NFL Draft

Steelers Big Board (Post-Combine, by ranking)

This update includes all my notes and observations from the Combine, along with maybe a dozen new players. Scores of grades were changed and even more descriptions. I still have two weeks of links that need to be searched out and added, but that will have to wait.

The published Boards alternate each time, going by position and then by rank. This week it is time to go by rank. The goal should be to compare players across positions, just like we will have to do on draft day. Which player do you prefer, or is it a tie that requires data you and I don’t have? That’s the game we play with this version.

Try it out on a few of the public mock draft games and let me know how the result turns out! FWIW, I tend to get too many shots at one of the early RB’s, but I think that is a function of RB’s being undervalued in those algorithms rather than the grades being too high on the Board. But your mileage may vary, as always.

Organized by Highest Value (“HV#”) to the Steelers. Great players for other teams get downgraded here, as do positions where Pittsburgh has limited “want.” An HV of 1:25 means the player is a reach for the Steelers at any point before Pick # 25 overall but good value at any point from the end of the 1st on. Getting that player in the early 2nd would be fine, while getting him at 2:14 would almost be a steal. Yes, this system results in a certain amount of grade inflation for positions of need because we are talking about the “highest” grade, not the one where a player is expected to go; but grades are never pushed up just because of need. Players with the same HV# are more-or-less equivalent and organized alphabetically. Boards organized by HV are sorted within each grade by position: Offense and then Defense, inside to out.
Rounds are subdivided as follows:
  •       1st Round grades: 1:01, 1:05, 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, or 1:25.
  •       2nd & 3rd Round grades: Early (#:01), Mid (#:12), or Late (#:24).
  •       4th to 7th Round grades: Early (#:01) or Late (#:16).
0:00 T/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. 
0:00 T/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.
0:00 T/G Jedrick Wills, Alabama. (Junior). 6’4¼”, 312 lbs. with long 34¼” arms. Top 10-15 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 T/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.
0:00 QB Joe Burrow, LSU. (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 221 lbs. Oh please. Likely to go #1 overall.
0:00 QB 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.
0:00 QB 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.
0:00 WR 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.
0:00 WR 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.
0:00 WR 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.
0:00 WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado. (Junior). 6’⅝”, 227 lbs. Round 1 talent all day long. 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. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 DL Ross Blacklock, TCU. (RS Junior). 6’3⅛”, 290 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] Fringe 1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen. Fun fact: his dad is the head coach of the Harlem Globetrotters.
0:00 DL Derrick Brown, Auburn. (Senior). 6’4⅝”, 326 lbs. with long 34¼” arms but small 9” hands. Top 5 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn. (Senior). 6’3”, 303 lbs. Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 DL 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. He could be a similar Round 2 bargain but the Steelers have other priorities.
0:00 DL 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 1-tech penetrator with a skill set similar to Javon Hargrave, but less size to hold up against double teams. Often projected as a fringe-1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen. 
0:00 DL Javon Kinlaw, S. Carolina. (Senior). 6’5⅛”, 324 lbs. with long 34⅞” arms. Top 20 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU. (Junior). 6’3”, 254 lbs. Top 15-20 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa. (Junior). 6’5⅛”, 275 lbs. with 34½” arms. Top 10 talent as a 4-3 DE. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn St. (Junior). 6’5”, 266 lbs. with long 34⅞” arms. Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 EDGE Terrell Lewis, Alabama. (RS Junior). 6’5¼”, 262 lbs. Round 1-or-2 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen. He looks like Bud Dupree back in the day, with ideal physical talent other than real bend-and-dip ability. Also carries an injury history.
0:00 EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame (Senior). 6’4¼”, 252 lbs. Round 1-or-2 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 EDGE Chase Young, Ohio St. (Junior). 6’4⅞”, 264 lbs. Top 5 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 ILB Kenneth Murray. (Junior). 6’2½”, 241 lbs. Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 MACK 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.
