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steelerkeylargo
04-27-2019, 03:26 PM
Yawn. This guy wont even beat out Ty Matekevich. PS squad fodder. JAG
I think we just drafted Rudy Reutiger

spyboots
04-27-2019, 03:27 PM
https://www.sbnation.com/2019/3/7/18252428/sutton-smith-scouting-report-niu


Small at 6 feet and 3/8 inches, 233 pounds for edge rusher but has "monstrous stats"

and Lambert was "too skinny" to be a LB. LOL

Disco1981
04-27-2019, 03:27 PM
Guess they love the MAC

Buzz
04-27-2019, 03:28 PM
Steelers shut it down early this year.

I mean, I wanted to see us get some pass rushing help, but there's not much I can see in this dude that gives me much hope.

Moonie
04-27-2019, 03:33 PM
Suckon Wiff

spyboots
04-27-2019, 03:36 PM
In 2018 - Ted Hendricks Award Finalist - multiple All-American awards - MAC Defensive Player of the Year - 61 tackles, 26.5 TFL, 15 sacks, 3 FF, 2 blocked kicks

Buzz
04-27-2019, 03:37 PM
We could have drafted Justin Hollins or DeAndre Walker (EDGE) in the 5th and gotten Kaden Smith (TE) with our first pick in the 6th. Instead, we got Zach Gentry and Sutton Smith.

I hope Sutton Smith tears it up for us the way he did at Northern Illinois ... but I fear he's gonna get swallowed up in the pro game.

steelerkeylargo
04-27-2019, 03:39 PM
In 2018 - Ted Hendricks Award Finalist - multiple All-American awards - MAC Defensive Player of the Year - 61 tackles, 26.5 TFL, 15 sacks, 3 FF, 2 blocked kicks

Will be everyone's training camp darling and never play a down in regular season.

pittpete
04-27-2019, 03:42 PM
Special Teams player
What do you guys expect in the 6th round?

steelerkeylargo
04-27-2019, 03:49 PM
Special Teams player
What do you guys expect in the 6th round?

You can't play special teams when you aren't on the roster.

dreegking
04-27-2019, 03:49 PM
Interesting. Productive. But...now sure how his skill set and size translate to the pro game. Sure he can play ST if he can crack the game day roster. But it will be a tall (short) order to do so. I like him. But what’s a position he can back up on an active roster day? Agile for sure. Runs well. But...

Buzz
04-27-2019, 03:57 PM
You can't play special teams when you aren't on the roster.

To borrow from another poster, "BOOOOOM!"

pittpete
04-27-2019, 04:04 PM
You can't play special teams when you aren't on the roster.

How do you know he wont make the roster?

Sager
04-27-2019, 04:06 PM
Gives Adeniyi some competition to stay frosty so I can guess that's a plus

RobinCole
04-27-2019, 04:18 PM
Sigh....So many wannabe scouts, coaches and GMs. So few vacancies.

RobinCole
04-27-2019, 04:26 PM
Ever occur to anyone that a player can be drafted at one position and end up playing another? For instance, this guy comes out of college as a small “edge rusher” but he’s quick and slightly taller than Devin Bush. Is there any law that says he can’t add a few pounds and be switched to ILB?

winwithd
04-27-2019, 04:33 PM
ESPN guys say the Steelers are 'nailing this draft'.

steelerkeylargo
04-27-2019, 04:55 PM
Ever occur to anyone that a player can be drafted at one position and end up playing another? For instance, this guy comes out of college as a small “edge rusher” but he’s quick and slightly taller than Devin Bush. Is there any law that says he can’t add a few pounds and be switched to ILB?


He will kick inside. Will have to beat out Bostic and Matakevich

NorthCoast
04-27-2019, 05:00 PM
He will kick inside. Will have to beat out Bostic and MatakevichNot an insurmountable bar....

Oviedo
04-27-2019, 05:17 PM
ESPN guys say the Steelers are 'nailing this draft'.

LIARS!!!!!! We suck. I read it here!!!!!

Steel Maniac
04-27-2019, 05:20 PM
Sigh....So many wannabe scouts, coaches and GMs. So few vacancies.

Get the guys who are not in lock step in your thinking.

Oh wow
04-27-2019, 06:02 PM
Damn. This place is depressing.

ikestops85
04-27-2019, 09:10 PM
Sigh....So many wannabe scouts, coaches and GMs. So few vacancies.

I will borrow from that other poster. BOOM!!!

hawaiiansteel
04-27-2019, 09:32 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers: Sutton Smith, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois B+ Grade

Based on his production and 3-cone time, Sutton Smith would be a first-round prospect. Unfortunately, he's extremely undersized. He's just 6-0, 233, so it's difficult to envision where he'll fit in as a pro. However, I could see him being a third-down specialist, and I think this is the correct time to select him; I had him slotted two picks earlier in my mock.


http://walterfootball.com/nfldraftgrades6.php

Buzz
04-27-2019, 09:58 PM
Damn. This place is depressing.

Only if you choose to be depressed.

Steel Maniac
04-27-2019, 10:16 PM
Exactly.......

Captain Lemming
04-27-2019, 11:49 PM
Ever occur to anyone that a player can be drafted at one position and end up playing another? For instance, this guy comes out of college as a small “edge rusher” but he’s quick and slightly taller than Devin Bush. Is there any law that says he can’t add a few pounds and be switched to ILB?

Can anyone say Lawrence Timmons?

Captain Lemming
04-27-2019, 11:51 PM
You can't play special teams when you aren't on the roster.

You can also make a roster, because you excel at special teams

steelerkeylargo
04-27-2019, 11:58 PM
Can anyone say Lawrence Timmons?

Lawrence Timmons was an All American and the 15th overall pick.

RobinCole
04-28-2019, 12:21 AM
Which only illustrates my point. He became a success at a different position.

RuthlessBurgher
04-28-2019, 01:50 AM
Ever occur to anyone that a player can be drafted at one position and end up playing another? For instance, this guy comes out of college as a small “edge rusher” but he’s quick and slightly taller than Devin Bush. Is there any law that says he can’t add a few pounds and be switched to ILB?

Our current starting FB Rosie Nix was an undersized defensive linemen in the MAC (Kent State).

Captain Lemming
04-28-2019, 02:04 AM
Lawrence Timmons was an All American and the 15th overall pick.

Dont know how that Is relevant.
Nevertheless, Sutton was also an AP All American


https://www.foxsports.com/college-football/story/2018-ap-all-america-team-list-121018

Shawn
04-28-2019, 02:13 AM
Sigh....So many wannabe scouts, coaches and GMs. So few vacancies. Truth but isn’t that the fun of it? There are a couple guys here specifically IronCity and Keylargo who know their stuff. Enjoy reading all opinions on players but theirs are educated. So there’s that.

Shawn
04-28-2019, 02:37 AM
I can’t find much on the guy other than hype videos. So my opinion will be limited. What I’ll say is this, I think he has a real
shot to make the team. Playing against sub par comp, he looked small but didn’t play small, plays sudden. Has a nice first step. For me? I’m eager to see if I can find more. Not willing to yawn quite yet. But from what I’ve been reading he got abused at senior bowl practices. That’s concerning. Lacks functional strength. But you can see the kids heart and solid first step quickness. I think at bare minimum he finds his way on the PS.

