View Full Version : Pro Day Info

03-16-2009, 10:47 AM

A little background on the West Virginia Pro Day from the WVU coaching staff:

-- QB Pat White didn't run routes as a receiver because he'd tweaked a hamstring last week.

-- In preparation for the scheduled appearance of Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, the WVU defenders broke down the Steelers' defense in order to speak intelligently.

-- Tomlin spent time chatting up defenders Mortty Ivy and Ellis Lankster. Ivy is an OLB I remember better as the QB at Gateway HS. He's a late-round hopeful. Lankster is a savvy CB who's tough against the run and was one of the team leaders. He'd provide great value in the late rounds.

-- Tomlin also spent time with Pat McAfee, the kicker/punter who banged home a 60-yarder with Tomlin looking over his shoulder. Camp fodder? Or competition for bad-boy Jeff Reed?

Don't read too much into Tomlin's appearance, since Morgantown is a short drive from Pittsburgh and he's an old friend of WVU Coach Bill Stewart.

* Yesterday the Steelers also attended the Pro Day at Nebraska. Possible targets include OG Matt Slauson, RT Lydon Murtha and DE Zach Potter. All are considered late-round prospects. The 6-7+, 309-pound Murtha ran a 4.89 40 at the combine and the 6-6.4, 276-pound Potter, who ran a pair of 4.9 40s yesterday, appears to be a fit as a 3-4 DE.

* Speaking of 3-4 DEs, the Steelers consider Boston College fatsos B.J. Raji and Ron Brace to be defensive ends. Yeah, I hear you laughing, but that's the word. Of course, the Steelers told us on draft day that Lawrence Timmons was a base 3-4 OLB and five months later they moved him inside. I see the same possibility with Brace. The 6-3, 330-pound DT ran "in the 5.0 to 5.2 range" yesterday, according to The Daily News Tribune. Brace is a second-round prospect, and with Casey Hampton entering the final year of his contract, the "defensive end" might be needed to play nose tackle some day soon.

* The Steelers had interviewed Brace at the combine but didn't show up for his Pro Day. They didn't go to Oregon, either, but they already know enough about center prospect Max Unger, a low first-round prospect. The guy I want to know more about -- Jairus Byrd -- once again passed on a workout. The physical cornerback with 17 interceptions in three years as a starter, missed the Senior Bowl (as a junior), the combine, and now his Pro Day. He's nursing a sore groin.

* The Steelers also passed on the Pro Day at Troy, where a guy they like, CB Sherrod Martin, ran a 4.45 40 and jumped 37 inches. A 6-1, 194-pound safety who projects to cornerback, Martin turned heads at the combine with cat-quick times in the short shuttle (3.98) and 3-cone (6.6) drills. The 24-year-old is considered a third-round prospect.

03-16-2009, 10:57 AM
One draft prospect will be in to see the Steelers this weekend...

03-16-2009, 11:22 AM
Keenan Lewis?


http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/ds ... &genpos=CB (http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=15396&draftyear=2009&genpos=CB)

http://www.draftcountdown.com/scoutingr ... -Lewis.php (http://www.draftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/cb/Keenan-Lewis.php)

03-16-2009, 11:48 AM
One draft prospect will be in to see the Steelers this weekend...

I like Lewis. I had him in my original mock and am still considering him for my final now that I know Bmac is gone. He would be a solid Round 3 pick up.

I'm also hoping they bring in Macho Harris, Kevin Barnes and Joe Burnett for look sees.

03-16-2009, 12:06 PM
Keenan is a great guy...and a good football player. If I get any other breaking news it'll be available.

I believe that Scott McKillop has already visited with the Steelers...but I am inquiring.

03-17-2009, 01:09 PM

10 a.m.: To kick off our St. Paddy's Day celebration, let's start with the Houston Chronicle and The Z Report's Top 50 Players. Blogger Lance Zierlein is one of the best-sourced draft experts in the business, and today he ranks his favorite players. Some of the more interesting spots for Steelers fans are:

6. Everette Brown DE/OLB -- Just about every mock draft I see these days has the stiff-hipped Brian Orakpo going to the Cleveland Browns, when in my humble opinion Brown is a much better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. And he's a lot stronger than I could ever have imagined: Although I doubt its validity, The St. Augustine Record reports that Brown threw up the bar 39 times during Florida State's Pro Day yesterday. (Also note in the story the Steelers' interest in 5-8 CB Tony Carter, who ran 4.28, 4.35 with a 39-inch VJ and 17 reps. He had 9 picks in 49 FSU starts.) Let's just hope the Browns go with Orakpo instead.