0:00 ILB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson. (RS Junior) 6’3⅝”, 238 lbs. Early 1st Round talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 SAF Ashtyn Davis, California. (RS Senior). 6’⅞”, 202 lbs. 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. Ain’t Gonna Happen
0:00 SS Grant Delpit, LSU. (Junior). 6’2½”, 213 lbs. Top 10-15 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 SAF Xavier McKinney, Alabama. (Junior). 6’⅜”, 201 lbs. Fringe 1st talent as a multipurpose Safety. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 SAF 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. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 CB Damon Arnette, Ohio St. (RS Senior). 5’11⅝”, 195 lbs. Fringe 1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 CB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State. (RS Junior). 6’2¼”, 188 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] Turns 22 as a rookie. Early round talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen
0:00 CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama. (Senior). 6’1⅜”, 205 lbs. Easy Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 CB Kristian Fulton, LSU. (Senior). 5’11⅝”, 197 lbs. Easy Round 1 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 CB Jeff Gladney, TCU. (RS Senior). 5’10¼”, 191 lbs. Fringe 1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 CB C.J. Henderson, Florida. (Junior). 6’¾”, 204 lbs. Fringe 1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn. (Junior). 5’10⅜”, 198 lbs. Round 2 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah. (Junior). 5’11⅞”, 193 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] 21 years old. Early round talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.
0:00 CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio St. (Junior). 6’1⅛”, 205 lbs. Top 5 talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.

CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson. (Junior). 6’1⅛”, 195 lbs. Fringe 1st talent. Ain’t Gonna Happen.

1:20 QB 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.
1:20 RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio St. (Junior). 5’9½”, 209 lbs. 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. 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.
1:20 RB 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? 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.
1:20 RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia. (Junior). 5’8¼”, 212 lbs. 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).
1:20 WR Justin Jefferson, LSU. (Junior). 6’1¼”, 202 lbs. with 33” arms. A 2020, slightly more accomplished version of James Washington. 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.
1:25 OT 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.” The rawness shows up on tape as vulnerabilty 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 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.
1:25 T/G Josh Jones, Houston. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 319 lbs. with 9⅝” hands and shorter than ideal arms (32⅛”). 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 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.
1:25 T/G Lucas Niang, TCU. (Senior). 6’6”, 315 lbs. with long 34¼” arms and big 10½” hands. Lance Zierlein is a fan: the scouting profile calls him “a scheme diverse Right Tackle [and] help-now right tackle prospect who should be a long-time starter.” Probably a Round 1 pick if he had not required hip surgery for a torn labrum late in 2019. Niang said the hip was a long term problem that had slowed him down significantly all year. 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.
1:25 RB 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 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.
1:25 RB 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! The 10-yard split was just as good. Alex Kozora’s gif-supported February scouting report describes more of a Mark Ingram than a Saquon Barkley, but that will do. 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.
1:25 WR 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). 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.
2:01 C/G Cesar Ruiz, Michigan. (Junior). 6’2¾”, 307 lbs. with huge 11” hands. 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. 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 scouting profile agrees that he should be an early starter.
2:01 WR Tee Higgins, Clemson. (Junior). 6’3⅝”, 216 lbs. with looong 34⅛” arms. Gets compared to Alshon Jeffrey or (on a good day) A.J. Green. The odds that he falls even to 2:17 hover around 2% 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 start Mike Williams.
2:01 WR 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.
2:12 C/G Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU. (RS Junior). 6’3⅛”, 312 lbs. with big 10⅜” hands and arms like vines (34⅛”). [MTG. AT COMBINE] 22 years old. 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 scouting profile applauds him as a do-your-job prospect and genuine team leader.
2:12 G/T Robert Hunt, Louisiana. (RS Senior). 6’5⅛”, 323 lbs. 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.
2:12 OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 308 lbs. with 10⅜” hands and 33½” arms. 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 (a knee that required scoping took him out of the Senior Bowl and cost him the Combine). 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 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. 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 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.