Steel Maniac
04-28-2019, 12:11 PM
Hey, I hope he’s a worth while project. Dupree, Big Red, those two guys are below par to me and we should be desperate to upgrade on them. I hope like hell this kid can help us.

After Dupree has another disappointing season, he won’t be here next year.

steelerkeylargo
04-28-2019, 12:32 PM
Dont know how that Is relevant.
Nevertheless, Sutton was also an AP All American


https://www.foxsports.com/college-football/story/2018-ap-all-america-team-list-121018

The relevancy is that Lawrence Timmons was an incredible athlete who played his natural position in the pros and was widely regarded by almost all as a 1st round talent. Sutton Smith will need to be the next incarnation of Zach Thomas to make an impact. I will certainly be rooting for him, but I feel there were better options.

Steel Maniac
04-28-2019, 12:46 PM
This references Sutton and our entire linebacker situation. Good read.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/04/steelers-encouraged-by-ola-adeniyi-excited-about-what-he-can-do-in-2019/

Captain Lemming
04-28-2019, 02:24 PM
The relevancy is that Lawrence Timmons was an incredible athlete who played his natural position in the pros and was widely regarded by almost all as a 1st round talent. Sutton Smith will need to be the next incarnation of Zach Thomas to make an impact. I will certainly be rooting for him, but I feel there were better options.

Natural position?
You do know Timmons was drafted as an outside linebacker right?
I agree inside linebacker was a "natural position" for him as a pro.
My point is the same might be the case for Sutton.

Am I making a case that he is as good as Timmons? No.
Heck you cant make that call for ANY late pick.

All we are talking about is moving the guy from outside to inside linebacker.
Like Timmons, his "tools" seem to lend themselves to that possibility.

If that is the possibility is being considered, his pick makes more sense.

steelerkeylargo
04-28-2019, 02:45 PM
Natural position?
You do know Timmons was drafted as an outside linebacker right?
I agree inside linebacker was a "natural position" for him as a pro.
My point is the same might be the case for Sutton.

Am I making a case that he is as good as Timmons? No.
Heck you cant make that call for ANY late pick.

All we are talking about is moving the guy from outside to inside linebacker.
Like Timmons, his "tools" seem to lend themselves to that possibility.

If that is the possibility is being considered, his pick makes more sense.

At 230 pounds, at that time(2007). ILB was definitely his natural position in a 3-4 D

Captain Lemming
04-28-2019, 03:04 PM
At 230 pounds, at that time(2007). ILB was definitely his natural position in a 3-4 D

Correct......the same may be true of Sutton.
THAT is the point!

All this talk of being "too small for the position" we've been there done that before.

steelerkeylargo
04-28-2019, 03:16 PM
Correct......the same may be true of Sutton.
THAT is the point!

All this talk of being "too small for the position" we've been there done that before.

No! The point is please don't compare him to Lawrence Timmons when his comp is Tyler Matakevich

Captain Lemming
04-28-2019, 03:46 PM
No! The point is please don't compare him to Lawrence Timmons when his comp is Tyler Matakevich

TM has NO elite athletic skill. He is a "try hard" guy period.
This kid has ELITE agility.
They are "comps" when it comes to pigmentation my friend. :)

3 cone drill. This kid bests both Timmons AND athletic freak Devon Bush is that number one measure of agility.

He not only had the best time of ANY edge rusher, he had a better time than EVERY SINGLE LINEBACKER.
Only ONE safety timed better than he did.
He had the best 3 cone test of ANY DEFENDER at the combine who was not a defensive back!!!
He also timed better than any receiver or running back as well.

This is stuff our scouts know that we bozos got no clue about.

So we got a kid late in the draft who not only was a beast in productivity, his timed test of agility is off the charts.

Do your research......you might not hate the pick after all. :)

winwithd
04-28-2019, 03:47 PM
No! The point is please don't compare him to Lawrence Timmons when his comp is Tyler Matakevich

What size was Deebo coming out of school? He was an UDFA, and he made it.

Captain Lemming
04-28-2019, 03:52 PM
TM has NO elite athletic skill. He is a "try hard" guy period.
This kid has ELITE agility.
They are "comps" when it comes to pigmentation my friend. :)

3 cone drill. This kid bests both Timmons AND athletic freak Devon Bush is that number one measure of agility.

He not only had the best time of ANY edge rusher, he had a better time than EVERY SINGLE LINEBACKER.
Only ONE safety timed better than he did.
He had the best 3 cone test of ANY DEFENDER at the combine who was not a defensive back!!!
He also timed better than any receiver or running back as well.

This is stuff our scouts know that we bozos got no clue about.

So we got a kid late in the draft who not only was a beast in productivity, his timed test of agility is off the charts.

Do your research......you might not hate the pick after all. :)

Elite agility better than any LB in the entire draft.....productive beast dealing with TACKLES and a DEFENSIVE END at 230......25 reps shows his strength. Think he has no potential somewhere whether inside or outside?

Captain Lemming
04-28-2019, 04:00 PM
What size was Deebo coming out of school? He was an UDFA, and he made it.

Sure he was productive in college. But it was a small college in the MAC.
He was only 6 feet 230 something as I recall.
Slow 40 time too.

Kids got no chance in this league

steelerkeylargo
04-28-2019, 04:00 PM
TM has NO elite athletic skill. He is a "try hard" guy period.
This kid has ELITE agility.
They are "comps" when it comes to pigmentation my friend. :)

3 cone drill. This kid bests both Timmons AND athletic freak Devon Bush is that number one measure of agility.

He not only had the best time of ANY edge rusher, he had a better time than EVERY SINGLE LINEBACKER.
Only ONE safety timed better than he did.
He had the best 3 cone test of ANY DEFENDER at the combine who was not a defensive back!!!
He also timed better than any receiver or running back as well.

This is stuff our scouts know that we bozos got no clue about.

So we got a kid late in the draft who not only was a beast in productivity, his timed test of agility is off the charts.

Do your research......you might not hate the pick after all. :)

A) I would hope you're not implying I see race here
B) Out of the top 25 s-cone drills only 1 player was drafted in the 1st round
C) Maybe you don't know these things but "some" are plugged in at a very high level. My research is probably second to none on this board.
D) I don't hate the guy. I hope he turns into the next Zach Thomas. BUT, our pick could have been better used IMO

hawaiiansteel
04-28-2019, 04:02 PM
Elite agility better than any LB in the entire draft.....productive beast dealing with TACKLES at 230......25 reps shows his strength. Think he has no potential inside?

I think the Steelers will start him outside but definitely give him a look on the inside.

Steel Maniac
04-28-2019, 05:04 PM
We are known for experimenting and grooming and then finding a place for a guy. That can’t be disputed. Patience will be the key.

