Three weeks out from the start of the 2015 NFL Draft, we are finally beginning to see the league shift into the final pre-draft phase of operations as the Pro Days wind down. At long last, teams are finally bringing in prospective draftees for personal visits to their facilities, and the AFC North was certainly represented here yesterday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers in particular made use of their time Wednesday to explore a variety of players, hosting four of them yesterday. According to Mark Kaboly, 11 of the Steelers’ 18 most recent draft picks have been in for pre-draft visits, as has one undrafted free agent, so this is a significant part of the process for the organization.
Those four players include two outside linebackers, a cornerback, and a tight end, which could be regarded as the team’s three biggest needs, if you ask the right person. Among the group was Eli Harold, who is regarded as a first-round draft pick at outside linebacker.
The other outside linebacker of the group was Nate Orchard, who could potentially be an early Day Two selection. Cornerback Senquez Golson, who intercepted more passes than anybody in the nation last season, is undersized but promising, and could potentially fall in the third round. Tight end C.J. Uzomah is a late-round prospect.
The Steelers have previously hosted two local prospects, which do not count against their allotted 30 visits. They still have 26 remaining visits that they are permitted to conduct between now and the draft.
The Baltimore Ravens have also been busy bringing in prospects for pre-draft visits, taking a look at two of the best players at their respective positions, namely wide receiver and cornerback.
The two prospects that have visited with the Ravens are cornerback Marcus Peters and wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, both of whom are very talented, but have presented teams with off-field concerns. Of the two, it seems that Peters is least likely to make it all the way to the Ravens’ 26th overall pick.
The Cleveland Browns, meanwhile, intend to bring in top tackle prospect Ereck Flowers for a pre-draft visit, even though they seem to be comfortable at tackle along the offensive line. In other Browns news, Johnny Manziel has reportedly made hospital visits with young patients as he continues his recovery during a rehab stint that should be ending shortly.
For the Cincinnati Bengals, restricted free agent inside linebacker Emmanuel Lemur signed his tender yesterday, securing his rights for the 2015 season. Lemur wound up playing a significant role for the Bengals on defense last season after they suffered injuries among the starters, and they have been looking to shore up the depth at the position this offseason as a result. The Bengals tendered him at the second-round level.
In the meantime, one of their free agents, running back Cedric Peerman, was reported to have visited the Eagles on Tuesday, though obviously he left without a contract. Primarily a special teams player, the Bengals have previously been reported to have an interest in bringing him back.