2:12 T/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) very poor technique in pass protection. Georgia often protected him with a chipping RB or TE on his side for pass plays. Boom or bust with the raw talent to achieve any heights. His run blocking ability might even let him move inside despite the height; which would instantly make him that much better as a fit with the Steelers. The athletic testing showed great explosiveness but poor COD skills, which combine to an NFL-top-third (67th percentile) SPARQ score. Lance Zierlein’s scouting profile notes that he improved throughout 2019 and has massive upside, but assumes at least one redshirt year before he can be fairly judged. This 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.
2:12 RB 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 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.
2:12 WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State. (Senior). 5’11⅝”, 205 lbs. with 9¾” hands and long 33½” arms. 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 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.
2:24 G Damien Lewis, LSU. (Senior). 6’2”, 329 lbs. with 33⅜” arms. 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’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.
2:24 G 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. 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 scouting profile sees a fair number of technique issues he needs to work on too.
2:24 OT 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 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.
2:24 QB 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.
2:24 TE 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 collar bone 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 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.
2:24 TE 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.
2:24 WR 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.
3:01 T/G Ben Bartch, St. Johns. (Senior). 6’5¾”, 309 lbs. with 33” arms. This year’s small school phenom utterly dominated his D3 opponents, but so what? 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 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.
3:01 C/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 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.
3:01 QB 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.
3:01 QB 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.”
3:01 WR 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.
3:01 DL 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 pretty good explosion. Not expected to get out of Round 2.
3:01 DL 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.
3:01 EDGE Darrell Taylor, Tennessee (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 263 lbs. [MTG. AT COMBINE] The 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.
3:12 OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State. (RS Junior). 6’6”, 311 lbs. Imagine a slightly higher pedigree version of Chuks Okorafor when he came out; a solid, toolsy athlete with enough potential to earn whispers of the occasional Round 1 grade. 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 years 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 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.
3:12 C Matt Hennessy, Temple. (RS Junior). 6’3⅞”, 307 lbs. with shorter 32¼” arms. His athletic profile is wonderful for everything but size and strength, 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 only solid as a puller, and would probably suffer if asked to fill in at guard for anything but an emergency. Alex Kozora, who got to meet him at the Senior Bowl, has described him as a player who also gives off a “Steelers vibe,” fwiw. The 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.
3:12 G Shane Lemieux, Oregon. (RS Senior). 6’3⅞”, 310 lbs. with shorter 32¼” arms. 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 scouting profile points to various footwork issues that need to be fixed in order to deal with NFL pass rushers.
3:12 G John Simpson, Clemson. (Senior). 6’4⅛”, 321 lbs. with long 34⅛” arms and huge 11¼” hands. 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.
3:12 G Logan Stenberg, Kentucky. (RS Senior). 6’6”, 317 lbs. with big 10¼” hands. 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 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.”
3:12 RB 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 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.
3:12 WR 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. 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 scouting profile agrees with Randall Cobb as the comp, though Steelers fans may prefer going back to Kordell Stewart.
3:12 WR 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”.
3:12 WR Devin Duvernay, Texas. (Senior). 5’10½”, 200 lbs. As the 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.
3:12 WR 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.
3:12 NT 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.
3:12 EDGE 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. 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.
3:12 ILB/Edge Zack Baun, Wisconsin. (Senior). 6’2⅜”, 238 lbs. An accomplished Edge Rusher in college who just looks small for the NFL. Likely to go in Day 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.
3:12 SAF 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.(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 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!
3:12 SS/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.”
3:12 SS 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.
3:24 OT Trey Adams, Washington. (Senior). 6’8”, 318 lbs. with very long 34⅜” arms. Two years ago he was projected as an all but guaranteed Round 1 talent with sound technique, prototypical length, excellent strength, and enough mobility to starter 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. The doctors will have as much to say about his draft status as anyone in the class. From our POV, it does not help that he said the medical concerns are well behind him in this late February article from the Combine, and then tested with an distinctly average athletic profile that produced an outright horrid SPARQ score (second percentile; i.e., bottom 2%), and also looked somewhat klutzy-looking field drills. Either there are still medical concerns, or the injuries have changed him for the worse. The 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 be a mid-1st pick if not for all the injuries.