Captain Lemming
04-29-2019, 12:43 AM
A) I would hope you're not implying I see race here

We all tend to see race. Its not necessarily racist, certain people "remind" us of other people and "looks" impact that.
If D. Johnson who we drafted was a white dude, you know the honest truth is they would compare him to Wes Welker like they do EVERY SINGLE 5'9- 5'11" white receiver with a modest 40 time.

It takes effort to go beyond the obvious instinctual call. THAT was my point.

Heck when seeing this edge rusher.....Chase W...we ALL (self included) see the next Greene.......and I'm NOT talking the Mean Joe variety. :)
(Some liken him to Clay Matthews too)

https://triblive.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/1085660_web1_AP_18291528771861.jpg

Captain Lemming
04-29-2019, 01:31 AM
B) Out of the top 25 s-cone drills only 1 player was drafted in the 1st round

You would have a great point here if we drafted THIS GUY in the first. We didn't.
I never contended that elite level timed agility alone makes one worthy of a first round pick.

My point is that elite timed agility (athleticism) along with elite award winning level productivity COMBINE TOGETHER to make it hard to criticize this as a bad 6TH ROUND pick.

C) Maybe you don't know these things but "some" are plugged in at a very high level. My research is probably second to none on this board.
I dont doubt this. You are almost certainly more researched than me. I dont question your research relative to this board.
But unless you are a scout yourself, you got a tiny fraction of research that ONE of the team of scouts the team has.


D) I don't hate the guy. I hope he turns into the next Zach Thomas. BUT, our pick could have been better used IMO

Odds are against ANY 6th rounder
Make your call. What one person do you think is better at that spot?

Steel Maniac
04-29-2019, 08:18 AM
All this comparing drafted players to great players of the past is just ridiculous. We are doing the newly drafted guys a huge disservice by doing that. I’ve never looked at Winovich as anyone other then who he is. But I guess from what Cap has said, I may be in the minority on that. Regardless, we need to stop comparing Wrs to AB, Winovich to Kevin Greene; we should be better then that. That’s also a sure way of missing on someone else by using that type of formula.

Oviedo
04-29-2019, 09:31 AM
All this comparing drafted players to great players of the past is just ridiculous. We are doing the newly drafted guys a huge disservice by doing that. I’ve never looked at Winovich as anyone other then who he is. But I guess from what Cap has said, I may be in the minority on that. Regardless, we need to stop comparing Wrs to AB, Winovich to Kevin Greene; we should be better then that. That’s also a sure way of missing on someone else by using that type of formula.


Very true and a good point. Just like we shouldn't look back we shouldn't look forward and declare players "bad picks" before they ever stepped foot in the Steelers practice facility.

Captain Lemming
04-29-2019, 11:09 AM
You only see players as "they" are? Really?
Don't compare players to players of the past?


http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/47799-Game-Over-Lamar-Jackson-Ravens/page3?highlight=michael+vick


He’s an inaccurate passer. No worries. Who cares how strong his arm is if he can’t hit his target? AKA Michael Vick.

You see my friend, when you call people out on what they said you don't just make stuff up.
We got "search" we can make "links".

Let their own words do the talking.

You wanna call someone out.........

https://media1.tenor.com/images/03eaf82044f6ce97899a210a69edf522/tenor.gif?itemid=10971359

Steel Maniac
04-29-2019, 11:44 AM
You only see players as "they" are? Really?
Don't compare players to players of the past?


http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/47799-Game-Over-Lamar-Jackson-Ravens/page3?highlight=michael+vick



You see my friend, when you call people out on what they said you don't just make stuff up.
We got "search" we can make "links".

Let their own words do the talking.

You wanna call someone out.........

https://media1.tenor.com/images/03eaf82044f6ce97899a210a69edf522/tenor.gif?itemid=10971359

Cap, my friend, read that statement again. I said those things based on what he showed. No QB in the history of this league can be successful being inaccurate. And I used Vick as an example; not a comparison. Tim Tebow, Vince Young, all inaccurate passers.

You can't be inaccurate and be successful. Nice try thou..LOL

Steel Maniac
04-29-2019, 11:45 AM
Oh, and if Josh Allen remains an inaccurate passer, throw his name in their too. Hahahaha

Oh wow
04-29-2019, 11:52 AM
It’s semantics. I don’t mind calling a player a poor man’s this or that or using another player to compare them to.

It doesn’t matter. Once they take the field we get to see first hand.

None of what we say has any impact on a player but I will say it’s a bit lazy to do it.

and unless you are a fan of a players team or watch a ton of college football you really have no idea what the player is truly like based on a few highlights/lowlights.

ikestops85
04-29-2019, 02:00 PM
Cap, my friend, read that statement again. I said those things based on what he showed. No QB in the history of this league can be successful being inaccurate. And I used Vick as an example; not a comparison. Tim Tebow, Vince Young, all inaccurate passers.

You can't be inaccurate and be successful. Nice try thou..LOL

Even when you show him in black and white he still doesn't get it.

... and he wonders why we just don't believe him on what a certain somebody says about Connor. :rolleyes:

Steel Maniac
04-29-2019, 02:35 PM
Even when you show him in black and white he still doesn't get it.

... and he wonders why we just don't believe him on what a certain somebody says about Connor. :rolleyes:

I get it fine; I know what I said and I know what I meant when I said it. You need to twist things around to paint the narrative YOU want. And I dont care what you do or dont believe either. Again, this is a poster room; I will never meet you, your not significant in my life for me to lie for or to really care about. Get over yourself. Lol

ikestops85
04-29-2019, 03:57 PM
I get it fine; I know what I said and I know what I meant when I said it. You need to twist things around to paint the narrative YOU want. And I dont care what you do or dont believe either. Again, this is a poster room; I will never meet you, your not significant in my life for me to lie for or to really care about. Get over yourself. Lol

Then why do you lie? :lol:

Oh wow
04-29-2019, 04:06 PM
Then why do you lie? :lol:

Shazam..................................

Steel Maniac
04-29-2019, 04:12 PM
Your both ghost.

back to the thread topic.

Oh wow
04-29-2019, 04:20 PM
I get it fine; I know what I said and I know what I meant when I said it. You need to twist things around to paint the narrative YOU want. And I dont care what you do or dont believe either. Again, this is a poster room; I will never meet you, your not significant in my life for me to lie for or to really care about. Get over yourself. Lol

The problem is YOU know what you meant but we don’t. If it’s the same wording as the guy you accuse of doing something it makes you look hypocritical.

Oh wow
04-29-2019, 04:21 PM
Your both ghost.

back to the thread topic.


Haha... I reminded you of all the predictions you were wrong about and now I’m back on ignore.

Big baby. LoL

RuthlessBurgher
04-29-2019, 04:24 PM
Your both ghost.

back to the thread topic.

No, this is Ghost:


http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/member.php/7015-Ghost

http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/image.php?u=7015&type=sigpic&dateline=1332183597

Ghost
04-29-2019, 05:30 PM
Also known as 2 time (and current) MNFE Champion!!!!

Buzz
04-30-2019, 07:44 PM
He will kick inside.

