Happy Friday to yinz and welcome to the first weekend of March!
Lord, am I glad to be back in Las Vegas. My trip to Florida last week was no vacation. Regardless, I was still able to get a few important things done for my mother so there’s that. I don’t function well out of my own normal zone and the travel delays I had both going and coming made the trip that much more painful. There’s no place like home!
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine is well underway. As usual, Alex Kozora and I are tracking the results in real time for you. These sheets get updated often during the day so keep checking back for the latest numbers.
I love this part of the offseason and specifically when it comes to playing with the combine numbers. While a player’s tape is always king, I think you can learn a few things to go back and watch for once you have the numbers. I still have a lot to learn about several players the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to be interested in during this year’s draft and that process will ramp up even more next week.
After the combine ends early next week, the start of the 2018 NFL league won’t be too far off. It’s great to see the NFL offseason calendar flow the way it does.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer on this Friday night and hopefully several reading this post will do just that. I look for forward to seeing your answers to these five questions.
Have a great weekend and please be safe. Peace and love, peace and love!
1 – Should the Steelers ultimately not select an inside linebacker or safety in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, which other position would most likely be the one?
2 – What one thing did Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert say this past week at the combine that most caught your attention?
3 – Will the Steelers first-round selection this year once again come from a college team that played in one of the Power 5 Conferences?
4 – The Steelers have until Tuesday to either get running back Le’Veon Bell signed to a long-term contract or issue him the franchise tag. Which is more likely to happen?
5 – Would the changing of the pass interference penalty from a spot foul to 15 yards ultimately hurt the Steelers, a team with a quarterback whop loves to throw the football deep? Are you for or against this rule change?
Question 1 – 81% envisioned scenarios that they would support the Steelers not taking either an ILB or S with the 28th overall pick. Some scenarios included specific players falling into the Steelers lap including defensive linemen like Vita Vea, Da’Ron Payne, or Tim Settle. Improbable but several mentioned running Saquon Barkley. The best available player especially if it is an OLB and other needs addressed in free agency appears to be the consensus with a few also accepting the idea of trading down for more picks in the lower rounds.
Question 2 – 65% would NOT try to trade Martavis Bryant during this offseason. Most would want at least a 3rd round choice if not more in exchange and few believe that he would attract that in the marketplace. He has better value remaining a Steeler for at least one more year as the team contends for a Super Bowl in the view of our group. Kevin Colbert appears to agree with most of the Steelers Depot respondents based on his comments during the combine the other day.
Question 3 – 76% would like to see Lawrence Timmons back in Pittsburgh. Most saw his best role as providing depth as a back-up; though some saw him starting for a year or two or at least being a spot-starter while a stud rookie picked up in the draft gets playing time. His mentorship as a veteran Steelers player was also seen as an added value.
Question 4 – Each team can have private 15-minute interviews with up to 60 players. We listed 22 prospects we would like the Steelers to meet with. I wonder how many on our list will get their 15 minutes with the Steelers:
|Darius Leonard||South Carolina State||OLB||2|
|Marcus Allen||Penn State||FS||2|
|Derwin James||Florida State||S||1|
|DJ Reed||Kansas State||CB||1|
|Durham Smythe||Notre Dame||TE||1|
|Mike Gisecki||Penn State||TE||1|
|Jerome Baker||Ohio State||OLB||1|
|Jessie Bates III||Wake Forest||FS||1|
|Mason Rudolph||Oklahoma State||QB||1|
|Andrew Motuapuaka||Virginia Tech||ILB||1|
|Shaquem Griffin||Central Florida||LB||1|
|Tremaine Edmunds||Virginia Tech||OLB||1|
|Uchenna Nwoso||Southern California||OLB||1|
Question 5 – Here are the obscure Steelers that we remember for reasons we don’t quite understand. Some great names from the past listed but surprised no one named Buzz Nutter. Some are so obscure, they could not be located in the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Roster. I’ve included their current ranking from the Average Steelers Fan’s all-time Steelers list:
|Orpheus Roye||DE||1996-99 2008||231|
|Ra’Shon “Sunny” Harris||DL||2009-2010||DNP|