3:24 G/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 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.
3:24 G/T Saahdiq Charles, LSU. (Junior). 6’4⅛”, 321 lbs. 21 years old. The descriptions read as almost a stereotype. Charles is a very mobile, highly athletic Tackle with excellent footwork, and a desperate need to add grown man strength. He reportedly played at 295 pounds in college, which is close to 30 pounds lighter than he showed up at the Combine, but he moved well nevertheless. His body type suggests a position-flexible pulling Guard, but pure country strength matters even more in that role and it would make less use of his footwork expertise. Here is Lance Zierlein’s scouting profile, which sounds on point. The Draft Network scouting profile sees a potential Left Tackle if he can build up the required strength.
3:24 G/T Tyre Phillips, Miss. St. (RS Senior). 6’5”, 331 lbs. with very long 35⅛” arms and big 10⅜” hands. Lance Zierlein’s 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.
3:24 TE 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 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 scouting profile.
3:24 TE 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.
3:24 WR 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.
3:24 WR 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.
3:24 EDGE 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.
3:24 EDGE 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 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.
3:24 MACK ILB Troy Dye, Oregon. (Senior). 6’3¼”, 231 lbs. Awesome length for a Mack but he is built very light. 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.
3:24 BUCK ILB Malik Harrison, Ohio State. (Senior). 6’2½”, 247 lbs. Vince Williams 2.0 in a younger body. Ideal if the team loses Matakevich and has worries about Williams’ age (just turned 30). Probably too good to fall into Round 4. Alas.
3:24 BUCK ILB Logan Wilson, Wyoming. (Senior). 6’2⅛”, 241 lbs. 24 years old. 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 scouting profile, but one questions whether he fits the Steelers’ drafting philosophy.
3:24 SAF 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 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.
3:24 SAF 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 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.
4:01 G Ben Bredeson, Michigan. (Senior). 6’4½”, 315 lbs. with very short 31½” arms. 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 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.
4:01 C/G Jonah Jackson, Ohio State. (RS Senior). 6’3½”, 306 lbs. with big 10½” hands. The 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.
4:01 G Solomon Kindley, Georgia. (RS Junior). 6’3¼”, 337 lbs. with shorter 32¼” arms. 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 scouting profile ends with a mid- to late Day 3 grade based on concerns with his bend, mobility, and lack of NFL technique.
4:01 G Michael Onwenu, Michigan. (Senior). 6’2⅝”, 344 lbs. with long 34⅜” arms and big 10½” hands. 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 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.
4:01 QB 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 pretty decent gamble with one of the Round 4 picks, where 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.
4:01 QB 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.
4:01 TE Dalton Keene, Va. Tech. (Junior). 6’4⅛”, 253 lbs. Lance Zierlein’s 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.
4:01 RB 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.
4:01 RB 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.
4:01 WR 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. Etc. May have been held back in 2019 by some very weak play at QB. 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!
4:01 WR Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State. (Junior). 6’3⅝”, 210 lbs. with long 33⅛” arms and big 9⅞” hands. 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. Will turn 22 as a rookie. Tom Mead’s gif-supported, late-February scouting report sees a pure jump ball winner who offers just that single skill.
4:01 WR 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. The issue? He hasn’t played anywhere close to the level his athletic talents suggest, and no one seems to have a good explanation of why. 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 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.
4:01 DL Rashard Lawrence, LSU. (Senior). 6’2″, 308 lbs. with long 34⅛” arms. A late Day 2 target if you are looking for someone to replace Alualu as the primary backup to Heyward and Tuitt, but less suited as a replacement for Hargrave according to this gif-supported February scouting report from Tom Mead. Others are more optimistic. Does offer some pass rush upside on the inside.
4:01 EDGE 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 scouting profile and The Draft Network scouting profiles all agree: good player held back by no-more-than-average athleticism.
4:01 EDGE 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.