I'm thinking not. I might have thought so, except they drafted Gilbert, and Tomlin is talking as though they'll be moving Marcus Allen to ILB.


https://247sports.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/Article/Mike-Tomlin-Marcus-Allen-may-be-moved-to-LB-in-2019-131670650/?utm_source=247Sports%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=190430_131729_Pittsburgh%20Steelers&utm_content=Link&liveconnect=90-99-08-DA-7C-14-0D-96-C1-BB-13-70-0D-FB-56-2D190430_131729PittsburghSteelers

Steel Maniac
05-01-2019, 12:51 AM
I'm thinking not. I might have thought so, except they drafted Gilbert, and Tomlin is talking as though they'll be moving Marcus Allen to ILB.


https://247sports.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/Article/Mike-Tomlin-Marcus-Allen-may-be-moved-to-LB-in-2019-131670650/?utm_source=247Sports%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=190430_131729_Pittsburgh%20Steelers&utm_content=Link&liveconnect=90-99-08-DA-7C-14-0D-96-C1-BB-13-70-0D-FB-56-2D190430_131729PittsburghSteelers

I read this earlier as well and it got me to thinking of how much this camp is going to be like musical chairs of positions. And how this is really going to be a success or this will be over Butler’s/ Tomlin’s head.

Ernie
05-01-2019, 06:41 AM
I read this earlier as well and it got me to thinking of how much this camp is going to be like musical chairs of positions. And how this is really going to be a success or this will be over Butler’s/ Tomlin’s head.

I read the same about trying to convert Sutton, B. Allen etc to Safety. Makes for some interesting discussion.

dreegking
05-01-2019, 06:52 AM
It’s going to be a swiss army camp. Exciting. I think B Allen at Free Safety should have been last year already. I think other Allen will stay at Strong Safety as a backup. I think Sutton and Hilton stay in the end too. With Smith and Baron there’s plenty of talent and speed and to mix and match in Nickels now that Bush is on board. With all guys considered, I really, really like the personnel packages available on D for Dime as well. It’s a good group with the FA and Draft additions. And the right guys were let go to walk, without a doubt.

Steel Maniac
05-01-2019, 09:22 AM
All these gambles the front office made on these draft picks; all of these gambles are not going to pan out. If the Sutton Smith and Johnson's selections don't work out then that's when things will get chippy around here.

Northern_Blitz
05-01-2019, 09:50 AM
All these gambles the front office made on these draft picks; all of these gambles are not going to pan out. If the Sutton Smith and Johnson's selections don't work out then that's when things will get chippy around here.

I can understand people complaining about Johnson.

But Smith is a 6th round pick. Expectations for anyone in those spots should be low. It doesn't mean that the pick doesn't matter, but the expected result is probably somewhere along the lines of PS + a short NFL career or outright cut in camp.

Steel Maniac
05-01-2019, 09:52 AM
Well, according to Steeler Depot, Big red isn't going anywhere. For all you haters of intelligent but slow linebackers, beware!!
https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/want-to-cut-tyler-matakevich-think-again/

Steel Maniac
05-01-2019, 10:00 AM
I can understand people complaining about Johnson.

But Smith is a 6th round pick. Expectations for anyone in those spots should be low. It doesn't mean that the pick doesn't matter, but the expected result is probably somewhere along the lines of PS + a short NFL career or outright cut in camp.

No, no , no. I said that because it seems that Colbert choose to pass on higher rated guys who actually played linebacker /DE earlier in the draft with the notion of taking SS ( or someone like him ) later in the draft, to convert him. At least that's how it's coming across to me.

I don't see why Colbert just didn't bite the bullet and take guys who can /have played linebacker and have the measurables (earlier in the draft) instead of "hoping" to convert a guys over. Seems like there gambles that didn't have to be taken.

Taking "maybe" guys late and "hope" he can play well in the DE / LB rotations while they could have taken Winovich (for example) and there's no question he would have played at least decent in a DE rotation/Hybrid.

Steel Maniac
05-01-2019, 10:02 AM
Seems like Colbert/ Tomlin are way over thinking how to address things to me. Because it's still about quality of player.

RuthlessBurgher
05-01-2019, 10:41 AM
Sutton Smith and Chase Winovich were both DE's in college.

Both guys would have needed to make a conversion to OLB if drafted by a 3-4 team like Pittsburgh.

Winovich will not be a LB in New England. He'll remain a DE in their 4-3 defense.

The player who was the key to that excellent Wolverine defense is already in Pittsburgh (Devin Bush).

Chase Winovich was productive at the college level, but his athletic traits might not translate quite as well to the pro game.

Rashan Gary has elite athletic traits, but his production at the college level was not reflective of that, so why would you expect that to suddenly change in the pros?

Devin Bush has both the production and the traits to succeed at the next level. We got the correct Michigan defender here. No need to lament not getting Winovich as well.

Northern_Blitz
05-01-2019, 10:47 AM
No, no , no. I said that because it seems that Colbert choose to pass on higher rated guys who actually played linebacker /DE earlier in the draft with the notion of taking SS ( or someone like him ) later in the draft, to convert him. At least that's how it's coming across to me.

I don't see why Colbert just didn't bite the bullet and take guys who can /have played linebacker and have the measurables (earlier in the draft) instead of "hoping" to convert a guys over. Seems like there gambles that didn't have to be taken.

Taking "maybe" guys late and "hope" he can play well in the DE / LB rotations while they could have taken Winovich (for example) and there's no question he would have played at least decent in a DE rotation/Hybrid.

I get that there are arguments to be made that we could have made a better pick in the 6th (and the 3rd).

I was trying to say something like: if the worst thing we can say about this draft is that we could have used our 6th round pick better, I'll be happy.

I think potentially missing on the 6th pick is much different than the 3rd. I think that projected talent level probably drops exponentially in the early rounds and is pretty flat by the end of the draft.

Captain Lemming
05-01-2019, 10:57 AM
No, no , no. I said that because it seems that Colbert choose to pass on higher rated guys who actually played linebacker /DE earlier in the draft with the notion of taking SS ( or someone like him ) later in the draft, to convert him. At least that's how it's coming across to me.

I don't see why Colbert just didn't bite the bullet and take guys who can /have played linebacker and have the measurables (earlier in the draft) instead of "hoping" to convert a guys over. Seems like there gambles that didn't have to be taken.

Taking "maybe" guys late and "hope" he can play well in the DE / LB rotations while they could have taken Winovich (for example) and there's no question he would have played at least decent in a DE rotation/Hybrid.


I think in that case the issue is less about Sutton than what becomes of Winovich relative to our choice of Johnson at receiver.

In truth when they moved up to get Win, my first thought was "if the Pats want the dude we blew it."
But is that true?

Fact is the Pats do almost EVERYTHING well.
But they are TERRIBLE when it comes to drafting edge.
We draft receivers WAY BETTER than they draft edge rushers.

Heck WE drafted the best pass rusher BB has ever had!!!!