7. Tyson Jackson DE -- In ProFootballTalk's latest mock draft, Jackson slips to the Steelers at No. 32. Yeah, good luck with all that. Zierlein and I agree that this classic 3-4 run stuffer with pass-rush ability belongs in the top 10.

28. Phil Loadholt OT -- Just watched a little bit of the Senior Bowl last night and, nope, this giant still can't block speed-rusher Robert Ayers off the corner. It cost his team a touchdown at one point. But Loadholt fits "The Planet Theory" and would entice any team at the bottom of the round as a potential Otah-type right tackle. I still have to give him a second-round grade, though.

29. Max Unger C/G -- Mike Mayock and Charles Davis raved about Unger's ability to shotgun-snap and pull on the same play, which, unbeknownst to me, a village idiot, is something of a near impossibility. They say it was one of Oregon's base plays and Unger made it work. OK. He's not my favorite of the three interior studs at the bottom of the round, but he's played LT and that always causes the Steelers' grade to spike.

33. Darius Butler CB -- To me, this guy's a tough, physical cover corner with ball skills and return ability. I assume he'll be the No. 2 CB drafted, but I guess there's hope he could slip.

35. Larry English DE/OLB -- While watching his bowl game, I thought of Demarcus Ware, who played in a similarly insignificant bowl game, and was so aggressive his opponent had great success running counters his way. But this dude also reminds me of Silverback with his strength and balance and pass-rush ability. Love to see Mike Tomlin forget about his lineup and its holes and just take this guy for the fun of it.

36. Jarron Gilbert DE -- The Shrine Game was in Houston this year and Zierlein watched all the practices and raves about this 3-4 DE prospect. Gilbert has the right size to fit the spot with the Steelers, and he offers speed as a pass-rusher. He'd be interesting to watch this spring and summer, that's for sure, but my source downtown tells me he's fifth on their list of 3-4 DE hopefuls (Jackson, B.J. Raji, Fili Moala, Ron Brace), although two of them are NTs, whether they'll admit it or not.

39. Eric Wood C/G -- This is my guy, has been since the Senior Bowl. Has the strength to maul with the big boys and the feet to pull and get out in front of screens. According to Scout.com draft expert Chris Steuber, Wood has a workout today with the Denver Broncos, who'll pick 12th and 48th.

41. Eben Britton OT -- The Steelers attended his Pro Day late last week. I haven't seen him play, so I asked Steuber about him. He responded that "Britton is a durable, consistent performer whos solid in many aspects of the game. He has great size and mauls the opposition at the line. He has good balance and uses his hands effectively. He moves well laterally, despite not possessing the quickest feet, and uses his wingspan to force defenders off their course of action. Hes a solid run blocker. Hes not the most athletic tackle and struggles to get to the second level. He projects to be a right tackle at the next level." Wingspan? But didn't Britton have the second-shortest arms of all tackles at the combine? Said Steuber: "When you watch him on film he uses his reach very well. The difference between him and Jason Smith in arm length, if you go by the measurements, is just an inch. I think whats more important is how the player comes off the line and initiates contact. Britton does a nice job of that."

* OK, here's more fun as the sounds of the late, great Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher fill up my living room: The irrepressible Mock Muncher from our friends at The Orange and Brown Report in Cleveland. Of the 40 mock drafts thrown into the mix, not one picked my boy Eric Wood for the Steelers. The winner is center Alex Mack, with whom I'd have no problem. For giggles (I think), one slapstick picked Alabama center Antoine Caldwell (who would be a great fourth-round pick). Also, one mock picked fatso guard Duke Robinson and another surprise was Pitt RB LeSean McCoy.

* One of my favorite draft writers is Carlos "Big C" Holmes of the Dayton Daily News. Today he serves up a feature on Ron Brace that'll pleasantly waste a few minutes.

* ProFootballTalk.com is reporting that Fernando Bryant signed a one-year contract with the team. Hip hip ... ah, forget it.

