketball player from a forgettable football program who played nothing but QB until a few years ago. See this nice Yahoo Sports article for some background. The tape shows a receiver who can get down the field, moves very well in space, can box out defenders, and will catch whatever is thrown his way. The Combine testing showed moderate speed but fantastic COD skills – better than most WR’s! Trautman, Kmet, and Dalton Keene were the only Tight Ends who tested as above-average athletes at the Combine. He had a well balanced athletic profile headlined by an extraordinary 3-cone drill, resulting in a SPARQ score in the top third of the NFL. At the Senior Bowl he looked every bit the peer of his power school opponents, and also showed some serious ability to block. Daniel Jeremiah was moved to say, “[Trautman] has a legitimate opportunity to be the first Tight End drafted.” Small school wannabe to draft sensation in one easy leap! This gif-supported February scouting report from a Patriots POV seems pretty good, concluding that Trautman has all the tools to become a TE1 at his peak, but needs so much technique work that no real contributions should be expected until late Year 2 or Year 3. Josh Carney’s gif-supported February scouting report ends in a solid Round 2 grade. This goes to a gif-supported scouting report from Senior Bowl week, which suggests that Trautman has the native stuff to keep rising up boards.4:01TE Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic. (Senior). 6’4¾”, 243 lbs. with smaller than expected hands (9½”), T-rex arms (30⅝”), and an athletic profile that disappointed badly in all areas but linear speed. OTOH, this post-Combine NFL.com article notes how he moved well through all the drills and looked like one of the few capable blockers. Harrison Bryant won the 2019 Mackey Award by putting up gaudy receiving stats, but his pro prospects are held back by significant questions about the level of competition, ability to succeed as a blocker in the NFL, and (after the Combine) basic athleticism. Is he a tweener with inadequate explosion for a WR and inadequate oomph for a TE, or the one who succeeds in both areas and emerges as a true NFL mismatch weapon? His blocking at the Senior Bowl looked much better than expected in-line, in pass protection, in space, and pulling for the run game (he was an offensive lineman in High School). Good for those coaches btw, because he had less to prove as a receiving weapon. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported February scouting report ends with a 4th round grade on concerns about lateral agility and, particularly, limited explosion out of breaks. A 14th percentile 3-cone score tends to support that concern, and may also account for some of the missed blocks on his in-season film. Lance Zierlein is a huge fan however, and uses George Kittle as his comp in the NFL.com scouting profile.4:01TE Albert Okwuegbunam (“O-coo-WAY-boo-nham”), Missouri. (RS Junior). 6’5½”, 258 lbs. with very long 34⅛” arms and big 10¼” hands. [MTG. AT COMBINE] He looks the part, runs really fast in a straight line (4.49 dash!), and showed marvelous hands in 2018 with Drew Lock as his Quarterback. Great things were expected for 2019 and… they simply didn’t happen. Was it the step down in QB quality? The rumored clash with that new QB on a personal level? Limitations that Lock’s high-end play had disguised? We do not know, and that makes for a hard evaluation. His stock isn’t helped in the slightest by some very poor blocking skills, as highlighted by Josh Carney’s gif-supported, late January scouting report. Here is a Dave Bryan “contextualization” piece on A-Ok’s 2019 catches. This early February, Giants-oriented scouting profile focuses on an apparent lack of athletic burst (which is Combine run may have answered) and glosses over his blocking flaws.4:16TE Devin Asiasi, UCLA. (RS Junior). 6’3”, 257 lbs. A sleeper who, despite early projections, tested as a distinctly average athlete at the Combine. This interview from his freshman year shows an impressively well balanced young man. This brief local article published when he declared describes a well rounded game. Tom Mead’s gif-supported February scouting report is worth quoting at length: “Despite only one year of production he is a reliable pass catcher who can be lined up all over the field and used on all three levels. He has shown good aggressiveness to pass and run block and has improved to the point where it looks like he may enjoy it now. He’s not explosive and didn’t show the ability to create after the catch but it’s hard to find a tight end that can do everything.” Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile is more positive, seeing a potential TE1 if Asiasi can lose some sloppy weight as he tightens up his technique. The 31st percentile SPARQ score was uninspiring.4:16TE Brycen Hopkins, Purdue. (RS Senior). 6’3⅞”, 245 lbs. with big 10⅛” hands. [MTG. AT SENIOR BOWL] Fiftieth (50th) percentile SPARQ score based on an all around average athletic profile. Originally touted as the premier TE in the class, Hopkins’ stock has faded over time; primarily because he drops more than 10% of the passes headed his way, always has, and reviewers doubt he can ever improve it. His inability to block is the second big knock. Think ‘Eric Ebron but much less athletic and distinctly worse at catching the ball.’ Tom Mead’s gif-supported January scouting report shows a big bodied receiver who blocks like a big receiver; which should embarrass this son of a Round 1 Offensive Tackle. He gets in the way eagerly enough but fails to hold up when asked to play in-line, or even against a hard-charging Safety. The blocking did look a little better at the Senior Bowl, so there is hope. The big positive is that Hopkins has always excelled at getting open, and has some hard-to-catch game speed with the ball in his hands. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting report ends with a Day 3 type of grade due in large part to the drops, which he does not think are fixable. Daniel Jeremiah has offered a similar grade. We add an extra, albeit minor downcheck for age, since Pittsburgh likes to draft on the younger side. This goes to a Senior Bowl interview he did with Alex Kozora, where Hopkins chose to emphasize his focus on becoming a real asset in the blocking game too. This Giants-oriented scouting profile from February concludes that Hopkins has the tools to be a multipurpose TE but offers much less in terms of blocking than receiving.4:16TE Dalton Keene, Va. Tech. (Junior). 6’4⅛”, 253 lbs. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile describes him as a “Swiss Army Knife versatility performing in-line, as a wingback, from the slot, as a fullback, and even as a personal protector in pass protection [but likely to] struggle against NFL power at the point of attack.” This link goes to a Va. Tech. site that collects articles on Keene, including a sort of consensus scouting profile from February. Keene, Kmet and Trautman were the only Tight Ends who tested as above-average athletes at the Combine. He ended up with a well balanced athletic profile and a top-of-the-class, 80th percentile SPARQ score.5:01TE Sean McKeon, Michigan. (Senior). 6’5”, 242 lbs. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported January scouting report describes an above-average blocker with below-average athletic skills, which translates to a prospect with a high floor in a useful area, but a low ceiling unless he can improve his stock at the Combine. The Steelers should have special insight into McKeon because he played as part of a TE duet with last year’s pick Zach Gentry.5:01TE Thaddeus Moss, LSU. (Junior). 6’1⅞”, 250 lbs. with short 31⅞” arms. The very substandard size suggests he might do better as an H-back than a true TE, which earns an extra discount because he won’t win any competitions against Derek Watt. A surprise entry into the draft whose stock soared after a fine performance in the CFB championship, Moss got even more buzz as the son of WR legend Randy Moss. Since then the stock has cooled – by a lot. Dave Bryan’s January “contextualization” piece shows the son to be nothing like the amazing deep threat his father was. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported, February scouting report describes a promising TE2 prospect who lacks the pure athleticism to ever be a modern-NFL mismatch star, but nevertheless ends in Round 2-3 grade because he can actually block. The NFL.com scouting profile agrees with the description (tremendous hands, good blocker, distinctly average athlete) but ends with a grade more typical for Round 5-6 targets. Coming in small and short at the Combine really hurt. This early-process, Bears-oriented scouting profile notes that Moss is a good hands-catcher and a pretty sound blocker compared to most of this year’s class, but emphasizes his extreme lack of experience and his lack of any TD’s in LSU’s record-setting offense. This Pats-oriented February scouting profile sums it up neatly: a pretty good blocker with middle-of-the-pack athleticism, and a surname that leads to false initial hopes.5:16TE Hunter Bryant, Washington. (Junior). 6’2¼”, 248 lbs. Downgraded for poor fit more than questionable talent, he is a WR/TE hybrid who can do the receiving part of the job quite well but hasn’t held up as a blocker. Daniel Volante’s gif-supported, late January scouting report emphasizes that he really is a superior, very smooth athlete in the open field who’d be a mismatch against any Linebacker, but is so poor and undersized as a blocker that teams will have no reason to hit him with anything but a Safety. His 32nd percentile SPARQ score and lack of both height and length did not help at all.5:16TE Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati. (RS Senior). 6’2⅜”, 242 lbs. with short-for-a-TE 31⅝” arms. A fully functional H-Back with marginal size for the TE position and ordinary (for the NFL) athletic gifts. Good floor, low ceiling. May project better as a very high end fullback, and should excel on special teams. This goes to a Senior Bowl interview with Alex Kozora.5:16TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford. (Junior). 6’7¼”, 252 lbs. Fits the mold of a TE2 quite well. You’ve got to love the height for red zone work, and his security-blanket hands stand out in a good way. Coming out of Stanford you know he’s also very smart. The biggest issue is blocking. He seems to be willing enough, and can get in the way without being blown up, but his height has caused real issues with getting any push. The Combine testing also suggests a limited upside (18th percentile SPARQ score) with an athletic profile that is quite similar to Zach Gentry, who the Steelers picked in Round 5 of 2019. Read both Tom Mead’s gif-supported January scouting report and the associated comments for more insight. Parkinson is a hard prospect to summarize because he somehow generates enthusiastic lukewarmity from all sources. This Giants-oriented scouting profile from February describes a nice but uninspiring weapon as a receiver who does okay blocking in space but is helpless when used in-line. The NFL.com scouting profile sees a better receiver and a worse blocker.5:16TE Stephen Sullivan, LSU. (Senior). 6’4⅞”, 248 lbs. with absurd 35⅜” arms and very big 10⅛” hands. A WR who grew so big that his team gave him a different position title. He knows next to nothing about blocking but he will destroy any team that tries to cover him with a linebacker. Sullivan’s athleticism stood out at the Senior Bowl in the pass catching role, and that much is pretty clear. Of course, no one will choose to cover him like a TE until he learns to do more than catch passes, and he isn’t quite up to WR standards in that capacity. The athletic profile shows hideous COD skills even on the TE scale. Could be a Day 3 target nevertheless if he has that all-important “Wanna” for the more physical part of the position.6:01TE Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt. (RS Senior). 6’4”, 257 lbs. He looks the part and he has the hands, but he needs to improve in basically every part of his game. He is a good receiver but not a great one, and he runs like a lineman (4.96 dash). He tries to block but isn’t good at it. Etc. A developmental Day 3 prospect. He will also be a 23-year old rookie rather than the kid that Pittsburgh prefers to target. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported January scouting report summarizes him as a good but not great prospect with a high ceiling, who will also require years of patience from the fan base before he starts to get it. This February scouting profile from a Giants POV describes a classic TE2 who should be able to block and catch at an NFL level, but lacks the athletic talent to ever be a mismatch weapon.6:16TE Jacob Breeland, Oregon. (RS Senior). 6’4⅞”, 252 lbs. A balanced-skills TE with decent size for the position and ordinary (for the NFL) athletic gifts. His stock rose throughout 2019 as a multipurpose weapon until a season ending knee injury in December. The NFL.com scouting profile grades him out as a UDFA.6:16TE Eli Wolf, Georgia by way of Tennessee. (RS Senior). 6’4¼”, 238 lbs. A Shrine Bowl star known as a good receiver who knows how to block but is a bit small to be really good at it. Was off the Board completely until he looked so good in the all-star game.7:01TE Luke Farrell, Ohio State. (RS Junior). 6’6”, 250 lbs. A capable blocking TE who looks outright slow when asked to be a receiver. The sort of player who will become a draftnik sensation if he kills his pro day with unsuspected athletic talents, or will disappear from everyone’s radar screen if the feet really are that heavy.7:01TE Cheyenne O’Grady, Arkansas. (RS Senior). 6’3¾”, 253 lbs. with long 33⅝” arms and big 10⅛” hands. A prospect who could have competed to be the best TE in this very poor class, but drops by a lot due to significant off-field issues. He was suspended from the team in his final season despite being one of it’s few legitimate stars. Nor is he particularly young. The athletic profile is okay but nothing special.7:01TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia. (Senior). 6’4⅝”, 244 lbs. with big 10” hands. Used with some success by Georgia as a blocker rather than a receiver. Dave Bryan’s gif-supported February scouting report shows real skill at blocking in space and also some soft hands. But does he have the native athleticism required to be a receiver as well?7:16TE Mitchell Wilcox, South Florida. (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 247 lbs. An oversized WR from a smaller school who showed some flashes on film but requires a huge amount of projection. Had a terrible Combine that included getting hit in the face during the gauntlet drill, and ended with a ninth (9th) percentile SPARQ score.0:00RB Pocket Analysis. Pittsburgh has half of a good RB1 in the oft-injured James Conner, and a solid array of talents competing for the RB2 spot in Jaylen Samuels, Bennie Snell, and Kerrith Whyte. The team therefore has real room for a RB1.b to pair with Conner and no discount has been applied to any Round 1-3 talent that might serve in that capacity. Increasing discounts have been applied to lesser talents.1:20RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio St. (Junior). 5’9½”, 209 lbs. Came in at #38 on Gil Brandt’s well respected board.The 21 year old Dobbins could easily be Pittsburgh’s choice in Round 2, and no one should complain if they land him. Nick Farabaugh’s gif-supported January scouting report gives a good overview: smaller and less of a load than James Conner, but possessing an equally rounded skill set with the addition of breakaway speed, better acceleration, more quickness in space, and no history of health problems. Bulk him up just a little and you’d get a Maurice Jones-Drew vibe: the classic bowling ball with good moves and acceptable hands. Ray Rice may be an even better comp. One can question his ceiling in pass protection due to the lack of size, or raise doubts because he played behind a great college OL, but the same is true for the other top backs in this draft. Almost no RB succeeds when the line allows penetration. This late January article calls Dobbins, “the best all around back in the draft.” He chose not to do any testing at the Combine but is generally viewed as the best overall SPARQ athlete of the RB class.1:20RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia. (Junior). 