If Johnson plays like the last TWO smurf receivers drafted by Colbert and Winovich plays like the last high drafted edge rushers the Pats have had (last two drafted in round 3 total 2 sacks, they make Dupree look LT), we made the right move regardless of what Sutton becomes.

If Win is a beast and we missed on Johnson......THEN it would be regrettable.

Draft history of these teams and positions favor us.

RuthlessBurgher
05-01-2019, 10:58 AM
Folks need to look at draft picks with a little perspective.

On the first day of the draft, you hope to find guys who should be able to start and contribute immediately on offense or defense if we need them to, and then eventually develop into a possible Pro Bowl talent if things go right.

On the second day of the draft, you hope to find guys who should be able to be a valuable backup immediately on offense or defense, and then eventually develop into a possible starter for you in time. Usually solid but not necessarily spectacular starters.

On the third day of the draft, you hope to find guys who should be able to contribute on special teams immediately, and then possibly develop into a depth contributor on offense or defense in time. You might find yourself a role player like Jaylon Samuels or Jesse James, for instance. Unearthing late round gems like AB or Da Beard is a rare feat.

Captain Lemming
05-01-2019, 11:04 AM
If you look closely at even Jamie Collins productivity.......they are shockingly "Dupreesque".

tiproast
05-01-2019, 11:04 AM
Heck WE drafted the best pass rusher BB has ever had!!!!

Chandler Jones was drafted by the Steelers? :D

Captain Lemming
05-01-2019, 11:14 AM
Chandler Jones was drafted by the Steelers? :D

Nice......but considering his career contributions to your teams success I would suggest that if I asked your coach who the best edge rusher he has ever coached he'd suggest it was the dude he got from us.

Steel Maniac
05-01-2019, 11:32 AM
I think in that case the issue is less about Sutton than what becomes of Winovich relative to our choice of Johnson at receiver.

In truth when they moved up to get Win, my first thought was "if the Pats want the dude we blew it."
But is that true?

Fact is the Pats do almost EVERYTHING well.
But they are TERRIBLE when it comes to drafting edge.
We draft receivers WAY BETTER than they draft edge rushers.

Heck WE drafted the best pass rusher BB has ever had!!!!

If Johnson plays like the last TWO smurf receivers drafted by Colbert and Winovich plays like the last high drafted edge rushers the Pats have had (last two drafted in round 3 total 2 sacks, they make Dupree look LT), we made the right move regardless of what Sutton becomes.

If Win is a beast and we missed on Johnson......THEN it would be regrettable.

Draft history of these teams and positions favor us.

I agree that history is in our favor. But like anything, people get better if they keep practicing something. And considering who BB is, you've got to think he's better at evaluating edge guys then previously. Just like we are giving the benefit of the doubt to Colbert right now in drafting of Layne.

But ultimatly, your right in saying time will tell.

Steel Maniac
05-01-2019, 11:34 AM
I get that there are arguments to be made that we could have made a better pick in the 6th (and the 3rd).

I was trying to say something like: if the worst thing we can say about this draft is that we could have used our 6th round pick better, I'll be happy.

I think potentially missing on the 6th pick is much different than the 3rd. I think that projected talent level probably drops exponentially in the early rounds and is pretty flat by the end of the draft.

True..but the sixth round pick is kind of tied to us passing on Winovich or any other , more highly touted linebacker in the 3rd round. They are kind of linked.

But I see how your looking at it; your seeing it individually as "just a 6th round pick" period. Isolated unto itself. Got cha.

Oviedo
05-01-2019, 11:37 AM
Folks need to look at draft picks with a little perspective.

On the first day of the draft, you hope to find guys who should be able to start and contribute immediately on offense or defense if we need them to, and then eventually develop into a possible Pro Bowl talent if things go right.

On the second day of the draft, you hope to find guys who should be able to be a valuable backup immediately on offense or defense, and then eventually develop into a possible starter for you in time. Usually solid but not necessarily spectacular starters.

On the third day of the draft, you hope to find guys who should be able to contribute on special teams immediately, and then possibly develop into a depth contributor on offense or defense in time. You might find yourself a role player like Jaylon Samuels or Jesse James, for instance. Unearthing late round gems like AB or Da Beard is a rare feat.

A rational view which is why the complainers will immediate reject and argue against it. Get a star with every pick or more appropriately the player the one complaining would pick

Let's allow them to actually be issued equipment and a uniform before we shout the sky is falling

RuthlessBurgher
05-01-2019, 11:47 AM
we are giving the benefit of the doubt to Colbert right now in drafting of Layne

Well, Colbert has a strong history of drafting wideouts, and Layne came to Michigan State as a wideout. ;)

Northern_Blitz
05-01-2019, 03:19 PM
True..but the sixth round pick is kind of tied to us passing on Winovich or any other , more highly touted linebacker in the 3rd round. They are kind of linked.

But I see how your looking at it; your seeing it individually as "just a 6th round pick" period. Isolated unto itself. Got cha.

I see that the 3rd round pick is tied to Winovich because we could have taken him there instead.

To me, the 6th round pick doesn't really have anything to do with Winovich. If we were thinking about the Winovich pick 3 rounds after it happened I think we should probably get rid of everyone in the war room.

You could argue that they play the same position, but I'd probably argue that Smith was drafted to play ST not D.

Buzz
05-01-2019, 03:37 PM
You could argue that they play the same position, but I'd probably argue that Smith was drafted to play ST not D.

That's not what Colbert is saying.
https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/kevin-colbert-confirms-steelers-viewing-sutton-smith-at-outside-linebacker/

RuthlessBurgher
05-01-2019, 03:52 PM
That's not what Colbert is saying.
https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/kevin-colbert-confirms-steelers-viewing-sutton-smith-at-outside-linebacker/

All late round picks have to make the 53 man roster on the basis of their special teams play.

But all special teamers that are not a kicker, punter, and long snapper must also provide depth elsewhere, so this kid will be with the OLB corps when players break off for group meetings.

He'll be behind Watt, Dupree, Chickillo, and Adeniyi on the OLB depth chart, and likely will have to battle Keion Adams to earn a roster spot at all (when you are talking about competition for the 5th string OLB, decisions like that come down to who helps Danny Smith out more on ST's, not necessarily who helps out Butler on defense).

Northern_Blitz
05-01-2019, 04:17 PM
That's not what Colbert is saying.
https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/kevin-colbert-confirms-steelers-viewing-sutton-smith-at-outside-linebacker/

This is the time of year to pump up mid to late draft picks IMO.

One guy had a first round grade and similar measurable to future HoFer AB.

Another guy was drafted late and is probably too small to play hus position on D. But future HoFer JH was also too small, so the FO pumps the tires.

I think this is a good thing to do. These guys probably all think they got drafted too late. I think it's a good idea to publicly stand up and say we believe they can be great (even if we don't believe it). They'll get the tough love in camp, but Colbert gets to be the nice parent in the preseason

Steel Maniac
05-01-2019, 04:41 PM
Naaaw North, I think Colbert is serious about what he thinks they can do with converting SS.

tiproast
05-01-2019, 05:22 PM
Nice......but considering his career contributions to your teams success I would suggest that if I asked your coach who the best edge rusher he has ever coached he'd suggest it was the dude he got from us.