4:01 BUCK ILB Markus Bailey, Purdue. (RS Senior). 6’⅛”, 235 lbs. Another prototype. Smart, tough, and tenacious with excellent tackling skills, but could be exposed if expected to handle regular coverage duties.
4:01 BUCK 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.
4:01 ILB Jacob Phillips, LSU. (Junior). 6’3”, 229 lbs. A really fine athlete who could replace Mark Barron with a slightly different skill set, but does he bring more than Uly Gilbert?
4:01 ILB 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.
4:01 SAF 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 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.
4:01 CB/S Bryce Hall, Virginia. (Senior). 6’1¼”, 202 lbs. He’d be graded a full round or two 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.
4:01 CB 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 scouting profile that Lance Zierlein is a fan.
4:16 G/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.
4:16 OT 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 scouting profile.
4:16 TE 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 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.
4:16 TE 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. 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 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.
4:16 WR 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 scouting profile projects him to be a clear starter in a year or two.
4:16 WR 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 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.
4:16 WR 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.
4:16 WR 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.
4:16 WR 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.
4:16 NT 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.
4:16 NT 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.
4:16 EDGE 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 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.
4:16 EDGE 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.
4:16 EDGE 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 scouting profile is a bit more pessimistic about his ultimate ceiling but does see real potential as a valuable depth piece.
4:16 BUCK 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.
4:16 BUCK ILB David Woodward, Utah State. (RS Junior). 6’1¾”, 230 lbs. A slightly undersized tackling machine with limited athletic talent. You want to keep him away from coverage duties.
4:16 SAF 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.
4:16 SS 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.
4:16 SS Shyheim Carter, Alabama. (Senior). 5’10½”, 194 lbs. A box Safety with good experience and excellent length. Does he offer more than Marcus Allen?
4:16 FS/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?
4:29 STEELERS ROUND 4b PICK (from Tennessee via Miami)
5:01 T/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 scouting profile seems to capture both the potential and the reality pretty well.
5:01 G 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.
5:01 C/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 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.
5:01 QB 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.
5:01 TE 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.
5:01 WR 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.
5:01 DL 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..
5:01 EDGE Alex Highsmith, Charlotte (Senior). 6’3⅛”, 243 lbs. Caught the eye at the Combine as a very natural athlete who moved well in several of the drill. 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 scouting profile sounds kind of similar. Can you spell, “redshirt year in the gym and then you might have a gem?”
5:01 BUCK 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.
5:01 BUCK ILB Nate Landman, Colorado. (Junior). 6’3”, 230 lbs. A classic Buck ILB in the Steelers 3-4 or a Mike in the 4-3, he needs to play downhill as a run stuffer. With Matakevich a free agent in 2019, and VW in cap peril for 2020, that is a profile to watch for.
5:01 MACK ILB Justin Strnad, Wake Forest. (RS Senior). 6’3⅜”, 238 lbs. 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.
5:01 BUCK ILB Evan Weaver, California. (Senior). 6’2⅛”, 237 lbs. A nice player to get if we lose Matakevich. 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.
5:01 SAF Brad Stewart, Florida. (Junior). 6’0”, 200 lbs. A cover-2 Safety who may lack the pure range to play single-high.
5:16 C 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.
5:16 C 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.
5:16 G Sadarius Hutcherson, South Carolina. (RS Junior). 6’4”, 320 lbs. Lots of strength. Lots of power. Needs lots of help with his technique.
5:16 C/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 “only good” faint praise at both positions, but the size is great for that kind of versatility.
5:16 TE 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.
5:16 TE 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.
5:16 TE 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 scouting profile sees a better receiver and a worse blocker.
5:16 TE Steven 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.
5:16 RB 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.
5:16 Sewo 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.
5:16 WR 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.
5:16 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. Might be a tweener between Buck and Mack from Pittsburgh’s POV.
5:16 MACK 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.
5:16 BUCK 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.
5:16 BUCK ILB David Reese II, Florida. (Senior). 6’1”, 239 lbs. Smart, solid tackler you want to keep out of coverage duties.