5’8¼”, 212 lbs. Came in at #37 on Gil Brandt’s well respected board. As summarized in this nice January scouting profile, the only real flaw people have found is hypothetical: he’s never been asked to carry the ball 300 times in a single season. The skill set itself is amazing for being so well rounded, as this February scouting profile emphasizes. He can break ankles, stiff arm defenders into next week, or run through them as desired, and will do all three. I watched some film and was struck by his knack for drilling through tackles with a last second spin that seems to always gain an extra yard. The vision and timing for holes could not be better. Easy speed that does not stand out but never gets him caught from behind. A finisher’s mentality in a short-but-not-small body. Very good hands with full, WR body control to twist and turn midair for a catch. Does tend to break for the sideline on his bigger runs, but not excessively; he gets there when he makes those breaks; and he is definitely able to stay inside too. I did not see many broken tackles, just ones he avoided and ones he drilled through for that extra yard. This gif-supported February scouting report puts him at the top of the RB class. This tremendous, gif-supported scouting report by Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network points to some limitations relating to tunnel vision that could make Swift less effective in the NFL as an inside runner. Here is a good, gif-supported February scouting report from a Chiefs POV (the clips include several 2018 games and a cut of all his 2019 snaps).1:25RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU. (Junior). 5’7¼”, 207 lbs. Stock has gone nowhere but up as the process moves forward, CEH is a short-but-not-small, 21 year old prospect with a list of assets so long you don’t realize it until you try to write them down Begin with a really special ability to make would be tacklers miss in the hole. Add an ankle breaking jump cut that does the same in the open field (no kidding, he left whiffs in his wake on almost every play in the clips from Nick Farabaugh’s January scouting report, and the Combine coverage quoted an NFC coach as follows: “The kid can make you miss in a phone booth”). Then add enough long speed to take simple runs for fifty large if the crease is there. Superb is a mild term for his skill as an outlet and mismatch receiver. Good kick return skills. Surprising power for his size, which pairs favorably with tremendous contact balance (just look at those thighs!). Studied hard with Kevin Faulk to become a good pass protector. The only issue is that he never managed to stand out as the weapon among all of LSU’s other fantastic talent, though it should be noted that he won the team MVP over QB and Heisman winner Joe Burrow, was named a permanent team captain, and Burrow called him the best player on either his Ohio State or LSU rosters. Jeez people, what else could we want except a few extra inches and pounds? People have agreed Shady McCoy as a decent comp, meaning the young one back in his Philadelphia days. This January scouting profile adds yet another important asset: “The most impressive thing about Edwards-Helaire’s resume is how great he was against good opponents.” That is echoed by this advanced-stats January scouting profile, which could not be a lot more positive. This early February scouting profile emphasizes CEH’s well rounded skill set and overall lack of flaws, ending in a mid-2nd grade. Here is a strong, gif-supported scouting report from late January. He lived up to the rave expectations in this June, 2019 scouting profile, which goes into some detail about his straightforward athletic profile. The raves continue in this February scouting profile.1:25RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin. (Junior). 5’10¼”, 226 lbs. The Draft Network scouting profiles unite to laud Taylor’s “rare blend of [patience], size, burst, and power.” It’s a combination that brings to mind a version of James Conner with much better speed and no record of health issues. He ran a 4.39 dash at the Combine! Yes, he is a trained sprinter, but that is still serious, breakaway speed – especially at 226 pounds with a 10-yard split that was just as good. Taylor came in at #24 on Gil Brandt’s well respected board. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported February scouting report describes more of a Mark Ingram than a Saquon Barkley, but that will do; and more than do. He does everything well, just not with the kind of eye-popping athleticism that makes everyone else on the field look slow. The other question marks really go to pushback against conclusions based on the historic stats alone. 2,000 yards in three straight seasons… ‘Is this a league changing runner?!’ The answer is, “no,” but that is no excuse to overreact in the other way. Yes, Taylor played behind a great OL; but he used it exceptionally well as befits a polished prospect. Yes, Wisconsin has produced many RB’s with gaudy college stats and just-okay pro careers, but the same was true for Alabama until Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs broke out. Yes, he’s had an excessive workload, but he is only 21 years old, that is better than having a scanty record, and he hasn’t been injured. Yes, he had 18 fumbles in his college career; but that’s on close to a thousand touches. Etc. This late January scouting profile characterizes Taylor as more of a power back than an overall talent, with elite vision, very good speed, and questions about his receiving ability (though others have been satisfied about that). This late January scouting profile is more positive, reminding readers that he used to be a track star and the speed is real. This February scouting profile discusses the NFL heritage of good but not great RB’s out of Wisconsin. This particularly good, Giants-oriented scouting profile points out Taylor’s subtle asset: choppy feet that allow for instant and creative adjustments during the run. A tremendous pro day display answered any questions about receiving ability.2:01RB Cam Akers, Florida St. (Junior). 5’10⅜”, 217 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] This Draft Network scouting profile (Marino) argues that the 21 year old Akers “has no physical limitations to execute in any role,” but has been hidden from view because he (a) played behind a terrible OL in college, and (b) may need a good coach to develop his above-the-neck skillset, blocking, and receiving skills. Nick Martin’s gif-supported January scouting report echoes that: “If Akers were a bit more refined in his ball security and catching the ball out of the backfield, there’d be a lot of talk about him as the #1 back in the draft right now.” Sounds awesome! Add in Akers’ youth, his fit to the Steelers blocking scheme, and his skill at blocking; sounds like a serious target for Round 2. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile is a particularly good read because, between the lines, it notes how heavily Akers’ grade depends on projecting beyond the steaming pile that was his offensive line. This February scouting profile makes the argument well, ending with a late-1st grade and a “Day 2 steal” verdict. This Giants-oriented February scouting profile describes him as a top talent weighted down by a complete lack of blocking skills. Gil Brandt is not a fan compared to the rest of the world.2:12RB Zack Moss, Utah. (Senior). 5’9⅜”, 223 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] A higher pedigree version of Conner and Snell – the better comps may be Kareem Hunt or Marshawn Lynch – Moss profiles as a smart, between the tackles power back with good size, surprisingly nifty feet, and awesome production. He is Utah’s all time leader in rushing yards, scrimmage yards, touches, and touchdowns by a good margin. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting report could not be more enthusiastic: “Watching Moss’ game tape is like watching an exercise in controlled violence on just about every carry, but his vision, balance, patience and wiggle are additional skills that help to make him a well-rounded runner… He is a great fit for [Pittsburgh’s] gap and inside zone-heavy rushing attacks and could become an effective, instant starter.” The Beast Mode comparison comes from this nice March scouting profile, citing interviews where Moss says he modeled some of his game on Lynch. This gif-supported January scouting report emphasizes character as one of the hidden assets. Tore his ACL in 2018 (climbing into bed of all things) and then bounced back for a typically marvelous 2019. Anyone who was disappointed with Moss’s 4.65 dash at the Combine should know that James Conner also ran a 4.65, Benny Snell ran a 4.67, and Moss had tweaked a hamstring before the run anyway. On film he is a step faster than either of Pittsburgh’s current stable. Josh Carney’s gif-supported February scouting report agrees on the solid Round 2 grade. NOTE: Many Steelers fans have said they rely on getting Moss at #102, but he seems to go much earlier in mock drafts by actual humans than he does in the ones conducted by online simulators.3:24RB A.J. Dillon, Boston College. (Junior). 6’⅜”, 247 lbs. If this was a Tennessee Titans board and we thought they needed someone to step in for Derrick Henry, Dillon would have a Round 2 grade. But for the 2019 Steelers…? He’s actually bigger and runs every bit as hard as either Conner or Snell. And it should be said that the NFL.com scouting profile (which uses James Conner as the comp) sees room for him to lose some weight, add some quickness, and become really elite. If he is more Conner 2.0 than Snell 2.0, he is also a viable target for the pick at 3:comp. This short but apparently sound January scouting profile also notes his lack of any proven receiving ability (also true for Conner as a prospect). Dillon put up a series of very impressive results at the Combine, headlined by a 4.53 dash and two amazing jumps that put him into the top 3-4% of the NFL from a SPARQ perspective. Yes indeed, he is faster and more explosive than Pittsburgh’s current pair even if he runs in a similar style.3:24RB/WR/ATH Antonio Gibson, Memphis. (Senior). 6’⅜”, 228 lbs. with short 31⅛” arms and very small 8⅝” hands. Will be a 22 year old rookie. Gibson may be the most difficult player to grade in the entire draft because he fits no categories, and had only one year of production. But it was a heck of a year, and the “slash” roles that he plays are all ones that Pittsburgh could use: running back, receiver, returner, and special teams. Ran an exceptional 4.39 dash at the Combine, which helped him to compile an 83rd percentile SPARQ score when measured as a WR. I have no idea what that would be as a RB, which seems to be a better long term fit for his physique and skill set. Except… do you really need a “fit” in the modern NFL? Fans who want an offensive weapon but dislike the idea of replacing James Conner should pay special attention. Gibson is the perfect compromise: a prospect who could grow into Conner’s heir but has other uses if he doesn’t, and offers great special teams talent as a hedge-your-bets floor. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile emphasizes the versatility and notes the upside, but makes the lack of evidence central to the larger analysis. The only real physical weakness seems to be “Hip tightness limits fluidity in the open field.” The DraftWire verdict is: “He probably won’t be more than a gadget player in the pros, but what an effective gadget player he can be.” All three of The Draft Network scouting profiles are worth reading, and add up to an exciting boom-or-bust talent whose final results can barely be guessed at.4:01RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona St. (Junior). 5’8⅞”, 207 lbs. A player the Steelers may consider for a pick in the 3:Comp to Early-4 range if they see him solving the ball security issues, and surviving the NFL pounding at his moderate size. He has great vision, short area COD, decisiveness, one of the deadliest spin moves you’ll ever see, and the twin ability to get skinny and fall forward as he gets tackled. He also functions well out of the backfield, though he lacks the speed to be a poor man’s WR, and he is a fearless, proficient blocker. Comes with a high floor because his overall attitude suggests that he will be a core Special Teams maven when he isn’t getting offensive snaps. Question: is a higher rated, smaller version of Benny Snell a prototype that Pittsburgh really wants? This excellent January interview reveals a really smart young man who graduated in three years despite his athletic schedule, has an immigrant work ethic, and gains an edge by understanding football at the level beyond just the particular plays. After this gif-supported January scouting report calls him an “electric” athlete, the author notes a regression in his stats from 2018 to 2019, but puts that down to poor O-Line play.4:01RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt. (RS Senior). 5’9⅝”, 214 lbs. A good prospect who would probably fit an outside zone team best in order to make use of his cutback skills. Earns a large discount on this Board because he would be competing for the already-stacked RB 2 position. This enthusiastic, gif-supported January scouting report puts him in the same band as Cam Akers.5:16RB Joshua Kelley, UCLA. (RS Senior). 5’10½”, 212 lbs. Alex Kozora’s pre-Senior Bowl, gif-supported scouting report won’t be the only one making Benny Snell 2.0 comparisons. You have to like this version as much as the original, but that doesn’t mean there is room on the current Steelers roster. To be fair, he looked much more creative than Snell in the Senior Bowl, where he repeatedly used quickness to make something out of nothing. Also supposed to be a very impressive young man off the field. This goes to a late January post-Senior Bowl article by Alex Kozora.5:16Sewo Olonilua, TCU. (Senior). 6’2½”, 232 lbs. Josh Carney’s gif-supported, early February scouting report makes some serious comparisons to LeVeon Bell when he came out of college, and it is easy to see why. Olonilua is a freakish physical specimen who profiles as a big power back with very nifty feet and great burst, but only mid-level breakaway speed; like Bell, he will break off 20-40 yard chunks but won’t disappear over the horizon. Would probably be in the discussion as a potential RB1 but for a pair of drug charges for possession of something at the level of magic mushrooms or ecstasy. It was cleared up enough for him to play in 2019.6:01RB Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State. (RS Junior). 5’10⅛”, 203 lbs. A fine overall athlete (84th percentile SPARQ score) with good 4.41 speed, Evans is a slashing runner who will thrive in an outside zone blocking scheme but probably not in any other. That isn’t Pittsburgh’s game, which earns an unfair grade for this particular board.6:01RB Anthony McFarland, Maryland. (RS Sophomore). 5’8⅛”, 208 lbs. Constant injuries such as the 2019 high ankle sprain have held his stock down significantly, along with the average-to-small size. The flashes have been occasional but impressive. Daniel Valente’s gif-supported March scouting report shows one of those players who simply played at a different level of speed and sharpness than everyone else on the field. It came as a total shock when he tested as a very average athlete (18th percentile SPARQ score), but the bigger issue is that he does not seem to fit Pittsburgh’s offensive style.7:01RB JaMycal Hasty, Baylor. (RS Senior). 5’8”, 205 lbs. This is an unfair grade for a player who deserves to get picked a few rounds higher, but it’s a question of fit. Pittsburgh has more than adequate depth at the RB position, and Hasty brings a skill set that basically duplicates what is offered by Kerrith Whyte. He may well be an enviable puzzle piece for the right team, but that doesn’t seem pick-worthy for the Steelers in this particular year. Had a bad fumble at the Senior Bowl.7:01RB Trey Sermon, Oklahoma. (Junior). 