The best edge rusher BB ever coached never played for the Patriots or the Steelers.

RuthlessBurgher
05-01-2019, 07:36 PM
The best edge rusher BB ever coached never played for the Patriots or the Steelers.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e4/79/a8/e479a800730d71823fb1c26254711877.jpg

Gus
05-01-2019, 08:08 PM
That dude was my neighbor when I was growing up. He used to come down and watch some of my baseball games with his huskies. Parcells was my neighbor too. I went to high school with one of his daughters.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e4/79/a8/e479a800730d71823fb1c26254711877.jpg

tiproast
05-01-2019, 08:12 PM
That dude was my neighbor when I was growing up. He used to come down and watch some of my baseball games with his huskies. Parcells was my neighbor too. I went to high school with one of his daughters.
Cool story.

Was this in New Jersey?

Gus
05-01-2019, 09:44 PM
Cool story.

Was this in New Jersey?
Yep, northern New Jersey.

steelz09
05-01-2019, 10:10 PM
Well, according to Steeler Depot, Big red isn't going anywhere. For all you haters of intelligent but slow linebackers, beware!!
https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/want-to-cut-tyler-matakevich-think-again/

He's a good special teams player but the overpaid lumberjack offers about the same thing at ILB as the overpaid janitor does at HC. Nothing.

Steel Maniac
05-02-2019, 08:40 AM
He's a good special teams player but the overpaid lumberjack offers about the same thing at ILB as the overpaid janitor does at HC. Nothing.

Hey, we want all the personnel decisions to be the right ones for Tomlin. I'm thinking that trying to emulate the evil ones in being able to morp defenses so much is a mistake. Butler and Tomlin (to me) don't have the mental acumen to pull it off at a high level. But I want them to have everything they need to do so. Then there can be no excuses.

RuthlessBurgher
05-06-2019, 11:02 AM
Saturday, May 04, 2019 08:00 AM

'He's got a great motor'


Mike Prisuta

Steelers.com


Why you should be excited about sixth-round pick Sutton Smith:


He can rush the passer: Smith, 6-foot and 233 pounds, amassed 56 tackles for a loss and 30 sacks in three seasons at Northern Illinois, including 54 tackles for a loss and 29 sacks in the last two seasons. Smith’s 15 sacks in 2018 tied for the FBS lead.


He’s decorated: Smith was a 2018 first-team AP All-American and the MAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018.


He endeavors to get to the ball or the backfield by in a hurry: Smith characterized his approach as “basically trying to be the biggest problem an offense can try and go up against. So I just try and go out there and play as fast as I can and never give up. Even if the play is like 40 yards away from me, I’m going to try and track it down and just play as fast as I can.”


He’s athletic: Smith’s 6.75 in the three-cone drill at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine compared favorably to Devin Bush (6.93) and Ryan Shazier in 2014 (6.91).


He’s potentially versatile: Smith, for the most part, was a stand-up defensive end the past two seasons at Northern Illinois. He said he’s talked initially with the Steelers about playing “a little inside backer, rush the passer, a little bit of everything, just anywhere that I can be productive.”


He’ll bring it from wherever he lines up: “I play with a lot of heart and a lot of aggression and speed, so wherever I end up, wherever I play, I’m just going to give it 110 percent,” Smith said. “I’m not going to look back. I just have to be a hard-nosed player, and that’s what I’m going to be.


“My path is to fight, and that’s all I know how to do is fight. And I’m going to do everything I can to prove to people that I can be an NFL player, that I can do whatever they need me to do, and I’m not going to be selfish. I’m just going to try and help the team in any way that I can.”


He’s already shown the Steelers a potential affinity for special teams: “We are excited about his special teams capability, watched him close down in Mobile (at the Senior Bowl) in that area,” head coach Mike Tomlin said of Smith. “This is a conversion guy, a guy that played defensive end. So, their abilities to display their special teams talents and play like linebackers is important. We got a first-hand sampling of that watching him work in Mobile.”


Added General Manager Kevin Colbert: “He's got a great motor. At the Senior Bowl, they actually worked him inside, as an inside linebacker. That's exciting from a special teams-capable player.”


He’s excelled against top-tier competition: “I think that one of the tapes that stood out about Sutton Smith was the multiple-sack game he had against Florida State,” Tomlin said.


https://www.steelers.com/news/he-s-got-a-great-motor

RuthlessBurgher
05-07-2019, 04:27 PM
Steelers sign sixth-rounder Sutton Smith

Posted by Josh Alper on May 7, 2019, 4:08 PM EDT

The Steelers now have two of their three sixth-round picks under contract.

Shortly after they announced the signing of defensive end Isaiah Buggs, the team announced that they have also signed Sutton Smith. Both players signed four-year deals.

Smith played defensive end at Northern Illinois, but the team plans to move him to linebacker in the NFL.

“We’ll look at him outside, inside, anything that we feel like that he can fit us,” defensive coordinator Keith Butler said, via the team’s website. “He is a quick guy. He’s going to add some depth and help us on special teams. We know that he’s a great rusher. He’s going to create some great competition for us, which is always good.”

Smith had 58.5 tackles for loss and 30 sacks in college.

The Steelers now have seven unsigned draft picks, including first-round linebacker Devin Bush.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/05/07/steelers-sign-sixth-rounder-sutton-smith/

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
05-08-2019, 09:56 AM
All this comparing drafted players to great players of the past is just ridiculous. We are doing the newly drafted guys a huge disservice by doing that. I’ve never looked at Winovich as anyone other then who he is. But I guess from what Cap has said, I may be in the minority on that. Regardless, we need to stop comparing Wrs to AB, Winovich to Kevin Greene; we should be better then that. That’s also a sure way of missing on someone else by using that type of formula.

I agree. My reaction is always "let's see what this guy can do" whether he was a player I liked and wanted, or a name that came out of nowhere. It's ridiculous to think that anybody here knows more about certain players, and the team's future plans, than the FO. However, to go on TV, or write an article on each draft pick saying "we'll wait and see" is very boring and won't bring any viewers or clicks. So, everybody instead makes bold claims both prior to and after, and one of the many insights have to be comparison. Makes it more visual for guys who we had no idea even existed just a month earlier.

ikestops85
05-08-2019, 01:31 PM
I agree. My reaction is always "let's see what this guy can do" whether he was a player I liked and wanted, or a name that came out of nowhere. It's ridiculous to think that anybody here knows more about certain players, and the team's future plans, than the FO. However, to go on TV, or write an article on each draft pick saying "we'll wait and see" is very boring and won't bring any viewers or clicks. So, everybody instead makes bold claims both prior to and after, and one of the many insights have to be comparison. Makes it more visual for guys who we had no idea even existed just a month earlier.