5:16 MACK 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 scouting profile makes for a very intriguing read.
5:16 SAF 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.
5:16 SAF 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.
5:16 SAF 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 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.
5:16 SS J.R. Reed, Georgia. (RS Senior). 6’¾”, 202 lbs. Will be a 24 year old rookie. That, plus limitations to a box Safety role, drop his grade by a full round for Pittsburgh.
6:01 G 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.
6:01 G/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.
6:01 T/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 scouting profile sees a potential future on a team that runs mostly outside zone concepts, but that isn’t Pittsburgh.
6:01 G 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.
6:01 OT 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.
6:01 G/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 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.
6:01 C/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 scouting profile grades him out as a sound backup with starter potential at Center. A redshirt year in the weight room looks inevitable.
6:01 C/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.
6:01 G/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.
6:01 G/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.”
6:01 QB 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.
6:01 QB 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.
6:01 TE 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 Rosie Nix. 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 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.
6:01 TE 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 prospec. 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.
6:01 RB 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.
6:01 RB 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.
6:01 WR 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 doubts his explosiveness, but the Combine testing belies that. A height/weight/speed prospect in need of further study.
6:01 WR 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.
6:01 WR 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.
6:01 WR JD Spielman, Nebraska. (RS Junior). 5’9”, 180 lbs. Your classic, super-slick, scat rat slot receiver.
6:01 DL 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.
6:01 NT 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.
6:01 DL 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.
6:01 EDGE 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 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.
6:01 EDGE 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.
6:01 BUCK ILB Mohamed Barry, Nebraska. (RS Senior). 6’1”, 245 lbs. I like this one! He’s described as having 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.
6:01 SAF 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 scouting profile sees him as a special teams player with upside if he can grow enough from the shoulders up.
6:01 SAF Tanner Muse, Clemson. (RS Senior). 6’2”, 227 lbs. 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 athlete comparable to a bigger and faster version of the Steelers’ Marcus Allen. But the size, savvy, and 4.42 speed are real. Tanner Muse ran down Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins, a late-1st prospect, for a game saving, shoestring tackle in their Bowl game! 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 as the ideal for a backup to Edmunds? 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.
6:01 CB Dane Jackson, Pitt. (RS Senior). 5’11⅝”, 187 lbs. The Senior Bowl’s standout Corner prospect, where he answered persistent questions about his long speed and demonstrated a solid, consistent ability to cover all types of receiver while also making plays on the ball. Probably better playing in zone. Grade depressed for lack of want at the position. This goes to a Senior Bowl interview with Alex Kozora.
6:16 T/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.
6:16 OT 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.
6:16 C 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.”
6:16 QB 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.
6:16 QB 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.
6:16 TE 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 scouting profile grades him out as a UDFA.
6:16 TE 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.
6:16 WR 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.
6:16 WR 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.
6:16 DL 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 scouting profile describes him as a developmental 4-3 guy.
6:16 DL 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.
6:16 DL 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.
6:16 DL Mike Panusiuk, Michigan. (Senior). 6’4”, 300 lbs. A classic immovable object with no pass rush upside.
6:16 DL 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.
6:16 SAF 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.
6:16 SS 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.
6:16 CB/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.
6:16 FS/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 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.”
6:16 SAF 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.
7:01 QB 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.
7:01 QB 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.
7:01 TE 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.
7:01 TE 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.
7:01 TE 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?
7:01 RB 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.
7:01 RB 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.
7:01 EDGE 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.
7:01 SAF 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.
7:01 SS Evan Foster, Syracuse. (Senior). 6’0”, 215 lbs. Marcus Allen Lite, but the original is now on the roster.
7:01 SS/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.
7:01 SAF 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.
7:16 G 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.
7:16 QB 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.
7:16 TE 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.
7:16 RB 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.
7:16 RB 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.
7:16 WR 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.
7:16 Juwan 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.
7:16 WR 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.
7:16 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.
7:16 PUNTER 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.
7:16 PUNTER 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.
9:99 WR 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.
To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!