6’0″, 216 lbs. The scouting reports really remind you of James Conner with a bit less size and juice, but a proven ability to pass protect. I love Conner, and did so when he was drafted too, but drafting a player to compete with Snell and Samuels for the RB2 spot just doesn’t make sense. Sermon would be better served getting drafted in Round 4 by a team that can use him better.7:16RB Lamical Perine, Florida. (Senior). 5’10¾”, 216 lbs. Joe Marino’s Draft Network scouting profile and Daniel Valente’s gif-supported Depot scouting report combine to catch both the essence and the issue: Perine is a tough, downhill runner who greatly resembles Benny Snell in style, approach, and joy to watch. He is also more versatile than people may assume. I like him, but a solid RB2/3 with special teams upside would not help the Pittsburgh roster.7:16RB Patrick Taylor Jr., Memphis. (Senior). 6’1½”, 217 lbs. A hammer with niftier feet than you’d expect and decent hands for receiving work. Here is a February scouting profile from a Giants POV. Sounds a lot like Benny Snell, who in turn sounds a lot like James Conner. It’s hard to see Pittsburgh spending one of it’s limited picks on someone with that description.0:00WR Pocket Analysis. 2020 offers more and better WR talent than any class in recent memory, and maybe ever, but the Steelers have three young WR2 talents in Juju Smith Schuster, James Washington, and Diontae Johnson. Any or all of those three might develop into a true WR1, and true stardom is still a possibility. The Board therefore assumes that Pittsburgh will only target (i) a likely WR1 all-star, (ii) a deep threat superior to the promising Deon Cain and Amara Darboh, or (iii) a titan sized red zone specialist. Those prototypes receive minor discounts. Prototypes similar to the top 3 WR’s already on the team receive greater discounts. Note that the Ain’t Gonna Happen list includes the top four talents because they are guaranteed to go in Round 1.0:00WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama. (Junior). 6’1”, 193 lbs. Going in the top 10, but no WR gets a higher grade than mid-1st for this particular team in this particular year.0:00WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma. (Junior). 6’1⅝”, 198 lbs. Going in the top 10, but no WR gets a higher grade than mid-1st for this particular team in this particular year.0:00WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama. (Junior). 5’11”, 188 lbs. with somewhat short 30½” arms but huge 10⅛” hands. The dream speedster. Ain’t Gonna Happen.1:20WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado. (Junior). 6’⅝”, 227 lbs. Round 1 talent all day long. 21 years old. Tall, big, fast, elusive, extremely tough, good hands, versatile, young, toughened by life… He might even be in the Top 10 talk if he played at a Top 10 school for a QB who could get him the ball on time and on target. This goes to a great February film room piece from Matt Waldman that runs around 15 minutes. He makes a very strong case that Shenault has flashed all the skills needed to be a WR1 in the league. The NFL.com scouting profile ends with an enormous grade, and your author has heard numerous informed podcasts where experts state that Shenault has the native talent to be the best WR in the entire class when people look back in five years. As Tony Pauline wrote, his potential would have made him a Top-15 prospect even in this class if he had not been nagged by injuries all year. The full Walter Football scouting profile describes Shenault as a bigger and faster version of Juju Smith-Schuster. This March scouting profile calls him a Sammy Watkins with JJSS size, while this gif-heavy March scouting report ends by putting the upside as, “a bigger, badder version of Deebo Samuel”. This good looking March scouting profile ends with an early-2nd grade based on film, plus notes about that could-be-legendary upside.1:25WR Justin Jefferson, LSU. (Junior). 6’1¼”, 202 lbs. with 33” arms. Turns 21 this summer. Good size, great hands, all the speed he can use based on the 4.43 Combine dash, and serious leaping/contested catch ability. Jefferson had been hit with the “complete receiver but not a great athlete” label; his top 20% of the NFL SPARQ score blew that narrative out of the water! He is an easy mid-1st talent in any ordinary draft class, but could theoretically fall to #49 overall in this one. The big remaining question is hard to answer. How much of his massive production came from having Joe Burrow as his QB? This late January scouting profile ends with a fringe-1st grade for other years, but a Round 2 grade for this one. This good, late January, Packers-oriented scouting profile extols his versatility. Read this excellent February scouting profile! It makes great points about Jefferson being a limited athlete who has become the ultimate overachiever through craft, dedication, and determination. This Packers-oriented February scouting profile provides another good summary: Jefferson is going to be a very good NFL receiver, period, end of story. This late February scouting profile extols Jefferson’s great hands and his ability to play even better in the biggest games. The clutch gene matters. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported March scouting report sees a surefire WR2, but questions whether Jefferson has the athletic chops to be a field tilting NFL WR1.1:25WR Denzel Mims, Baylor. (Senior). 6’2⅞”, 207 lbs. with long 33⅞” arms. Your author admits to a draft crush on this one that dates back to December. Take that bias into account. That said, Mims really does profile well as the final piece for Pittsburgh’s WR corps: a big, speedy (4.38 dash!), outside weapon who can stretch the field, make big plays, contribute as a blocker, and be an ace in the hole in the red zone. If you care to go past the film, he came in with a top 5% of the NFL SPARQ score, and a very well balanced athletic profile. But the film matters way more for WR’s, and Alex Kozora’s gif-supported, pre-Senior Bowl scouting report supports his candidacy as much as possible, describing Mims as a walking highlight reel of “did he just do that?!” catches. Benjamin Solak’s Draft Network profile sums it up like this: “Mims has a catch radius the size of Mars, with unfathomable leaping ability, tremendous concentration and body control in the air, and the hand strength to snag and secure balls at the very extent of his considerable frame.” But he brings a lot more to the table than just size, leaping ability, hands, body control, and the athletic profile of a multisport athlete. Mims has track champion speed, actually enjoys blocking, and there is room to improve because he suffers from a few obvious but coachable errors that have limited his route running skills. (Things like getting his weight up, telegraphing breaks, and letting his concentration lapse on plays that seem too easy). Oh yes! There’s also my favorite nugget, the one that pushed him over the top in my eyes: the Sugar Bowl broadcast team said he played the 2019 season with a broken bone in his foot! The main drawback is that word “Senior” because the Steelers like to draft youngsters at the WR position (he will turn 23 in late October). Oh, and if you think this description is too fanboyish, check out this 13-minute video scouting report by the well respected Brett Kollman. This excellent February article has some nice interview quotes, including one where Mims actually boasts about his blocking. Same for this late February TDN article from the Combine. What WR does that? Here is a nice, post-Senior Bowl scouting profile with some statistical analysis. This gif-supported, late January scouting report ends in a late-2nd grade.2:01WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State. (Senior). 5’11⅝”, 205 lbs. with 9¾” hands and long 33½” arms. God of YAC. An explosive weapon who has been discounted – with painful regret – from a late-1st overall grade for this particular team in this particular year. People were disappointed with his Top 10% SPARQ score! Fought through adversity to first rise up from JUCO and then wait behind N’Keal Harry. Background as a Running Back shows bright in his RAC ability and return skills. Pro-level training from Herm Edwards. What’s not to like except the fact that he is a multipurpose football player who lacks the particular assets (elite speed and/or size) that Pittsburgh could use the most? The Combine broadcast team emphasized his similarity to Deebo Samuel; a tough, RB-at-WR type more than a shifty slasher. The NFL.com scouting profile emphasizes his explosiveness, route running, and COD skills. A fine punt returner. Is a higher pedigreed Diontae Johnson a bad thing? Here is a good February scouting profile from a Giants POV. This goes to a good, late February TDN article from the Combine.2:01WR Tee Higgins, Clemson. (Junior). 6’3⅝”, 216 lbs. with looong 34⅛” arms. Just turned 21. Gets compared to Alshon Jeffrey or (on a good day) A.J. Green. The odds that he falls even to #49 overall range from small to miniscule outside the weird world of quirky mock draft simulators, but that is greater than zero and thus he goes on the Board instead of the Ain’t Gonna Happen list. That, and the insane number of Round 1 WR talents he has to compete with this year. This February scouting profile features several games of film clips, concluding that his is the best of this year’s “big receiver” specialists. This gif-supported February scouting report from a Bills POV sees many similarities to former Clemson star Mike Williams. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported March scouting report ends with a late 1st grade, describing Higgins as a prospect with fantastic length and hands, excellent speed, and average COD skill, plus plenty of room to grow in his route running.2:01WR Michael Pittman Jr., USC. (Senior). 6’4”, 223 lbs. [MTG. AT SENIOR BOWL] A 22 year old prospect the Steelers could covet, Pittman has the size of a classic, physical, jump ball receiver but is also a true student of the game who doubles as an ace special teams gunner. Think, “a bigger, taller, but less explosive JJSS” and you’ll be in the ballpark to start your analysis. The owner of a top 15% of the NFL SPARQ score with a well rounded athletic profile, Pittman Jr. knows how to use his size and strength but has room to do even more in that regard. He could approach dominant if he learns how to be a bully. The odds look good for a solid 10 year career comparable to that of his father (RB Michael Pittman of the Cardinals, Buccaneers, and Broncos). This goes to a decent, if optimistic December scouting profile. Nick Farabaugh’s gif-supported January scouting report identifies speed and RAC skills as the main question marks. This could be one of the rare cases where the 40 time actually matters! Here is a gif-supported February scouting report. This February scouting profile ends in a comparison to Courtland Sutton.2:01WR Jalen Reagor (“RAY-gor”), TCU. (Junior). 5’10⅝”, 206 lbs. [Meeting at Combine] Think “higher pedigree, multidimensional Mike Wallace;” a blazing fast, quick twitch deep threat who can operate from the slot as well as the outside, and also excels on punt and kick returns. There would not be a prayer that he’d fall to the mid-2nd in any other year. Walter Football reports rumors that he’s run a 4.29 dash, though he disappointed hugely at the Combine with a 4.47. NFL bloodlines as the son of Broncos/Colts/Eagles Round 2 Defensive Tackle(!) Montae. Jalen is the sort of WR won’t rescue an inaccurate QB, but can change and even dominate a game with a QB who gets him the ball in stride. His stats were way down in 2019 but, as emphasized in this February scouting profile, that was probably due to the play around him. Known for great releases off the line that should make him hard to press, though it hasn’t been tried by anyone who’s good at it. Drops are the only real complaint. Concentration drops are common with someone who can legitimately turn every catch into a TD, but is that all that’s going on? This December scouting profile points out Reagor’s need to focus on catching and holding the ball before running with it. That is also the main complaint in Alex Kozora’s late February, gif-supported scouting report. The Draft Network scouting profiles agree: he has all-pro potential if he can out his array of WR skills, but needs to focus on not letting DB’s force drops on contested balls. This gif-supported late January scouting report for the Titans agrees that drops are the only real concern on a game breaking Round 1 talent. This gif-supported, Seahawks-oriented scouting report digs down into the flaws a bit but still ends in a late-1st grade. Here is a good scouting profile from a Packers POV (a team that many view as Reagor’s most likely landing spot). This goes to another February scouting profile from a Packers POV (that fan base really wants him!). This late February TDN article from the Combine points out that he is bigger than most speed demons and has good versatility. Rumors have been heard about potential prima donna issues, but there is nothing harder in either direction.2:24WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State. (RS Sophomore). 5’8⅝”, 178 lbs. with proportionate 30¾” arms but big-for-his-frame 9⅜” hands. A killer quick, big play slot receiver with world class speed who looks like one of the Kansas City guys Andy Reid uses to dominate the league, and would be a legitimate Round 1 target for the right team. The main concern is size, and the aforementioned fit. He is extraordinarily young (turns 20 in July) and we can therefore project some physical growth from 176 lbs., but how much growth is anyone’s guess. He earns a downgrade on this Board because (a) the Steelers picked a less extreme version of this prototype last year in Diontae Johnson, and (b) even a fully grown Hamler will be tiny enough to raise worries about the NFL pounding. There is some nice gif-supported analysis in this late January article. This goes to a short but decent January scouting profile. Here is a good February scouting profile from a Colts POV. This February scouting profile emphasizes the similarities to Mecole Hardman from last year’s draft class. This nice, late February interview says he ran an electronically timed 4.27 dash.3:01WR Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky (Junior). 5’10⅝”, 204 lbs. Will turn 23 as a rookie. A tremendous athlete with frightening elusiveness in space, it might be fair to describe him as more Deebo Samuel than Diontae Johnson. He came in at #44 overall on Gil Brandt’s well respected annual big board. Josh Carney’s gif-supported January scouting report points out that Bowden Jr. is tougher to project than he should be due to playing option QB on an emergency basis for much of 2019. OTOH, that shows fine team spirit too. He desperately needs to learn his position, but finding this kind of lightning-in-a-bottle playmaker at his size suggests a potentially special talent down the road. Good kick return skills too. The biggest critique is the need for more discipline securing the ball. NOTE: we have two UK fans on the site, both of whom vouch for Bowden’s overall character. This comes from poster Landry Byrd: He’s a kid from Youngstown Ohio, always been a Steelers fan… [H]is freshman year he had attitude issues and [Assistant Head Coach] Vince Marrow really took him in and showed him how to be a man, he came back sophomore year and did great in the classroom, no trouble with girls, good grades all that… [H]e became the unequivocal leader of the team… I’ve never seen or met a harder worker during my 4 years here.” This gif-supported February scouting report from a Packers site compares him to Randall “Tex” Cobb. This February scouting profile is essential reading to understand Bowden because it fills in the career perspective. The NFL.com scouting profile agrees with Randall Cobb as the comp, though Steelers fans may prefer going back to Kordell Stewart.3:01WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame. (Senior). 