NFL Draft

Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield, WR Nico Collins Say They’ve Spoken With Steelers

During a press conference two days before his Pro Day, Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield confirmed he had spoken with the Steelers.

“Yes,” Mayfield said when I asked if he has spoken with the team.

It’s unclear who Mayfield has spoken with. But given the Steelers’ history, odds are good Mike Tomlin and company will be on-hand for the Wolverines’ Pro Day Friday. Michigan boasts a ton of talent in this class but Mayfield is likely the first name off the board. Even in a deep tackle class, he’s projected to be taken late in the first round or early second round.

Though Pittsburgh may decide to wait on drafting a tackle, Mayfield checks plenty of boxes for first-round consideration. He’s Power 5, athletic, and young, still just 20 years old. That’s a combination the Steelers certainly look for.

The biggest knock on him is a lack of experience. He has just 18 career starts in his college career, including just two games in 2020. The Big Ten’s shortened season coupled with an ankle injury limited him.

Mayfield does have versatility, playing both tackle spots, and he believes he can line up anywhere for an NFL team.

“I’m able to play any of the five positions up front. I’m able to play center, guard, tackle. I’m pretty comfortable playing the left. My freshman year I played left tackle. And then the last two years I played right tackle. So I’m really comfortable with both sides. The more versatile you are, the better chance you have at lasting longer in the NFL.”

Check out our scouting report below on Mayfield. Here’s how we summed up his game.

“While there are some concerns with his inexperience and play strength at times, Mayfield is an undeniably toolsy prospect who has all the traits to project as a starting tackle at both spots, as well as the size to move inside to guard. His athleticism, power, and ability to negate pass rushers in college should translate well to the next level. He will probably be in the second tier of tackles, alongside names like Dillon Radunz, Teven Jenkins, Liam Eichenburg and more.

His tape doesn’t say he’s a first round, but with his upside I would not be surprised if snuck into the back end of round one.”

Update (1:15 PM): Michigan WR Nico Collins says he met with the Steelers during the Senior Bowl and recently had a Zoom interview with Steelers’ WR coach Ike Hilliard.

Collins said his favorite route to run is anything vertical.

“I say deep balls. I like the long ball, man. I liked to hear the crowd go crazy. I like to make big plays. So post routes, gos, bombs, those types are my favorite routes.

Collins opted out of the 2020 season but in 2019, averaged nearly 20 yards per grab and seven touchdowns. He’s a potential Day Three option. The Steelers did re-sign JuJu Smith-Schuster but he and James Washington will be free agents after 2021.

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