Well said t.o. :tt2

Northern_Blitz
05-08-2019, 04:56 PM
I agree. My reaction is always "let's see what this guy can do" whether he was a player I liked and wanted, or a name that came out of nowhere. It's ridiculous to think that anybody here knows more about certain players, and the team's future plans, than the FO. However, to go on TV, or write an article on each draft pick saying "we'll wait and see" is very boring and won't bring any viewers or clicks. So, everybody instead makes bold claims both prior to and after, and one of the many insights have to be comparison. Makes it more visual for guys who we had no idea even existed just a month earlier.

That's because you're a level headed person from a beautiful country :p

Steel Maniac
05-09-2019, 09:45 AM
Asked and Answered: May 9

Bob Labriola
STEELERS.COM

Let’s get to it:

JERRY AVERS FROM LANCASTER, PA: Is the running back position going to be an open competition since we added possibly a better one in the draft?

ANSWER: I don’t understand why you have such a low opinion of James Conner, but allow me to refresh your memory with some statistics: In 2018, his second NFL season, Conner rushed for 973 yards and averaged 4.5 per carry doing it; he also caught passes for another 497 yards, which gave him 1,470 yards from scrimmage; and in addition he scored 13 touchdowns. To put this into further perspective, this is a list of the NFL running backs who finished with more yards from scrimmage in 2018 than Conner: Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey, Todd Gurley, and Alvin Kamara. The one negative that can be associated with Conner’s performance in 2018 was his four fumbles, and if that continues to be an issue for him, well, suffice it to say he would discover that Coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t have a bottomless well of patience for running backs who cannot hold onto the football. But as of right now, James Conner is entering his third NFL season, and he has improved consistently over that time. If Benny Snell Jr. can find a way to carve out a complementary role as a rookie, the Steelers backfield – Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Snell, and fullback Rosie Nix – could be a real force during the 2019 season.

TYLER SEAMSTER FROM NEW HOPE, VA: With Joe Haden approaching his final year of his deal, has there been any talks of an extension?

ANSWER: I don’t believe the Steelers have sufficient salary cap space left to do an extension for Joe Haden this summer, but I also believe the team values him for his play on the field and for the calming influence and leadership he contributes to a secondary made up of mostly younger players. I also believe this: Haden came into the league as a top 10 pick and as a result has been paid top dollar throughout his NFL career, and so at this point the most important thing to him is the winning and annually competing for a championship. Not that the Steelers would suddenly offer him nothing but the veteran minimum, nor would Haden give up fair compensation to stay here, but this seems to be the kind of arrangement that both sides are interested in maintaining. Maybe I’m delusional, but I wouldn’t be really worried if there was no extension for Haden this summer, because the Steelers value him and he likes playing here. As long as that remains the case, the other stuff will get worked out.

BRIAN FIORE FROM MARINETTE, WI: My question regards position switches like the one mentioned for Sutton Smith. How does switching Sutton Smith from college defensive end to NFL linebacker fit into what you stated in the May 7 installment of Asked and Answered? Are the positions so similar that there are only subtle nuances to be learned?

ANSWER: In many instances, it’s best to focus more on the job description of the respective positions than the names of the positions when trying to determine if a “position switch” is realistic for a player going from college to the NFL. In the case of Sutton Smith, one of his primary assignments at Northern Illinois was rushing the passer, and he finished his three seasons as a player there with 30 sacks and 58 tackles for loss. After the Steelers picked him, defensive coordinator Keith Butler immediately referred to Smith’s ability as a pass-rusher and how the Steelers will utilize him there as they’re in the process of finding out what else he can do well. What is being discussed with Sutton Smith, in my mind, is less of a position switch and more of a defining of a role.

VAILLARD ULISEE FROM MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: When the team declines the fifth-year option on a player, as happened with Artie Burns, is a further drop in performance expected during the player’s last year with team? And is the decision not to extend the contract final?

ANSWER: The act of declining the fifth-year option happens when the team perceives the player’s performance through his first four seasons in the NFL as not reflective of the amount of money that player would be guaranteed by exercising the fifth-year option. As an example, Bud Dupree’s fifth-year option will pay him $9.232 million in 2019, and that amount now is guaranteed. The Steelers still are trying to turn Burns around, find some way to make him the kind of player they envisioned when they made him a No. 1 pick. If that doesn’t happen, Burns can become an unrestricted free agent in March 2020. If Burns has a turnaround season in 2019, the Steelers would be able to try to negotiate something long-term with him after the season ends.

ELBERT BEATTY FROM CLEAR BROOK, VA: I wanted to schedule some days off from work to come to training camp, but I want to be there when they’re in pads and hitting. Any idea?

ANSWER: I’m going to take a shot at guessing for you, but I do so with a warning that I’m guessing. Teams are permitted to open their training camps 15 days before their preseason openers, and since the Steelers preseason opener is on Friday, Aug. 9, my prediction would be that players will report to Saint Vincent College on Thursday, Aug. 25. Then the CBA also mandates two acclimation days, which call for padless practices. If that scenario holds true, the first day in pads for the Steelers this summer would be Sunday, July 28. Based on that, my suggestion would be for you to look at dates starting with Wednesday, July 31 and going through Sunday, Aug. 4, with the understanding that Friday, Aug. 2 could be Friday Night Lights, which is the annual night practice at Latrobe Stadium. Or, you could play it safe and wait for the training camp schedule to be released, which will be in early July, on Steelers.com.

MIKE FEDERICO FROM MEMPHIS, TN: Steelers President Art Rooney II stated that the 2018 Steelers lacked even an average kicking game. With that being the case, how and when do you think the team will address that weakness?

ANSWER: Your assumption seems to be that the only way to address that issue is by changing the personnel, which isn’t the way I see the Steelers perceiving the issue. In 2017, Chris Boswell converted 92.1 percent of his field goals, including 4-for-4 from 50-plus yards out, on the way to scoring 142 points and winning several games for the team with clutch kicks in the final seconds. So, you’re just cutting him now? I see the more prescient course of action being to have him compete through training camp and the preseason and see if he gets his stroke back. If not, then a change might be necessary, and based on what Matt McCrane did in the regular season finale against the Bengals, I believe the Steelers think he can provide that competition and then be a representative replacement should Boswell falter during the competition.

JOSIAH ROMAN FROM CHICAGO, IL: What are the odds that the Steelers go out and trade for a big-name talent to fill a need at positions like safety and tight end?
ANSWER: First of all, it’s your assessment that the Steelers have needs to fill at safety and tight end, because as the draft ended Coach Mike Tomlin said this when asked about the numbers at safety: “We're comfortable with the number of people that we have working. We're also comfortable with the versatility of some of the corners. You've seen Cam Sutton play some safety. You've seen Mike Hilton play safety on our football team in the past. I'm sure there are others who are capable as well. So, we're comfortable, not only with our numbers, but with the flexibility of others who may not be ‘safeties.’” So, what are the odds the Steelers make a trade for a safety or a tight end? The odds are better that I am elected Pope.