6’4¼”, 238 lbs. Run down the field, jump high in the air, and big-boy those pesky little DB gnats out of your way… He may be a one-trick pony, but it’s a darned good one; he’s got the size and skills to produce in that way even at the NFL level; and it’s a trick the 2020 Steelers don’t yet have on the roster. Add 5-10 pounds and blocking ability, and you’d have the best TE of the year! He’s already an ace gunner on special teams. Oh yes… and he also tested into the top 2% of the entire NFL for SPARQ score, with a 4.42 dash being typical in his athletic profile. W.O.W. This goes to what seems like a fair December scouting profile. This January Steelers Depot article provides some good background on his youth in Canada and maturation as a football player, while this goes to Josh Carney’s enthusiastic gif-supported February scouting report. This Dave Bryan “contextualization” piece gets at the player from a different angle. This late February scouting profile from a Giants POV plays with the idea that he could double as a “move TE”.3:01WR Devin Duvernay, Texas. (Senior). 5’10½”, 200 lbs. As the NFL.com scouting report says, “Duvernay is a challenging study because… the pieces don’t fit together.” How do you grade outstanding, breakaway 4.39 speed, circus-catch hands, and fearsome running with the ball in his hands against poor route running skills that create no separation, lack of physicality for combat catches, moderate height and length, and tight hips that suggest he will always be more of a straight line guy? He is also a little older than the F.O. prefers. Good genes if you take the horse-breeder approach; his cousin is Kyler Murray. Nick Farabaugh’s gif-supported January scouting report emphasizes Duvernay’s toughness; he’s built like a RB and lives on plays over the middle, rather than being the stereotypical outside speed maven. Supposed to be a high football-character player too. This good, late February scouting profile was written by a fan of that other, obviously inferior, Santa-hating Pennsylvania city but contains a lot of good background and some sound analysis. Here is a good Dave Bryan “contextualization” article from March.3:01WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina. (Senior). 6’2¾”, 212 lbs. One of those “almost there” players who is frustratingly hard to grade. He has the size to be a jump ball, red zone threat of the sort that Pittsburgh could use, and has flashed those skills, but he hasn’t done it enough to distinguish himself in that regard. He has good COD skills, but is still undeveloped as a route runner. He is fast but not a blazer. He did not statistically improve in 2019, but that may be due to very weak play at QB. Etc. Under normal circumstances he’d probably have the chance to rise up to a Round 2 grade, but with the lack of draft data this year and the depth of the class he is stuck down with an early Day 3 grade. There is some nice, if overtly positive, gif-supported analysis in this late January article. This gif-heavy January scouting report sees him as a smart, savvy possession receiver whose stock is held back by “only good” athletic talents. Had a minor knee issue that caused him to miss the Senior Bowl, and then broke his foot right before the Combine. We feel your pain young man!3:01WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota. (Senior). 6’1⅜”, 206 lbs. Daniel Valente’s gif-supported January scouting profile describes Johnson as a big, crafty, all-around receiver with a very high WR3 floor and a decent chance to become a solid WR1. He could almost be described as a taller version of James Washington – which explains why the Steelers might hesitate to pull the trigger in Round 2, when someone darned well ought to. Johnson profiles as a WR to the bone and the sort of player you root for even when he plays for some other team. Nothing in this description should be taken as a knock. It’s just that he doesn’t offer a skill set that the Steelers currently lack. There is some nice, if optimistic, gif-supported analysis in this late January article. This gif-supported January scouting report agrees that he is a multitool adept at the position. This late February TDN article from the Combine examines some oddities from his pre-draft process, like pulling out from the Shrine Bowl.3:12WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan. (Junior). 6’1⅝”, 212 lbs. with longer 33½” arms and big 10⅛” hands. An amazing 5-star athlete coming out of High School, and the proud, 21-year-old owner of a SPARQ score in the top 1% of the NFL. That native athleticism explains his punt return ability at such a large size. The issue? He hasn’t played anywhere close to the level his athletic talents suggest, though many people have suggested that the problem came from weak QB play. For draft purposes he is an extraordinary height/weight/speed prospect for a team with the right room and coaching to get the best out of him. The NFL.com scouting profile could be summarized as a complaint that he’s been unaccountably sluggish. This February article describes how DP-J’s stock has fallen over the course of time. This March scouting profile from DraftWire likes the height, speed, body control, and hands, but complains about focus drops and worries that he might be a player with more build-up speed than quick twitch. Mel Kiper is not a big fan. Here is a March scouting profile from a Giants POV. This Ravens-oriented March scouting profile makes a player comp to Hakeem Nicks, which seems pretty sound.3:24RB/WR/ATH Antonio Gibson, Memphis. (Senior). 6’⅜”, 228 lbs.3:24WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State. (RS Senior). 5’11⅞”, 196 lbs. with short 29⅛” arms. Another really good, all around receiver who’s discounted by a full round on this Board because he duplicates a skillset that Pittsburgh already has and boasts no particular athletic assets. Also a bit older than Pittsburgh seems to prefer. He looked tremendous during Senior Bowl practice week, regularly getting wide open and making the occasional circus catch like this one. Nice punt return ability. This interesting article calls him the “steal of the draft.” This good, gif-supported article from February examines his ability to create separation through excellent route running. Daniel Valente’s gif-supported February scouting report basically describes a moderately good Round 4 slot receiver with a high floor but low ceiling.3:24WR Collin Johnson, Texas. (Senior). 6’5⅝”, 222 lbs. with surprisingly short arms (31¾”) and small-for-his-size 9” hands. A full retail grade because he brings something Pittsburgh does not already have: monstrous, mismatch, jump ball size for the red zone. He’s big; he plays big; he blocks; and he could even, in theory, bulk up into a true “Move TE”. Daniel Valente’s gif-supported scouting report confirms that he is one to keep an eye on. Johnson’s lack of breakaway speed puts a ceiling on his draft grade, but he does offer surprising COD and route running skills for a man that big. There was a vague pattern of drops in the Senior Bowl practices, but people were looking for them after seeing the hand size. Plenty willing to block, as befits the son of a Round 1 father (Johnnie) who enjoyed a 10-year career at CB and FS with the Rams and Seahawks. This late January scouting profile ends in a Round 2-3 grade. Here is a gif-supported, late January scouting report published after some “utterly unguardable” Senior Bowl practice sessions.4:01WR Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State. (Junior). 6’3⅝”, 210 lbs. with long 33⅛” arms and big 9⅞” hands. Will turn 22 as a rookie. One to watch if you think the Steelers could use a jump ball specialist who does it with length and jumping ability rather than massive size. He isn’t slow (4.61), but he plays a bit faster. This gif-supported January scouting report questions the speed, but raves about the “vice grip hands” and body control. Expect the description to change as more nuanced reviews come in. There is some nice, gif-supported analysis in this late January article that emphasizes his tremendous hands and catch radius. Tom Mead’s gif-supported, late-February scouting report sees a pure jump ball winner who offers just that single skill.4:16WR Gabriel Davis, UCF. (Junior). 6’2”, 216 lbs. A 21 year old WR who is good at everything, but where is he great? An easy Round 2 talent for the right team, Davis has been hit with a severe discount on this Board because his array of talents duplicates those that Pittsburgh already has in the WR room. There is some nice, if overtly positive, gif-supported analysis in this late January article. This Giants-oriented scouting profile from February questions his explosiveness and slots him in as a very high-floor, WR2 in the ‘possession receiver’ mold. Josh Carney’s gif-supported February scouting report ends in a Day 3 grade based on worries about moderate athleticism, which were borne out at the Combine by a 39th percentile SPARQ score and an athletic profile that raises questions about his COD ability. The NFL.com scouting profile projects him to be a clear starter in a year or two.4:16WR Quartney Davis, Texas A&M. (RS Junior). 6’1¼”, 201 lbs. Smooth, crisp, quick, and full of promise, this is a young man who runs, moves, cuts, and catches like a WR ought to. His stock has been depressed by a 2016 ACL, a 2019 issue with his back, and the need to explain away some bad drops, but he has genuine WR1 potential. Would grade out higher in a weaker class, especially if you could wish away the medicals, or if his skill set had less overlap with the current roster. Nick Farabaugh’s gif-supported, late January scouting report ends with a Round 3-4 grade. This January article describes him as a classic sleeper prospect. The NFL.com scouting profile ends with a Day 3 grade based on limited long speed, play time, and what reads like concern that he has a WR2 ceiling paired with his WR3 floor (if healthy). This February scouting profile from a Giants POV puts a lack of long speed as the only real physical deficit.4:16WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty. (Senior). 6’4”, 223 lbs. This may be the ultimate boom-or-bust receiving prospect of the entire draft. AGG is a phenomenal athlete wired so well that the Senior Bowl coverage did a feature (start at :37 seconds) on how freaky he really is. This is a guy who took up bowling and then had a perfect 300 game two months later! A huge young man who can do full tumbling runs full of backflips and the like! It’s amazing to see. On the football field he excelled at running down a sideline, leaping high in the air, twisting around while he’s up there, and seizing the ball away from the opposing DB. The issue is that he did it against a very low level of competition. The Combine also revealed an athletic profile with moderate speed and a distinct shortage of COD skills. Bottom line: this is pure NFL clay waiting for the potter’s wheel. He’s run nothing remotely like an NFL route tree, nor shown the sophistication he’ll need to beat NFL Corners, but no one can doubt that he possesses the athletic genius to learn all that. Eventually. An added plus: he held up well at the Senior Bowl, showing the ability to beat D-1 Corners as well as the lesser one he faced in the past. The learning curve may be less steep than originally feared. Tom Mead’s gif-supported February scouting report questions only the pure, straight line speed.4:16WR James Proche (“pro-SHAY”), SMU. (RS Senior). 5’10⅝”, 201 lbs. with short 29 ¾” arms but big-for-his-size 9⅝” hands. A 2020 version of Diontae Johnson with amazing hands, a bit less quickness, and without the likes of Darryl Drake to pound the table for his all important character traits. [NOTE: Proche ran shockingly bad 3-cone and shuttle drills at complete odds with his film.] Daniel Valente’s gif-supported January scouting report highlights the twin abilities to get open with top notch quickness and the hands to make even the most difficult shoestring catches. That is an NFL-worthy skill set even in this amazing WR class, but one has to question whether it is a skill set that Pittsburgh will spend a draft pick on. Like DJ, Proche also doubles as a superior punt return talent. Here are a Senior Bowl interview he did with Daniel Valente, and a February scouting profile from a Giants POV. This New England oriented February scouting profile stereotypes Proche as a perfect example of the Patriots-type slot receiver.5:01WR Van Jefferson, Florida. (RS Senior). 6’1½”, 200 lbs. Josh Carney’s late January, gif-supported scouting report describes a college player with pro-level route running and savvy, but limited physical genius. That makes sense because his father is Shawn Jefferson, the long time NFL receiver, made his career on those assets and has since become a well respected WR coach for several teams. The Draft Network scouting profile agrees that the son has learned his craft well, is going to keep getting open at the next level, but doesn’t have the ceiling offered by many of his peers. The skills were on full display at the Senior Bowl, where he could not be covered. But is a possession receiver the addition that Pittsburgh needs? It isn’t his only asset! Van Jefferson is a football player to the core who would rather be a special teams gunner than spend a moment resting on the bench. That matters too. He would definitely rank a few rounds higher if his skills did not overlap so much with the current roster. This good, gif-supported article from February examines his ability to create separation through excellent route running.5:01WR Darnell Mooney, Tulane. (Senior). 5’10⅛”, 176 lbs. Will turn 23 late in his rookie year. Think K.J. Hamler is super fast, but pushing the limit for just too small? Meet his mid-round clone, who’s an inch or two taller but built even more sleight. Devin Duvernay but 25 lbs. Lighter. Mooney is no-kidding 4.39 fast, and probably capable of more. The athletic profile looks like a cartoon of extremes. If he gets free, he’s G.O.N.E. But can he survive the pure physicality of playing against NFL Corners?5:01WR Joe Reed, Virginia. (Senior). 6’½”, 224 lbs. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported January scouting report makes a comparison to ‘Cordarelle Patterson Lite’, and that might be fair if you discount Patterson’s unearthly athletic talent down to a “just excellent” 88th percentile SPARQ score for Joe Reed. He has real, deep threat speed that Pittsburgh could use, nice height, a very tough and thick body, and nifty kick (but not punt) return skills that won the Jet Award for best in the nation. Patterson got overdrafted on pure potential, but that was in a class where receivers didn’t fall from the sky like the gentle rain from heaven. Joe Reed is likely to fall in 2020, and would make a lot of sense if he does. A potential Day 3 steal? Note that Reed, like Patterson, will need a lot of hard work and good coaching to help him grow into an NFL receiver rather than an awesome bundle of almost-there potential. The hands are real but inconsistent. He did not flash at all at the Senior Bowl.5:16WR Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin. (RS Junior). 6’⅞”, 202 lbs. with small 8¾” hands. A solid Day 2 talent who comes with a unique amount of smoke to dim his grade on the Board. Quintez Cephus wasn’t just accused of sexual misconduct or nasty peccadillos to violate some PC code: he was actually charged with two counts of sexual assault and lost his entire 2018 season when the case went to trial! A trial at which a jury of his peers cleared him on every charge, which let him return to football. That led to 2019, in which he proved to be a dominant, big-man weapon on the field – as all the world could not help but see in the Rose Bowl. I would be really torn about this Day 3 grade if he did hit the “next Juju Smith-Schuster” button so clearly. Pittsburgh has the original, and thus no need to hire the several detectives it will take to get a good fix on the state of his character both before and after the [ahem] trials and tribulations. There is some nice, gif-supported analysis in this late January article that emphasizes his “textbook box-out technique.” This goes to a good February scouting profile from a Giants POV.6:01WR Tyrie Cleveland, Florida. (Senior). 6’2⅜”, 209 lbs. with 9⅛” hands and 32⅞” arms. A significant deep threat in a mold similar to Deon Cain and Amara Darboh. Has some kick return ability too, which only makes sense for someone with a top 10% SPARQ score. A 23 year old rookie, the NFL.com doubts his explosiveness, but the Combine testing belies that. A height/weight/speed prospect in need of further study.6:01WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee. (RS Senior). 