* Finally, Ed Thompson of Scout.com tells me that the Steelers (and Packers) stayed late after the March 12 Kent State Pro Day to talk with All-MAC left tackle Gus Parrish. At the combine, Parrish measured 6-4, 302, with long 35-inch arms. He ran a 5.39 40 and pushed the bar up 19 times. He's considered a third-round prospect who may have to move inside to play guard, but loves the game and is a hard worker.

03-17-2009, 01:35 PM
Lance Zeirlein is our o-line coach's son. Seriously.

03-17-2009, 02:01 PM
It is interesting what Coach Perv's kid says about Andre Smith. He is still high on him (#3 in that top 50 list that ck referenced in an earlier post) and compares his situation with Shawn Andrews when he fell to the middle of round 1 (and we all know that Andrews could very well have been a Steeler if a certain QB did not fall to pick #11 that year). If Larry Zeirlein has a similar opinion about Smith as Lance Zeirlein (and Colbert and Tomlin concur), do you think it is possible that the Steelers could trade up to get Smith if he falls like the Eagles traded up from #28 to #16 to get Andrews that year?

The Z Report
A sports blog with Lance Zierlein
March 12, 2009

The curious case of Alabama tackle Andre Smith

Ever since his disappearing act at the combine and Mike Mayock's subsequent tongue lashing, Alabama tackle Andre Smith has been in a perceived free-fall down the first round.

While he did lose some draft slots and money to be sure, I've never felt like he was going to go flying down the board. Yesterday, Smith had his Pro Day workout and after his less-than-impressive results, the buzz about his fall down the board has intensified.


His stock has fallen, but his workout wasn't as devastating as people would have you believe. He ran a 5.28 forty yard dash which was faster than Michael Oher and his 10 yard split was 1.79 which was on par with Oher but a little slower than Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe. At 325 pounds, Andre Smith is also about 16 pounds heavier than the aforementioned tackles.

The number that really jumps out at people was his bench press reps -- 19 reps of 225 pounds. This needs to be put in perspective. This total was lower than expected, but with arms that are almost 36 inches, most coaches won't think it matters much. On tape, Smith doesn't get pushed around and teams care less about how many times a long-armed guy can rep out 225 pounds (which is also an indication of muscle endurance) than how strong he plays on tape.

Smith's weight (325 pounds) is a nice number on paper since it is believed that he's been at over 350 pounds at times during his career, but he doesn't have a good body and looked sloppy with his shirt off. That will turn some people off. Others won't care. One scout told me that when you turn the film on, he's much better than Jason Smith, Michael Oher or Eugene Monroe.

I haven't heard anything behind the scenes about Andre Smith beating women, having a drinking or marijuana problem. I haven't heard that he's a dumb player either. The only thing I've heard is that he might be lazy and you'll have to stay on him about his weight. There are also concerns about what type of finisher of blocks he is, but nothing that would kill him.

I remember when the laziness/weight concerns dogged Arkansas tackle Shawn Andrews before the 2004 draft and he fell to 16th where the Eagles traded up to take him. He's been to three Pro Bowls since that draft as a right guard for the Eagles. When you watched him on film, you knew he was a player.

If you don't like his feet or you don't like his build or you think he's a lazy guy with a poor work ethic then cool. I get that. Take him off your board. However, there are going to be teams who turn on the film and see a player who was a first team All-SEC pick over his last two years at Alabama. That's SEC football. He's given up only 2.5 sacks over the last two seasons despite facing some talented edge rushers. That means something to me.

Smith won't win a bench-press contest, but he will push players around on the field. Is he an all-time great? Maybe not. Will he free-fall down the draft board? I don't see it.

03-17-2009, 02:58 PM
One draft prospect will be in to see the Steelers this weekend...

Please don't link to a board (especially one that requires registration to view contents) when it's just as easy to paste the draft prospect your talking about.

03-17-2009, 04:04 PM
Coach Perv...Nice Nickname.... :D

03-17-2009, 04:25 PM
Coach Perv...Nice Nickname.... :D

All of our coaches should have nicknames:

"Coach Perv" Zeirlein

"Overpaid Janitor" Tomlin

"Bad Word" LeBeau

"Braintrust" Arians