ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. held his annual pre scouting combine conference call a few days and not surprisingly, he was asked to comment on a few inside linebackers that might still be on the board in round-two and beyond in this year’s draft that might be a fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Yeah. I think Devon White will be gone from LSU, Kiper first explained. “I think Devin Bush could be there. In fact, obviously, when you think about projecting, that’s where I had him going in mock No. 1. I moved him down a bit [since then], I gave them the corner, DeAndre Baker from Georgia. But I think there’s a pretty good chance that Devin Bush will be there. If he’s not, do you reach a little bit for Mack Wilson from Alabama? I thought Mack Wilson back in August would be a guy that would be a solid mid first-rounder and follow in the footsteps of all those other great inside linebackers coming out of Alabama. But he didn’t have the year expected. I thought he would go back [for his senior season], he didn’t, he’s in this draft. I think he could be a late one, I’m projecting him more as a two.
Kiper also had some thoughts on a few other inside linebackers that might be a fit for the Steelers that they might be able to select after the first two rounds.
“And I think if you look at a guy, I’d say in that third round there, David Long – West Virginia – is an interesting guy because he fits today’s NFL very well,” said Kiper. “T.J. Edwards – Wisconsin – smart, instinctive linebacker, won’t test great in terms of 40 speed, but good, solid football player. You can probably get T.J. Edwards – Wisconsin – in the third or fourth round. And Te’von Coney from Notre Dame, another third-round possibility, had a really good year for the Fighting Irish.”
Those names that Kiper mentioned aside, it’s a bit of a shock that he didn’t name Terrill Hanks out of New Mexico State or even Germaine Pratt out of North Carolina State as possible options for the Steelers after the second round. In fact, Hanks and Pratt should have both easily made Kiper’s rundown as like David Long and Te’Von Coney, the two were also participants in this year’s Senior Bowl, which the Steelers have a long history of drafting from.
If you would like to hear all of Kiper’s recent draft conference call with the media you can listen to it below.