6’3⅛”, 215 lbs. A good, solid, all-around possession receiver who’d deserve a grade 2-3 rounds better for another team in another year. Daniel Valente’s gif-supported February scouting report ends with a Round 3 grade based on a description that could be summarized as, ‘a B-side version of Juju Smith Schuster.’ [Juju-B… get it? Your author has no shame.] Regardless, Pittsburgh has Juju-A and so this particular prospect does not make a lot of sense. There are some rumors about prima donna issues, but nothing that can be confirmed.6:01WR Kendrick Rogers, Texas A&M. (RS Junior). 6’4¼”, 208 lbs. A prospect who knows how to use every inch of his length, and can make acrobatic adjustments on the ball. Could stand some time in the weight room. The athletic testing profiles him as a good, 63rd percentile SPARQ score athlete who does better in a straight line. Josh Carney’s gif-supported March scouting report worries about a “Kelvin Benjamin vibe,” but Benjamin was a Round 1 pick and the fact that he busted out does not mean he was a bad bet; especially if he could have been taken somewhere down on Day 3. Who knows? The lack of expectations might have been enough to save Benjamin’s career.6:01WR JD Spielman, Nebraska. (RS Junior). 5’9”, 180 lbs. Your classic, super-slick, scat rat slot receiver.6:16WR Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt. (Senior). 5’11⅞”, 207 lbs. A good route runner with decent size and a need to learn pro-level skills. Falls on this Board for lack of fit with the particular profile we expect Pittsburgh to look for. Kick and punt return ability.6:16WR Ben Victor, Ohio State. (Senior). 6’3¾”, 198 lbs. with very long 34⅛” arms. A one trick, jump ball specialist who is good at the job but not special enough to earn a higher grade. Good explosiveness but lousy COD skills support that summary. This February scouting profile notes that he’s become a pretty good blocker on the outside.6:16WR Isaiah Wright, Temple. (Senior). 6’2”, 220 lbs. A player with this kind of sophisticated savvy should not fall to the end of the draft, but Wright will do just that in his exceptionally deep year. That article is a great read, and this could be a prime UDFA target or even a late round steal.7:16WR Aaron Fuller, Washington. (Senior). 5’10¾”, 188 lbs. with short 29¾” arms and small 8⅞” hands. A scat rat who flashed endless potential on film, tested extremely poorly, and therefore has a long way to go in order to get drafted; especially by the Steelers, who already have Diontae Johnson.7:16Juwan Johnson, Oregon. (Senior). 6’4”, 230 lbs. with looong 34¼” arms and big 10½” hands. The frame promises a basketball Power Forward rebounding against 5’10” CB’s, but the skill set hasn’t delivered yet because he drops too many balls. If you can’t create space with movement, you need to win with size and ball skills. Size alone isn’t enough.9:99WR John Hightower, Boise St. (Senior). 6’1½”, 189 lbs. A vertical stretch receiver with “phenomenal” return skills according to Daniel Jeremiah, Hightower caused frustration at the Shrine Bowl with his ability to get open and then to drop passes he shouldn’t have. He improved on the drops as the week went on, but they are now a red flag that will drop his stock in this overloaded class.0:00D-Line Pocket Analysis. The Steelers have a very strong Defensive Line group headed by Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, backed up by Tyson Alualu (32 years old) and Isaiah Buggs (a 2019 rookie with positive buzz). There will be no need to add a player unless NT Javon Hargrave departs in free agency, as most of us expect. This would make NT a Round 4-6 priority, which might become 3:COMP if there is a bargain to be had. The Round 2 and 3 talents have accordingly been grouped in giant baskets at 2:24, and 3:24 for the sake of convenience, expecting none of them to be realistic options. The grades after that are assigned with more care.0:00DL Derrick Brown, Auburn. (Senior). 6’4⅝”, 326 lbs. with long 34¼” arms but small 9” hands. Top 5 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00DL Javon Kinlaw, S. Carolina. (Senior). 6’5⅛”, 324 lbs. with long 34⅞” arms. Top 20 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.3:01DL Ross Blacklock, TCU. (RS Junior). 6’3⅛”, 290 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] A fringe-1st talent with amazing explosiveness off the ball in a body that is a little lighter than ideal for a Defensive Tackle. This grade applies a Pittsburgh-specific discount that borders on being too obscene for the author to stomach. Insert your own grade as desired if you believe that either Heyward or Tuitt are likely to retire in the near future.3:01DL Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma. (RS Senior). 6’2″, 304 lbs. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported January scouting report confirms the general view that Gallimore is a fringe-1st caliber, 1-tech penetrator with a skill set similar to Cam Heyward and Javon Hargrave, but less size to hold up against double teams. This grade applies a Pittsburgh-specific discount that borders on being too obscene for the author to stomach. Insert your own grade as desired if you believe that either Heyward or Tuitt are likely to retire in the near future.3:01DL Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M. (RS Junior). 6’2⅝”, 293 lbs. A seriously good, seriously strong DT who can either go through you or get skinny through the gap on either side. He’s earned Round 1 buzz but will probably go early on Day 2. The numbers lie about his size a bit because it’s lean muscle. He’d be a 320’s guy with the typical amount of sloppy weight added in. An ideal but unrealistic replacement for Javon Hargrave, who plays with great leverage that allows him to handle double teams as well as to penetrate through an A-gap. Tom Mead’s late-January, gif-supported scouting report highlights his ability to put even good Guards and Centers on roller skates, and ends with a very reasonable Round 2 grade.3:12DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn. (Senior). 6’3”, 303 lbs. A very hard player to grade because he projects best as a 4-3 DE with the size and power to rotate inside to a DT position. His college film is further distorted by playing Robin to Derrick Brown’s Batman, which gave him extra opportunities to shine but also put him in shadow by comparison. Could easily go in Round 1 to just the right team. This grade applies a Pittsburgh-specific discount that borders on being too obscene for the author to stomach. Insert your own grade as desired if you believe that either Heyward or Tuitt are likely to retire in the near future, and you see a way to fit that skill set to Pittsburgh’s defensive scheme.3:12DL Raekwon Davis, Alabama. (Senior). 6’6⅛”, 311 lbs. Compare to Stephon Tuitt as a prospect, with some college stagnation as the issue instead of an injury problem. The Steelers have the original version. This is another grade that applies a significant, team-specific discount.3:12DL Jordan Elliott, Missouri (RS Junior). 6’3⅞”, 302 lbs. Looks like an ideal DT3 to back up Heyward and Tuitt, but less of a true Nose Tackle than Hargrave. Wonderful hand fighting skills and strength, but only average explosion. Showed an average-at-best at athletic profile at the Combine. Tom Mead’s gif-supported February scouting report praises Elliot’s versatility along the DL but ends with a Round 4 grade based on the lack of pass rush numbers. The NFL.com scouting report notes the low sack production but views that as the result of constant double teams and extra attention by opponents, and ends with (essentially) a Round 2 grade. This Redskins-oriented scouting profile ends with a Round 4 grade based on lack of burst. This March Ratbirds-oriented scouting profile sees the same limitation but puts the grade in Round 33:12NT Leki Fotu, Utah. (Senior). 6’5⅜”, 330 lbs. with long 34¼” arms and big 10⅝” hands. Perhaps the best semi-possible target for a NT after Round 2, Fotu has been described as a “versatile wrecking ball” with all the natural assets you want from a two-gap defender with pass rushing potential. Good motor, good effort, wonderful strength, athletic enough to be on the U.S. national rugby team… He could rank even higher but for a serious need for coaching to make use of his natural leverage, understand his duties, and make tackles in addition to blowing up blocking schemes. Tom Mead’s gif-supported January scouting report calls him a “mountain of a man” and points out his flexibility to play anywhere from 0- to 3-tech, but warns that he may be a 2-down player and ends with an early Day 3 grade. In the modern NFL, pass rush potential is the difference between a Round 2-3 talent and one who won’t be picked until the 5-7 range.4:01DL Rashard Lawrence, LSU. (Senior). 6’2″, 308 lbs. with long 34⅛” arms. 21 years old. According to this gif-supported February scouting report from Tom Mead, Lawrence should be viewed as a Round 3 target if you are looking for someone to replace Alualu as the primary backup to Heyward and Tuitt, but more like Round 4 if you want a true Nose Tackle to replace Hargrave. Others are more optimistic about his unquestioned grit, and his mid-to-good combination of run stuffing ability with some pass rush on the inside. Here is a DraftWire interview from mid-February. The NFL.com scouting profile admires the leadership and toughness but raises concerns about 2019 knee and ankle issues. The Draft Network scouting profiles can be summarized as high-floor, moderate ceiling reviews. This Redskins-oriented scouting profile agrees on that verdict: a productive and valuable role player unlikely to ever become a star. This goes to a nice, brief February scouting profile.4:16NT Davon Hamilton, Ohio St. (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 320 lbs. Ohio State’s designated, handle-the-double-teams big man in the center. The production has all been in areas that don’t show up on a stat sheet, and he sat out large portions of many games after Ohio State built up a massive lead, but he projects to be at least as good a run stuffer as Javon Hargrave, and nowhere near as good at pressuring the QB. Nick Farabaugh’s gif-supported January scouting report ends in a Round 2 grade, which is discounted only because Nose Tackles with moderate pass rush ability tend to be so undervalued in today’s game. Dave Bryan did this February contextualization article for Hamilton’s sacks.5:01DL Larell Murchison, NC State. (RS Senior). 6’2½”, 297 lbs. Held up as a 2-gap defensive lineman throughout 2019, but he’s way on the small side to do that in the pros. Has shown some explosiveness too. But is he a 5-tech who can slide inside, or a potential NT? Probably the former, which earns a downgrade. Tom Mead’s gif-supported February scouting report notes that NC State used him at every D-Line position from 0-tech out, and suggests that something as straightforward as fixing his stance could yield immediate benefits. The Combine coverage described him as a player who wins more with a high motor and endless effort than he does with athletic traits that are oddly scattered..5:01DL Bravvion Roy, Baylor. (Senior). 6’1⅛”, 332 lbs. with short 30⅛” arms. Looks like he should be an immovable force, but he plays more like a penetrating 1-tech and has shown issues holding up to double teams. Josh Carney’s gif-supported February scouting report hints that some of the issues should be coachable. He did look good at the shrine bowl. Professional scout Dave-Te’ Thomas gave him a Round 2-3 hot-take grade in his guest spot on the Terrible Podcast.5:16NT Benito Jones, Ole Miss. (Senior). 6’1”, 316 lbs. with 32⅞” arms. Built by nature to be a 0-tech, 2-gapping NT, he can also surprise a lot of people with his quickness and ability to slip through double teams. Quickness, not speed; Jones is a living stereotype of the 2-down run stuffer. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported, late January scouting report highlights that quickness but also shows some of the many examples where he plays too cute and ends up buried on the ground. It’s a problem, but most likely a coachable one. He also has a distinct need to work on his conditioning. The Combine testing could not have been worse.6:01DL LaBryan Ray, Alabama. (Junior). 6’5″, 292 lbs. Missed 2019 with a leg injury after showing flashes of being a potentially special player in 2018. Who knows? The issue for Pittsburgh is position. He would be depth behind Heyward and Tuitt, not a replacement for Hargrave.6:01NT Jordon Scott, Oregon (Junior). 6’1″, 322 lbs. Mike Tomlin would call him the ideal employee for Blockbuster Video; a classic immovable object NT with no pass rushing upside. Offers genuine value for a very limited number of snaps each game, and for defensive gimmicks like reverting to the classic 3-4 against particular teams where that would work.6:01DL Raequan Williams, Michigan St. (RS Senior). 6’4”, 308 lbs. A penetrating 1- and 3-tech in college who relied too much on quickness. The Shrine Bowl measurements suggest that he is a pure 3-tech and probably unsuited to the Steelers’ needs at this time. A very good Day 3 project pick, but probably for some other team.6:16DL McTelvin Agim, Arkansas. 6’2½”, 309 lbs. An explosive, high motor, one gap penetrator who fits best as a 3-tech. Nice DL depth behind Heyward and Tuitt, but not a true Nose Tackle if you’re looking for the next Hargrave. Here is a good looking, Vikings-oriented scouting profile from February. The NFL.com scouting profile describes him as a developmental 4-3 guy.6:16DL Tyler Clark, Georgia (Senior). 6’4″, 300 lbs. A pure 3-tech who could go as high as the late 4th, but would be a poor fit to replace Javon Hargrave.6:16DL Naquan Jones, Michigan St. (RS Junior). 6’4″, 323 lbs. A quick twitch load in the center of the defense who has the size to hold up on run downs and offers some occasional pass rush skills. A true Gravedigger Lite.6:16DL Mike Panusiuk, Michigan. (Senior). 6’4”, 300 lbs. A classic immovable object with no pass rush upside.0:00Edge Rusher Pocket Analysis. The Steelers have no need at Edge unless Bud Dupree leaves in free agency or the team’s promising backups, Ola Adeniyi and Tuzar Skipper, have issues unknown to we fans. With the exception of special cases like a published scouting report on this site, all Edge Rusher prospects have either (a) been moved to the Ain’t Gonna Happen list, or (b) omitted completely to safe some space.0:00EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU. (Junior). 6’3”, 254 lbs. Top 15-20 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa. (Junior). 6’5⅛”, 275 lbs. with 34½” arms. Top 10 talent as a 4-3 DE. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn St. (Junior). 6’5”, 266 lbs. with long 34⅞” arms. Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00EDGE Chase Young, Ohio St. (Junior). 6’4⅞”, 264 lbs. Top 5 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.2:12ILB/Edge Zack Baun, Wisconsin. (Senior). 6’2⅜”, 238 lbs. See the entry under ILB. Usually viewed as a Round 2 Edge.3:01EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame (Senior). 6’4¼”, 252 lbs. Has all the assets you want in a pass rusher except strength, and he has the frame to add it. Perhaps the best Edge prospect out there if Pittsburgh knows of some reason why Bud Dupree won’t be signed. Unlikely to even reach #49 in light of those talents and the league’s desperate hunger for Edge talent.3:01EDGE Darrell Taylor, Tennessee (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 263 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] Will be a 23 year old rookie. The NFL.com scouting profile puts it succinctly: “five-star traits, but three-star skill level.” The traits include size, weight, strength, burst, and especially bend, but he is as raw as he could be. The Draft Network scouting profiles join Zierlein in lamenting the lack of instincts. There is a red flag from a 2017 one-game suspension for a nasty fight with a teammate during practice.3:12EDGE Terrell Lewis, Alabama. (RS Junior). 6’5¼”, 262 lbs. Profiles like a poor man’s Bud Dupree; ideal physical tools with the single exception of good bend-and-dip ability. He will fall on all draft boards because of an injury history, and on fan boards because the Covid-19 outbreak shut off the chance to highlight his athletic gifts in the pre-draft process. Almost certain to go in Round 2 in light of the league-wide desperation for anything that even smells like an Edge Rusher, and the limited amount of good 2020 prospects.3:12EDGE (and BUCK ILB?) Joshua Uche, Michigan. (Senior). 6’1¼”, 245 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] Welcome to stereotype land! In this corner you have the incredibly bendy pass rusher who can dip to knee height on opposing tackles but lacks the play strength to either set the edge against the run or to hold his line against Tackles that get a hand on him. He is too small for the Pittsburgh prototype unless the team thinks he has the ability to double task as a Buck ILB on run downs – in which case he’d be an absolutely perfect puzzle piece. This gif-supported January scouting report by Alex Kozora emphasizes both aspects. He looked barely a step short of dominant at the Senior Bowl, both during practice week and in the actual games. Deserves a bump from the Steelers POV because he is pretty good in coverage too. Here is a gif-supported February scouting report from a Giants POV.3:24EDGE Bradlee Anae, Utah. (Senior). 6’2⅜”, 265 lbs. A prospect whose stock will rise significantly on this Board if something happens in the offseason to make the need more acute. Tom Mead did a gif-supported scouting report on Anae in mid-January, concluding that he is a sound pass rusher who deserves to be picked in Round 2 as a second-tier physical talent who can bend the corner while also setting edge. The Senior Bowl reinforced another point: Anae is much more sophisticated than most of his peers, with excellent hand fighting skills and a rushing plan to complement his speed. Brutalized lesser Tackles in the Senior Bowl game, and has similarly feasted on talented ones with raw technique like USC star Austin Jackson. He gets a Round 2 grade in this Redskins-oriented scouting profile from February. The athletic testing was not good: an 11th percentile SPARQ score with a fairly well rounded, all-meh athletic profile. Here is a nice, very brief summary from a Cleveland POV.3:24EDGE Johnathan Greenard, Florida. (RS Senior). 6’3⅜”, 263 lbs. with long 34⅞” arms. Age is a concern: he will turn 24 as a rookie. A fine, intriguing pass rusher who will be long gone before the Steelers find that sweet spot where value and need hook up. Josh Carney’s late January, gif-supported scouting report emphasizes Greenard’s nifty combination of get off, speed, and ability in run support, but hints that limited coverage ability may require him to play as a 4-3 DE. This January scouting profile sees him more as a large, twitched-up 3-4 OLB, but worries about his injury history. The NFL.com scouting profile compares him to Dante Fowler. He tested as a surprisingly poor athlete (20th percentile SPARQ score) though the athletic profile does not look that bad.4:01EDGE Jonathan Garvin, Miami. (Junior). 6’4⅛”, 263 lbs. with long 34” arms. A Combine standout who catches the eye as a tight fit for what Pittsburgh looks for in a pass rusher: big enough, long enough, athletic enough, and young (just 21 as a rookie). He achieved a very large number of pressures, but nowhere near that production of sacks. The NFL.com scouting profile calls him a developmental prospect with good traits who needs a solid year in the weight room to tighten his body and maybe build a bit of extra attitude. Tom Mead’s late March, gif-supported scouting report ends with a mid-5th grade based on football IQ doubts and lots of “meh” with only occasional, if exciting, flashes.4:01EDGE Anfernee Jennings, Alabama. (RS Senior). 6’2⅛”, 256 lbs. Turns 23 in the summer. Projects as a high floor, moderate ceiling OLB3 who would be a starter if he only had a bit more burst, bend, and (for the Steelers) youth. According to the NFL.com scouting profile, Jennings excels at using his size and physicality to set the edge on run downs but is only average in other regards. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported April scouting profile would agree, but adds a caution about Jennings’ injury history. The Draft Network scouting profiles pretty much agree: a tough, run stuffing team leader who lacks the extraordinary bend and athleticism required of top end 3-4 OLB’s. Same basic analysis from this February Detroit-oriented February scouting profile, and this more positive Atlanta-oriented scouting profile (which suggests that injuries depressed his stock). This somewhat odd, Raiders-oriented scouting profile from January suggests using him as (essentially) a two-down, run-stuffing Buck ILB.4:01EDGE Derrek Tuszka, N. Dak. State (RS Senior). 6’4½”, 251 lbs. with notably short 31⅜” arms. Dominated D-III competition in the program that gave the league several good athletes, including Carson Wentz. Played 4-3 DE in college but the athletic profile and comfortable movement in the field drills suggest that 3-4 OLB would not be a problem. Not super bendy, but solid. Josh Carney’s gif-supported April scouting report could not be more enthusiastic and ends with a Round 3 grade based on exceptional motor, strength, and quickness. His athletic profile is very strong in all measurables but length (the weight percentile is off in that chart because he is being compared to D-Linemen).4:01EDGE Curtis Weaver, Boise St. (RS Junior). 6’2⅜”, 265 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] Daniel Valente’s gif-supported February scouting report ends with a Round 3-4 grade after describing Weaver as being good in run support, coverage, and overall technique but lacking when it comes to explosion, flexibility, and bend around the corner. That matches his tested athletic profile. The NFL.com scouting profile and The Draft Network scouting profiles all agree: good player held back by no-more-than-average athleticism. Here is a nice, very brief summary from a Cleveland POV.4:16EDGE Alex Highsmith, Charlotte (Senior). 6’3⅛”, 243 lbs. [MTG. VIA VIDEO] Caught the eye at the Combine as a very natural athlete who moved well in several of the drills. The broadcast crew gave him some props too: “He’s got some juice as a pass rusher.” The athletic profile is very impressive with two very notable exceptions: weight (which can be built) and hand size. The Draft Network scouting profiles rave about the motor but note problems created by his moderate size. The NFL.com scouting profile sounds kind of similar. Can you spell, “redshirt year in the gym and then you might have a gem?” This goes to a nicely detailed scouting profile.4:16EDGE Alton Robinson, Syracuse. (Senior). 6’2¾”, 264 lbs. Tom Mead’s mid-January, gif-supported scouting report describes a well rounded Edge player with good explosion, adequate bend, a variety of developing pass rush moves, and an overall athletic profile that only falls short when compared to the eye popping talents of the more premier prospects. Having a pretty good floor and a pretty good ceiling makes you a darned solid prospect, but probably not for this particular Steelers team. He may be better suited to being a 4-3 DE than a 3-4 OLB; Pittsburgh has Adenyi and Skipper on the roster; and that requires a discount for someone who may be their peer but does not project as significantly better. Though to be fair, Robinson looks more like the next Chickillo than the next Watt, which is how those two would be summarized. This late January scouting profile isn’t exactly negative but does end what seems to be a Round 3-6 type grade.4:16EDGE D.J. Wonnum, S. Car. (Senior). 6’4⅝”, 258 lbs. with long 34⅛” arms and big 10½” hands. A mid-round pass rusher who fits Pittsburgh’s profile perfectly when it comes to size, length, and athletic profile. The Draft Network scouting profiles create a picture of a high effort, multi-talented rusher in serious need of good coaching to develop his handwork, counters, and planning. The NFL.com scouting profile is a bit more pessimistic about his ultimate ceiling but does see real potential as a valuable depth piece. Alex Kozora’s late March, gif-supported scouting report ends in a mid- to late-Day 3 grade based on intermittent production and a lack of overall play strength.4:16EDGE Jabari Zuniga, Florida. (RS Senior). 6’3⅜”, 264 lbs. A good looking 4-3 DE who probably cannot play in space. Not a good fit for this particular team in this particular year. Tested extremely well for explosiveness and straight line speed, but did not do the agility tests. He did look quite good in most of the field drills.5:16EDGE Kenny Willekes, Michigan St. (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 254 lbs. with short 31¼” arms. A former walk on who has overcome average athletic talents (33rd percentile SPARQ score) with hard work, determination, and an endless motor that never revs down, let along off. The NFL.com scouting profile provides a pessimistic view, while The Draft Network scouting profiles are a lot more positive. High floor because he is bound to be a special teams demon.6:01BUCK ILB/EDGE Carter Coughlin, Minnesota. (Senior). 6’3⅛”, 236 lbs. with short 31⅜” arms. See the entry under ILB.6:01EDGE Casey Toohill, Stanford (RS Senior). 6’4⅜”, 250 lbs. with 33½” arms. A little older (24) than Pittsburgh prefers. A Combine star who compiled up a 94th percentile, best-in-class SPARQ score with an athletic profile strong in all areas but the bench press; which coincides with strong complaints in the NFL.com scouting profile about his inability to set the edge in run defense. A year of NFL strength training just might be enough to fix that glaring flaw and let the rest of his talents shine through.6:16EDGE Khaleed Kareem, Notre Dame (Senior). 6’3¾”, 268 lbs. with long 34⅜” arms and very big 10⅞” hands. A much better fit for 4-3 teams looking at good run defenders with moderate juice off the edge. Josh Carney’s gif-supported April scouting report has a 5th-6th round grade based on the lack of pass rush sophistication.7:01EDGE Charles Snowden, Virginia. (Junior). 6’7” (not a typo), 235 lbs. The length and tackling radius are freakish, but also make him hard to slot into any normal defense. He will need to develop extraordinary technique in order to make sure the length is an advantage and not the creator of COD issues. Here is a very brief scouting profile from November.7:16EDGE/DL Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina. 6’4¼”, 275 lbs. Daniel Valente’s gif-supported February scouting report describes a hybrid DL/EDGE player who is probably closest to being a power-oriented 4-3 DE. No fit at all in Pittsburgh.0:00ILB Pocket Analysis. The starters are set in Devin Bush and Vince Williams, but both of the 2019 backups – Mack ILB Mark Barron and Buck ILB Tyler Matakevich – have been lost as cap casualties. That leaves the very promising Mack ILB Uly Gilbert III as Bush’s new backup, and either UG3 or the promising but undersized 2019 UDFA Robert Spillane playing behind Williams. Translation: a Day-3 ILB would now make entire sense.0:00ILB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma. (Junior). 6’2½”, 241 lbs. Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00MACK ILB Patrick Queen, LSU. (Junior). 6’¼”, 229 lbs. Wonderful range but issues with lack of size… You know the story. Devin Bush Lite. Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00ILB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson. (RS Junior) 6’3⅝”, 238 lbs. Early 1st Round talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.2:12ILB/Edge Zack Baun, Wisconsin. (Senior). 6’2⅜”, 238 lbs. An accomplished Edge Rusher in college who just looks small for the NFL. He will most likely get picked as an Edge Rusher anyway, and probably in Round 2 because of his overall bend and juice, but his best fit in Pittsburgh would be as a developmental, athletic Buck ILB with scary third-down blitz ability. Ain’t Gonna Happen.2:24BUCK ILB Malik Harrison, Ohio State. (Senior). 6’2½”, 247 lbs. Vince Williams 2.0 in a younger body and a much better athletic profile that put him in the 77th percentile of the NFL for SPARQ score. He would have a realistic chance to grow into that elusive 3-down player the Steelers could really use, albeit a somewhat slim chance because his coverage skills aren’t exactly dazzling3:01BUCK ILB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech. (Senior). 6’0”, 240 lbs. Has a lot of experience in coverage due to the conference, but less technique for attacking the line in run support. Excellent range, he was described in the Combine broadcast as a “twitched up athlete.” A fine prospect to be a superior Buck ILB if the coaches think he has the essential “wanna” needed to sacrifice his body on running plays. The NFL.com scouting profile sees a future ILB starter whose only real flaw is underachieving compared to expectations.3:01SS/ILB Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne. (Senior). 6’¾”, 217 lbs. See the entry under Safety.3:12ILB Willie Gay Jr., Miss. State. (Junior). 6’1⅛”, 243 lbs. No relation to the Steelers long time Corner, Gay leapt into national attention with a startling Combine that put him in the Top 2% of NFL Linebackers with an athletic profile heavy on speed and explosion. The NFL.com scouting profile ends in a poor grade, but that is based on off-field concerns: primarily an 8-game suspension having to do with a large academic fraud where a tutor took exams for multiple players in multiple sports. There was also a one game suspension for (according to rumor) punching a freshman QB. Here is an extensive March scouting profile that is definitely worth a read. It digs pretty deeply into the issues, and also confirms that the athleticism shown in the testing also appears on the film. Note that Gay has pretty good size and may be able to succeed as a very athletic Buck; i.e., a version of Vince Williams who can play in space.4:01MACK ILB Troy Dye, Oregon. (Senior). 6’3¼”, 231 lbs. Awesome length for a Mack, but he is built very light and will be a 24 year old rookie.. Tremendous athleticism in search of a true position. Your classic hybrid Safety who’s on the Linebacker side of that line. Played through a hand injury that had him in a club for most of the year. This brief February scouting profile compares him to Fred Warner. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported March scouting report sees a Round 2-3 player and potential “TE eraser” who is unlikely to blossom until Year 2 based on what I translate as football IQ issues.4:01BUCK ILB Evan Weaver, California. (Senior). 6’2⅛”, 237 lbs. [MTG. VIA VIDEO] 21 years old. Exceptional tackler with limited foot speed he makes up for via tenacity, grit, a very high football IQ, great motor, and top notch fundamentals. Alex Kozora noted the similarities to Vince Williams in his Day Two Senior Bowl report. Daniel Valente’s Senior Bowl interview and late February, gif-supported scouting report agree: he’s a tackling machine with great instincts and an off-the-chart football IQ, all held back by very limited athleticism. The Combine testing put him in the 32nd percentile for SPARQ score based on an athletic profile notably better than Dirty Red’s.4:01BUCK ILB Logan Wilson, Wyoming. (Senior). 6’2⅛”, 241 lbs. Will be a 24 year old rookie – but if he was two years younger I would be getting very excited about the idea of Pittsburgh getting a Buck ILB and 3-year team captain with the speed and skills to cover players in space, and to stay on the field for third downs as well as running plays. Probably fated to be a long term, productive Linebacker according to the NFL.com scouting profile, but one questions whether he fits the Steelers’ drafting philosophy.4:16SAF/MACK ILB Tanner Muse, Clemson. (RS Senior). 6’2”, 227 lbs. [MTG. – PRO DAY DINNER]4:16BUCK ILB Shaquille Quarterman, Miami. (Senior). 6’½”, 234 lbs. A tough, instinctive, prototypical tackling machine that Charles Davis singled out for his “charisma, leadership, and thump.” He hits, runner drops; and he won’t ever give up on the chance to make that hit. Can be exposed if asked to play in space. Played every available game in his college career from Freshman to Senior. Daniel Valente’s gif-supported April scouting report confirms that he really does play as much like Vince Williams as that description implies.5:01BUCK ILB Joe Bachie Jr., Michigan State. (Senior). 6’1”, 230 lbs. Think of the stereotype Steeler fans make out of Vince Williams; a one-dimensional, downhill, run stuffer who is good at that job but no more. It’s an unfair picture but catches the gist. Daniel Valente’s gif-supported March scouting report prefers a comparison to Tyler Matakevich, though the athletic testing shows Bachie to be an NFL-average athlete (54th percentile SPARQ score), which is much better than Dirty Red’s athletic profile. The grade might be a tad higher but for a failed PED test and multi-game suspension in 2019.5:01BUCK ILB Markus Bailey, Purdue. (RS Senior). 6’⅛”, 235 lbs. Smart, tough, and tenacious with excellent tackling skills, but could be exposed if expected to handle regular coverage duties. Josh Carney’s gif-supported April scouting report worries about a series of repeated knee problems. The NFL.com scouting profile calls him a 3-down, lunchpail backup; which would be exactly what Pittsburgh needs if he did not have two serious knee injuries already.5:16MACK ILB/SS Davion Taylor, Colorado. (Senior). 6’½”, 228 lbs. A hybrid Safety on the Linebacker side of that line. Fast and athletic, he will need at least one and probably two redshirt years. UG3 Mark II. The NFL.com scouting profile makes for a very intriguing read; Taylor basically played no football at all in High School and will therefore need to survive on pure athletic talent (85th percentile SPARQ score). Here is a nice interview from February, and an even better interview from early April.6:01BUCK ILB Mohamed Barry, Nebraska. (RS Senior). 6’1”, 245 lbs. A team captain with a phenomenal motor, very good speed and range for a Buck ILB, serious hitting power, and even the ability to move in space too. The issue is lack of length, and the corresponding problem that he doesn’t get off blocks. Pittsburgh would ask him to blow blockers up more than get free to roam, and that is also a learnable skill. Could be one to watch. Here is a scouting profile from January. This goes to a mid-March interview where he talks about the Nebraska team.6:01BUCK ILB/EDGE Carter Coughlin, Minnesota. (Senior). 6’3⅛”, 236 lbs. with short 31⅜” arms. Flunked the Combine measurements but then won the field workouts to earn a rare-in-this-class 85th percentile SPARQ score. He played Edge in college but from a Pittsburgh perspective projects much better as an athletic Buck ILB with both coverage and pass rushing upside. Can he make that change? If so, he could be a fine Round 4 prospect to replace Matakevich. The difficult odds and delay for that move drop his grade significantly on this Steelers-specific Board. The NFL.com scouting profile gives praise for his football IQ and special teams potential. This goes to a good scouting profile from a Vikings POV; the good part being an author familiar with his Minnesota subject, and the weak part being a purely-and-Edge perspective. This scouting profile has good detail but lacks an overview summary.6:01MACK ILB/SS Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State. (RS Senior). 6’1½”, 224 lbs. A hybrid Safety on the Linebacker side of that line. Will need at least one redshirt year to learn the pro gave but has enough good tools and attitude to almost ensure that someone will spend a draft pick. Alex Kozora praised his “see-to-do” reaction speed at the Senior Bowl, along with a pervasive nose for the football that continued to be on display all week.6:01MACK ILB Justin Strnad, Wake Forest. (RS Senior). 6’3⅜”, 238 lbs. Will be a 24 year old rookie. A boom or bust prospect who can run, cover, and hit but has miserable tackling technique for a position where that has primary importance. Could be a backup at either ILB position, and maybe more than that if he hits on the “boom” part. Put up miserable numbers at the Combine but moved very well and fluidly in all the field drills. This brief February scouting profile compares him to Fred Warner, but we should be kind and put that down to rhetorical excess.6:16BUCK ILB Dante Olson, Montana. (RS Senior). 6’2⅜”, 237 lbs. An in-the-box ILB with excellent explosion and instincts, but a severe lack of straight line speed that will prevent him from getting to the edge in run support and, heaven forbid, covering shifty players in space. He put up one of the oddest athletic profiles I’ve seen, with extreme assets offset by extreme gaps.6:16ILB Jacob Phillips, LSU. (Junior). 6’3”, 220 lbs. A nice, quiet, safe backup that some team will pick on Day 3 and have on the roster for several years. The main complaint in the NFL.com scouting profile is demeanor. Think Jack Lambert and then reverse every pole.6:16BUCK ILB David Reese II, Florida. (Senior). 6’1”, 239 lbs. Smart, solid tackler you want to keep out of coverage duties.7:01BUCK ILB Francis Bernard, Utah. (Senior). 6’⅜”, 234 lbs. A converted RB who is still learning the position but has real upside and, according to the Combine coverage, very good instincts. A solid developmental backup who plays a desirable, high-energy style but, as discussed in the NFL.com scouting report, has some tackling issues that are exacerbated by the physical limitations that led to a 20th percentile SPARQ score. Overcame some real immaturity issues in his early college year, but the fact that he succeeded may do more to reinforce his stock than the issues do to lower it.7:01MACK ILB Shaun Bradley, Temple. (Senior). 6’1”, 235 lbs. A solid but small framed run-and-chase ILB who showed surprising speed at the ILB position. The NFL.com scouting profile points out that he has no room to add good weight, and must therefore be a block avoider rather than a block destroyer. Inability to play Buck lowers his stock a bit.7:01SS/Mack ILB Khaleke Hudson, Michigan. (Senior). 5’11”, 224 lbs. See the entry under Safety. 7:16BUCK ILB Nate Landman, Colorado. (Junior). 6’3”, 230 lbs. A classic but very undersized Buck ILB in the Steelers 3-4 or a Mike in the 4-3, he needs to play downhill as a run stuffer but lacks the size to survive in that role.7:16BUCK ILB Kamal Martin, Minnesota. (Senior). 6’2⅞”, 240 lbs. Plays ILB like an old-man-Foreman punch: it takes a while to get there and might be dodged, but lord help the RB who gets hit square on the chin. The big issue is the speed, which severely limits his play in space. The NFL.com scouting profile has issues with his play recognition too.7:16BUCK ILB David Woodward, Utah State. (RS Junior). 6’1¾”, 230 lbs. An undersized tackling machine with limited athletic talent that resulted in a 13th percentile SPARQ score. You want to keep him away from coverage duties. Also has some medical red flags.0:00Safeties Pocket Analysis. The Steelers have the strongest pair of starting Safeties since Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark were at their peak, but very little depth behind them, especially at Free Safety. Marcus Allen is a pure box Safety and special teams player, while Jordan Dangerfield is an aging veteran who lacked top end physical talent even when young. A multipurpose Safety with the speed to back up Minkah Fitzpatrick would make a lot of sense for the pick at 3:comp or one of the picks in Round 4.0:00FS Grant Delpit, LSU. (Junior). 6’2½”, 213 lbs. Round 1 talent that would be Top 10-15 if he tackled better. Ain’t Gonna Happen because he is the #1 or #2 Safety in the class, and even if he gets surpassed that won’t be enough to reach #49. The well-respected Jon Ledyard has him down in Round 3.0:00SAF Xavier McKinney, Alabama. (Junior). 6’⅜”, 201 lbs. Fringe 1st talent as a multipurpose Safety. Ain’t Gonna Happen.2:24SAF Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois. (Senior). 6’3”, 221 lbs. A playmaker for a very small program who might be described as a poor man’s Terrell Edmunds. The athletic profiles are remarkably similar, though Edmunds was more advanced as a player and we cannot know if Chinn deserves the startling character raves that also helped to boost Edmunds’ stock. Chinn’s speed (4.45) and explosiveness wowed everyone at the Combine but he will see next to no defensive snaps as a rookie because the football IQ and technical nuances are too far behind. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile suggests that he might do even better to add ten pounds and convert to the Mack ILB side of the line – just as many said about Edmunds. Tom Mead’s gif-supported March scouting report calls him “a knowledgeable, athletic and versatile defender who will fit in any defense” and ends with a Round 3 grade. His uncle is Steve Atwater!2:24SAF Ashtyn Davis, California. (RS Senior). 6’⅞”, 202 lbs. Will turn 24 toward the end of his rookie year. A multipurpose Safety who will improve with good coaching. Unlikely to fall out of Round 2 for all the reasons set forth in Tom Mead’s fine, late January, gif-supported scouting report.2:24SAF Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota. (RS Sophomore). 5’9⅛”, 203 lbs. A playmaking, all purpose Safety with injury concerns offset by an excellent football IQ, football bloodlines, punt returner skills and assets, and ballhawking ability. Round 1 talent who will likely drop to Round 2 for the medical red flags. Should not happen, and would not in a well ordered world, but popular demand and weird Internet boards forbid saying it is totally absurd.3:01SS/ILB Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne. (Senior). 6’⅞”, 217 lbs. Won the Cliff Harris Award as the best small school defender in the nation and then stood out at the Senior Bowl against all-star D-1 athletes. Physically profiles as a coverage-heavy Mack ILB/SS hybrid. Athletic enough to return punts too. Ended up at such a small program because he was a late bloomer who was only 5’6” in High School. This goes to a very interesting background piece from early November. Here is a February article on his draft hopes and issues. Tom Mead’s gif-supported February scouting report calls him “the definition of a height/weight/speed guy.”3:12SS Brandon Jones, Texas. (Senior). 5’11⅛”, 198 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] Alex Kozora’s pre-Senior Bowl, gif-supported scouting report catches the essence: Jones is an experienced Strong Safety with good zone coverage skills who would provide high quality depth behind Terrell Edmunds. He’s a big time hitter but a less skilled tackler, though that is improvable and may be due in part to an injured shoulder labrum. Lacks the pure range to be an NFL Free Safety but should have no problem with Cover 2, and he is almost certain to be a core special teams maven. Post season surgery kept him out of both the Senior Bowl and the Combine exercises, which led to this absolutely remarkable feat of mental working out; Jones spent his time “breaking down every NFL team’s defensive plays from 2019. All 32 teams. Every defensive play. [And then kept] notebooks for every team [] during interviews at the Combine [including the Steelers].” No one will be more impressed with that kind of self-starter dedication than Mike Tomlin, which earns Mr. Jones a slight bump up the Board.3:24SAF Terrell Burgess, Utah. (Senior). 5’11⅜”, 202 lbs. with very short (29½”) arms. A Safety known for his coverage skills on RB’s and other check down targets, and for sure tackling in the open field. This goes to a thorough, early February scouting profile that extols his side-to-side range as “extraordinary.” His excellent Combine performance supports Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile “good backup with starter potential” grade. Excellent straight line speed (4.46) allayed worries about his range to play centerfield. Thomas Frank Carr’s gif-supported March scouting report loves Burgess’ range and sticky coverage ability, but ends in a Round 4-5 grade based on lacking the length to succeed as an outside CB, and the physicality to excel as a slot CB or FS in run support.3:24SAF Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame. (Senior). 5’10½”, 201 lbs. After leaving the naval academy, Gilman moved to Notre Dave where he became a very good, versatile, and extremely clutch fan favorite. This pre-Combine scouting profile comes from a Notre Dame fan and has some nice background. He should continue to play Safety in the NFL but is probably limited to box duties with some Cover 2 mixed in. Lacks the pure speed to play single-high if Fitzpatrick got hurt. A difficult player to judge, which leads to diametrically opposite evaluations such as Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile (late Day 3) versus Kyle Crabbs’ Draft Network scouting profile (late Day 2). Here is a February scouting profile from an Eagles POV. This very readable March article describes Gilman as one of those “won’t ever be denied” types.3:24SAF K’Von Wallace, Clemson. (Senior). 5’11”, 206 lbs. A multirole Safety able to play deep, in the box, and in coverage, plus all you could ask for as a special teamer. Clemson actively used him as a shifting defensive puzzle piece in order to confuse opponents. In the Burgh he’d offer excellent backup potential as a multipurpose Safety. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported March scouting report admires the “combination of good athleticism, versatility, with physicality and hit power you need in a DB,” and ends with a late Round 3 grade. Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile sees a more limited player who won’t succeed outside the box. The Draft Network scouting profiles are in the middle, projecting him as a good and versatile box Safety who gets exposed the deeper he gets. This pre-Combine February scouting profile ends with a Round 4-6 grade. This February DraftWire interview digs into his difficult background.4:01CB/S Bryce Hall, Virginia. (Senior). 6’1¼”, 201 lbs. See the entry under Cornerback.4:16SAF Julian Blackmon, Utah. (Senior). 5’11¾”, 187 lbs. A tight hipped CB with questionable long speed, who moved to Safety and looks like a better fit. Good tackling skills already, but still needs to learn the position from the neck up in order to maximize the “just NFL-level” athleticism. The NFL.com scouting profile is particularly positive.4:16SS Antoine Brooks Jr., Maryland. (Senior). 5’10⅝”, 220 lbs. The Safety equivalent of a bowling ball, he’s built like a half-pint ILB and sort of plays that way. Great blitzer, but less nimble and speedy than desired for coverage duty. Could be stuck in tweener land. The NFL.com scouting profile nails the bottom line: “He’s either a versatile defender or one lacking a clean positional fit depending on a team’s assessment and scheme.”4:16CB/SAF Harrison Hand, Temple. (Junior). 5’11⅛”, 197 lbs. 21 years old as a rookie. See the entry under CB.4:16SAF/MACK ILB Tanner Muse, Clemson. (RS Senior). 6’2”, 227 lbs. [MTG. – PRO DAY DINNER] A fine Day 3 target who will have a long NFL career on special teams if nothing else. Turns 24 as a rookie, which reduces his value a bit from the Pittsburgh perspective. He’s also something of a straight line talent comparable to a bigger, faster, and much more athletic version of the Steelers’ Marcus Allen. He will be badly exposed if asked to cover shifty RB’s or WR’s in open. But the size, savvy, and 4.41 (4.38 at his pro day!) speed are real, and isn’t straight line speed the essential characteristic for a backup who might have to play single-high if Fitzpatrick gets hurt? With this kind of size and burst as 90% of what you want in a backup for Edmunds and/or a sub package, special teams guy? Muse has played both roles for Clemson, and could for Pittsburgh too. That adds real value despite his flaws in the COD department, and the concomitant issues in coverage. The NFL.com scouting profile captures the essence.5:01SS Shyheim Carter, Alabama. (Senior). 5’10½”, 194 lbs. with really short 29⅝” arms. A box Safety with good experience and excellent length, but questionable athletic talent and speed. Does he offer more than Marcus Allen?5:01SAF Brad Stewart, Florida. (Junior). 6’0”, 200 lbs. A cover-2 Safety who may lack the pure range to play single-high.5:16SAF Reggie Floyd, Virginia Tech. (Senior). 6’0”, 220 lbs. Watch out for this one Steeler Nation! Has a good combination of size, range, and overall athleticism, and served as the field general for his secondary in 2019. Fits the exact profile Pittsburgh will seek as a Day 3, multipurpose backup with special teams upside. A surprise Combine snub.5:16SAF Jordan Fuller, Ohio State. (Senior). 6’1⅞”, 203 lbs. A solid but not notable athlete with good size, Fuller often played single-high in college but lacks the pure speed to be a true Free Safety in the NFL. Ohio State asked him to be an eraser rather than a flashier playmaker. Very smart; he was a finalist for the Campbell Award (the academic Heisman).This is a summary of his role and background from an Ohio State site. He is a smart kid who was a semifinalist for the Campbell Award (academic equivalent to the Heisman). The NFL.com scouting profile and the athletic profile shown by the Combine test results (28th percentile SPARQ score) create an image similar to a young Jordan Dangerfield.5:16SAF J.R. Reed, Georgia. (RS Senior). 6’¾”, 202 lbs. Pittsburgh tends to focus on very young, highly athletic prospects when the F.O. makes a selection for the midfield defense. Reed will be a 24 year old rookie and is not particularly big, fast, or athletic. That makes him tough to see as a Pittsburgh target. But things look pretty good outside of those limitations, with a resume that features football bloodlines (both his father and uncle played in the NFL), high football IQ, decent hands, and acceptable tackling skills for someone who also makes business decisions. Tom Mead’s gif-supported April scouting report largely agrees with Lance Zierlein’s NFL.com scouting profile in describing Reed as productive and savvy but lacking the native ability to match up with NFL athletes in man coverage. Mead likes his range; Zierlein questions it; and Kyle Crabbs TDN scouting profile actively doubts it. Go figure. His 4.54 dash at the Combine and an excellent broad jump helped him to a 66th percentile SPARQ score, which is better than expected. Here is a mid-March DraftWire interview.5:16MACK ILB/SS Davion Taylor, Colorado. (Senior). 6’½”, 228 lbs. See the entry under ILB.6:01MACK ILB/SS Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State. (RS Senior). 6’1½”, 224 lbs. See the entry under ILB.6:01SAF Myles Dorn, North Carolina. (Senior). 6’2”, 205 lbs. Needs to show some speed at his pro day. Could jump up boards if he does. A notable Combine snub.6:01SAF Jalen Elliott, Notre Dame. (Senior). 6’⅜”, 205 lbs. An aggressive, smart, multirole enforcer in college with serious question marks about his ability to keep up with NFL athletes. His 4.80 dash at the Combine definitely did not help. This goes to a Senior Bowl interview with Alex Kozora. Here is a really good February scouting profile from a Notre Dame site, which adds some multi-season perspective. The NFL.com scouting profile sees him as a special teams player with upside if he can grow enough from the shoulders up.6:01FS/CB Levonta Taylor, Fla. St. (Senior). 5’10”, 190 lbs. An unaccountable Combine snub, Taylor was the #1 CB in the nation coming out of High School and has played every position in college from outside and slot Corner to Free- and Strong Safety. The physical talent is there, and the size isn’t “bad”, just kind of average. Would a Cam Sutton channeled more toward Safety and slot work really be a problem? He comes with a red flag for nagging injuries throughout his college career, but also gets credit for being a tough guy who plays through them.6:16SAF Jaylinn Hawkins, California. (RS Senior). 6’⅝”, 208 lbs. A good developmental prospect with no particular holes, but suffers because 23 year old rookies are already behind the curve. A smooth mover, but not particularly explosive.6:16SS Jared Mayden, Alabama. (Senior). 5’11⅞”, 201 lbs. A solid prospect who will climb the Board if he shows unexpected athletic skills that would let him play more than a pure cover-2 role. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported January scouting report suggests that he’s better suited to the box Safety job than acting as a backup for Minkah. Alex also emphasizes some real issues with tackling angles and technique.6:16CB/S DeAndre Pierce, Boise State. (RS Junior). 5’11”, 180 lbs. A wannabe Mike Hilton who played cover-Safety in college. Very good coverage skills for a Safety, but unproven when that becomes his main role. Lacks the size and oomph to be a true Safety in the NFL.6:16FS/CB L’Jarius Sneed, La. Tech. (Senior). 6’0”, 192 lbs. A hybrid Free Safety/Corner with major workout warrior cred from the Combine testing (98th percentile SPARQ score), but pretty moderate film. The NFL.com scouting profile praises his ball skills and hands, but notes that he is a tangle-em-down tackler without real physicality to that part of his game. Will also need a year of coaching to develop his football IQ since he moved from Corner to Safety in 2019. Tom Mead’s gif-supported March scouting report says he looked “much more comfortable and aggressive at the LOS [in press coverage, but] as a safety he was not aggressive, didn’t participate as much in the run game and if I’m being honest seemed disinterested.”6:16SAF Nigel Warrior, Tennessee. (Junior). 6’0”, 186 lbs. A solid developmental prospect with good, all-around athletic potential. Need a redshirt, practice squad year for both coaching and strength training but has some multipurpose upside.7:01SAF David Dowell, Michigan State. (RS Senior). 6’1”, 192 lbs. Age (will turn 24 as a rookie) and role limitations drop his stock a bit. May be only a cover-2 guy. Smart field general for his secondary.7:01SS Evan Foster, Syracuse. (Senior). 6’0”, 215 lbs. Marcus Allen Lite, but the original is now on the roster.7:01SS/Mack ILB Khaleke Hudson, Michigan. (Senior). 5’11”, 224 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] A local boy from McKeesport, Hudson is a pedal-to-the-metal defensive player who’s stuck in tweener land between being an oversized Safety with severe coverage issues, and an undersized ILB with a desperate lack of playing strength. He has obvious special teams value but, as Josh Carney’s gif-supported scouting report from February explains, he seems likely to into the category of ‘not good enough at anything’ rather than ‘good at many things’ for actual defensive snaps.7:01SAF Geno Stone, Iowa. (Junior). 5’10⅜”, 207 lbs. with major T-rex syndrome (29¼” arms). A good, smart, solid Safety from New Castle in Western PA who would have done better to return to college in order to answer questions about his native athletic talent. The Combine did not help him out. The film causes trouble because Iowa played an almost pure Cover 2 system, which makes it hard to identify his full spectrum of skills and limitations.0:00CB Pocket Analysis. For the first time in recent memory the Steelers have no real reason to draft a Cornerback beyond the standard fill-the-pipeline concerns with Haden bound to get old sooner or later, Layne promising but unproven, and both Hilton and Sutton nearing the end of their contracts.0:00CB Damon Arnette, Ohio St. (RS Senior). 5’11⅝”, 195 lbs. Early round talent with rising buzz. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State. (RS Junior). 6’2¼”, 188 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] Turns 22 as a rookie. Day 2 talent roughly comparable to Justin Layne. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama. (Senior). 6’1⅜”, 205 lbs. Fringe 1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB Kristian Fulton, LSU. (Senior). 5’11⅝”, 197 lbs. Easy Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB Jeff Gladney, TCU. (RS Senior). 5’10¼”, 191 lbs. Fringe 1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB C.J. Henderson, Florida. (Junior). 6’¾”, 204 lbs. Easy Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn. (Junior). 5’10⅜”, 198 lbs. Fringe 1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah. (Junior). 5’11⅞”, 193 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] 21 years old. Day 2 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio St. (Junior). 6’1⅛”, 205 lbs. Top 5 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.0:00CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson. (Junior). 6’1⅛”, 195 lbs. Early round talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.4:01CB Javaris Davis, Auburn. (RS Senior). 5’8½”, 183 lbs. Just turned 23. He’s really (4.39) fast, has good ball skill and body control, and excels when it comes to shiftiness; but he is also really small and can be bullied by larger players. Projects as a pure slot corner who’d need to learn every trick in the book if he wants to match up outside, and would be vulnerable to jump ball mismatches. A classic case where every two inches in added height would have bumped him up a round in grade. Two cousins (Vernon and Vontae) had successful NFL careers. Here are the NFL.com scouting profile, and a nice March scouting profile. This goes to a DraftWire interview from April. Here is Tom Mead’s gif-supported April scouting report.4:01CB/S Bryce Hall, Virginia. (Senior). 6’1¼”, 202 lbs. He could be graded two rounds higher in other years, but the Steelers will be less interested in his very real ability to compete with Justin Layne, and more intrigued by his potential to be a hybrid cover-capable Free Safety who could also back up Minkah Fitzpatrick. This goes to Tom Mead’s gif-supported January scouting report. He played better in 2018 than 2019, and may be more of a Seahawks-type Cover 3 specialsit.4:01CB Troy Pride, Notre Dame. (Senior). 5’11½”, 193 lbs. An average SPARQ score athlete with good 4.40 catchup speed, the NFL.com scouting report gives this pithy summary: “Pride has pro traits, but he also has NFL-backup tape.” He seems like the kind of guy who could be a long term NFL starter if he can only “get it,” but who hasn’t got it yet. Good coaching will do a lot to make or break his career. The flaws are scattered, as in: scrappy but not physical in the tackling department, keeps up with WR’s but loses phase, can get confused, etc. Both The Draft Network scouting profiles and Gil Brandt’s #79 ranking suggest a Round 3 grade overall.4:01CB Amik Robertson, La. Tech. (Junior). 5’8⅜”, 187 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] Turns 22 as a rookie. A savage, hard tackling, but miniature slot CB in the Mike Hilton mode. Likely to have a tough NFL transition because of the double step up in the quality of WR’s he’d be asked to cover. You can tell from the NFL.com scouting profile that Lance Zierlein is a fan.4:16CB/SAF Harrison Hand, Temple. (Junior). 5’11⅛”, 197 lbs. 21 years old as a rookie. A 95th percentile SPARQ score superstar with some disturbing holes in the COD drills, Hand projects as a good Day 3 flier for athletic secondary depth. Known for being physical with good zone and press skills, but not as fluid as you’d like for off-man coverage. The NFL.com scouting profile describes a player with flaws for every specific position, but that could easily turn into exceptional position flexibility if coaching can fix just a few of the flaws. Kyle Crabbs February Draft Network scouting profile admires his physicality and potential as a Safety, but agrees that transitional quickness is the Achilles heel on film.4:16CB Reggie Robinson II, Tulsa. (RS Senior). 6’⅞”, 205 lbs. A long and tall athlete with a high (92nd percentile) SPARQ score, Robinson is interesting because the stats show great production in key indicators like turnovers, TFL’s, and even four blocked kicks. He also excels in run support. The downside, according to the NFL.com scouting profile, is an apparent lack of speed and athletic traits on film – but those are the very things he aced at the Combine. That suggests real and untapped potential. Tom Mead’s gif-supported April scouting report ends with a Round 4 grade, which is just about where the well respected Gil Brandt puts him too.4:16CB Josiah Scott, Michigan State. (Senior). 5’9¼”, 185 lbs. Will be 21 as a rookie. I may as well just quote the NFL.com scouting profile on this one: “Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Gnat’ by teammates for his pesky, persistent coverage talent and playing style. He has no issues checking athletic boxes with quick feet, smooth hips and explosive speed. He has above average recovery burst and athleticism… He has ballhawking traits and coverage talent is not an issue. His ability to stay healthy and overcome his size/strength limitations could be the difference between being a starting nickel or solid backup.” Ran a nice 4.42 dash at the Combine.5:01CB Dane Jackson, Pitt. (RS Senior). 5’11⅝”, 187 lbs. The Senior Bowl’s standout Corner prospect, where he seemed to answer persistent questions about his long speed and demonstrated a solid, and showed some consistent ability to cover all types of receiver while also making plays on the ball. Probably better playing in zone. Grade depressed for measurables testing (4.57 dash and 30th percentile SPARQ score) that bring those old speed questions back to the fore. This goes to a Senior Bowl interview with Alex Kozora.5:01CB Michael Ojemudia, Iowa. (Senior). 6’⅝”, 200 lbs. Will be 23 as a rookie. Ojemudia has a nice, well distributed athletic profile yielding a 66th percentile SPARQ score, with film that is remarkable for being forgettable. Is that a bad thing in a Corner? He’s long, fast enough and smooth enough to hang with receivers on the outside, but seems to lack that split-second recognition ability that creates special plays. The NFL.com scouting profile calls it a “lack of instincts [and] the qualities of a natural ballhawk,” but one has to wonder how much of that can be taught. There is a lot of potential “boom” if it can. Iowa’s secondary plays zone almost exclusively, which creates issues for this grade. His physical profile suggests that he should be okay in man coverage but there is no film to support it.5:16CB Trajan Bandy, Miami. (Junior). 5’7¾”, 180 lbs. Will be 21 as a rookie. A great mover in space who could be an ideal cover-corner in the slot if he can add some much needed discipline to his game and physical toughness to his arsenal. The NFL.com scouting profile complains of “a level of nonchalance” that shows up in various ways, including some business decisions on the tackling front. Fixable technique, or athletic arrogance? Being so young helps to allay that concern. A big time playmaker with good ball skills.5:16CB John Reid, Penn State. (RS Senior). 5’10⅜”, 187 lbs. with very short 30⅛” arms. Will be a 24 year old rookie, and would grade higher if he was younger and more durable. An ideal slot corner with great quickness and tackling chops. Has been criticized for being too small but a mere three pounds would put him over the threshold test that people like to use, and that makes it a little silly when there is this much fight in the dog. The tested athletic profile and 90th percentile SPARQ score confirm the assets seen on film: excellent quickness, great burst, only good speed, and very moderate size. Both The Draft Network and the NFL.com scouting profiles project him as a pure slot corner who should be good in that role, but not in any other.6:01FS/CB Levonta Taylor, Fla. St. (Senior). 5’10”, 190 lbs. See the entry under Safety.6:16CB Javelin Guidry, Utah. (Junior). 5’9”, 190 lbs. Will be 22 as a rookie. Absolutely blistering 4.29 track speed with excellent toughness and physical assets in other areas too. Pretty much everything but height. The issues is that he has never really learned to play Corner and, according to the NFL.com scouting profile, is likely to get spun around like a top unless the right coach can find a way to teach him all the required skills. Complete boom or bust, with the odds greatly favoring the bust, but some fine special teams upside to keep him draftable.6:16CB/S DeAndre Pierce, Boise State. (RS Junior). 5’11”, 180 lbs. See the entry under Safety.7:01CB Grayland Arnold, Baylor. (RS Junior). 5’9”, 186 lbs. With short 29” arms. A pure, cover-Corner for the slot with excellent quickness, ball skills and awareness (6 INT’s in 2019), and punt return ability, but held back by his very moderate long speed and substandard size. Would rate higher if he tackled well. Here is the NFL.com scouting profile.7:16PUNTER Braden Mann, Texas A&M. (Senior). 5’11⅜”, 197 lbs. Set a string of all-time CFB records en route to winning the Ray Guy award in 2018. Mann could be The Man if you’re looking for a punter.7:16PUNTER Michael Turk, Arizona State. (RS Sophomore). 6’0”, 228 lbs. The nephew of long time NFL punter Matt Turk and OL Dan Turk, he made the record books at the Combine by putting up 25 reps at 225 pounds, which was more than most of the defensive linemen! A fine punter with a huge leg and a knack for dropping balls inside the 20.

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