JOE WERNER FROM WEST HENRIETTA, NY: Since the start of the Chuck Noll era, who would be the highest-drafted rookie to fail to make the team after training camp?
ANSWER: There are two players, both second-round draft picks, who failed to make the roster coming out of their rookie training camps since Chuck Noll was hired in 1969. The first was a defensive back from Mississippi State named Ken Phares, who was a No. 2 pick, the 50th overall, in 1973; and Grambling State defensive end Bob Barber, who was a No. 2 pick, the 51st overall, in 1975. Of course, rookies who were injured and landed on injured reserve don’t count.

RuthlessBurgher
05-10-2019, 03:41 PM
Friday, May 10, 2019 03:15 PM

Sixth-round pick Smith all smiles


Mike Prisuta

Steelers.com


He lined up as a stand-up defensive end at Northern Illinois and lived in offensive backfields all across the Mid-American Conference.


But at 6-foot and 233 pounds, Sutton Smith seemed destined for a position switch in transitioning to the NFL.


“He has to be an off-the-ball guy,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah maintained.


Even Smith seemed to be on board in the immediate aftermath of the Steelers making him the 175th overall selection with the first of their three sixth-round draft picks.


“It’ll be off-the-ball linebacker a little bit, and then maybe rush the passer,” Smith reported.


Yet when rookie minicamp opened at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, there was Smith on the edge, the same position from where he had amassed 30 sacks and 58 tackles for a loss at Northern Illinois, including a combined 29 sacks and 54 tackles for a loss over the last two seasons.


Inside linebacker, for a day, at least, can wait.


“It’s whatever Coach (Mike) Tomlin wants to do,” Smith insisted. “I’m here for whatever he needs and be able to contribute in any which way I can.”


Smith’s transition actually began at the Senior Bowl, where he was asked to dabble at inside linebacker.


“That was my first time ever playing it, which I felt comfortable doing,” he said. “I felt like I did OK at it.”


At the NFL Scouting Combine, Smith was asked to participate in the conversion drills traditionally conducted in an effort to determine whether edge rushers might potentially fit better in the NFL as an outside linebacker.


Dropping into coverage in such instances was nothing new for Smith.


“I can move in space,” he insisted. “Everybody knows I can.


“Being able to display it today was good.”


What Smith unquestionably does best is get ball carriers or quarterbacks on the ground in the backfield.


“It’s a fun thing for me, I love doing it,” he said. “It’s adrenalin, I feel good when I do it and I just have a knack.


“That’s what people have told me back in college, I just try to run with that.”


Running around big offensive tackles is often a part of that process.


Seventh-round pick Derwin Gray of Maryland (6-4, 320) presented just such a challenge for Smith as rookie camp commenced.


“Big boy,” Smith confirmed. “Quickness is better than size, I feel. Just show my speed and be able to contribute to this team any which way I can, I’m all for it.


“It doesn’t matter what position.”


That includes the kicking game.


“He's probably going to help (special teams coordinator) Danny Smith more than he helps me, early,” defensive coordinator Keith Butler observed right after Smith had been drafted. “The way linebackers make NFL teams is they come in and make themselves very valuable on special teams and build themselves another year to try and learn what's going on with the defense.”


Smith wasn’t too concerned about sorting any of that out initially.


The first day of rookie minicamp was much more about smiles and excitement and just playing the game than it was playing a specific position.


“It was awesome,” Smith beamed. “It was a good day today just being on the Steelers’ field and being able to run around again.”


https://www.steelers.com/news/sixth-round-pick-smith-all-smiles

hawaiiansteel
05-10-2019, 07:37 PM
Sutton Smith out to prove quickness, not size, is key to rushing the passer in NFL

RAY FITTIPALDO
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
MAY 10, 2019

Five years ago, Sutton Smith was a hot-shot running back at Francis Howell High in Missouri. He rushed for more than 2,000 yards and scored 27 touchdowns en route to all-state recognition as a senior in Missouri’s highest football classification.

These days, Smith is trying to make it as an undersized outside linebacker for the Steelers, but his football roots are clearly evident when he rushes the passer.

Smith, a sixth-round draft choice out of Northern Illinois, showed off the traits that endeared him to the Steelers during the first practice of rookie minicamp Friday morning.

In the first team session, Smith, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 233 pounds, went up against Derwin Gray, the 6-foot-4, 320-pound tackle the Steelers drafted in the seventh round.

On the first three plays, Smith used his quickness to turn the corner on Gray and easily applied pressure on the quarterback. On the fourth snap, Gray got a reprieve. Smith was asked to drop into coverage.

Later, in a second team session, Smith faked an outside move and easily beat Gray to the inside.

“Quickness is better than size, I feel,” Smith said following practice. “I just want to show my speed and be able to contribute any way I can.”

Smith was ultra-productive in the Mid-American Conference, where he tallied 29 sacks and 57 tackles for loss over his final two college seasons. The big question Smith will face as a pro is whether he’ll be able to produce the way he did in college against bigger and more athletic tackles.

In fact, in the moments after Smith was drafted, it was widely assumed he’d move inside in the NFL. He is almost the exact same size as Devin Bush, the No. 10 overall pick who will play inside for the Steelers.

Defensive coordinator Keith Butler didn’t close the door on any possible move inside for Smith, but he made it clear the Steelers will evaluate Smith first as an outside linebacker.

“Right now, we know that he's a great rusher for us,” Butler said.

The game certainly will change once the Steelers practice in pads at training camp, but Smith certainly didn’t look out of place when he lined up on the outside Friday morning. Gray is no lock to make the team, and his best shot to stick in the NFL is likely at guard. Nonetheless, he played tackle in the Big Ten Conference at Maryland.

There wasn’t any hesitation or intimidation when he lined up for his first taste of NFL football on Friday.

“It’s what I showed in college,” Smith said. “Yes, the NFL is way different, but it’s a work in progress. I just try to better my craft every single day.”

Rushing the quarterback has become almost as much of a thrill as rushing the football for Smith. Despite his high school accolades, the coaches at Northern Illinois quickly realized his quickness could be used to terrorize opposing offenses as a pass rusher.

He’s the same athlete, but Smith is just using his running back traits in a different way.

“Just being quick helps you a lot,” he said. “If I continue to be quick and try to play as fast I can, good things will happen.”

Good things happened quickly for Smith at Northern Illinois. As a sophomore, he registered an NCAA-high 14 sacks. He followed that up with another stellar junior campaign that netted 15 sacks.

Now he’s trying to bring his pass-rushing skill set to the NFL. Many draft analysts panned his performance as an edge rusher at the Senior Bowl, but the Steelers don’t agree. They believe his skills can translate to the NFL.

“It’s a fun thing for me,” Smith said of rushing the passer. “I love doing it. I feel good when I do it. I have a knack to get the football. That’s what they told me in college. I try to run with that and be the best I can be every day.”

Smith didn’t drop into coverage at Northern Illinois, but he knows that will be part of his job description as an outside linebacker with the Steelers. Smith took a few snaps as an off-ball linebacker at the Senior Bowl so Friday wasn’t his first exposure to dropping into coverage.

“It’s whatever coach Tomlin wants me to do,” Smith said. “I’m here for whatever he needs. I can move in space. Everyone knows I can. Being able to display it today was good.”


https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2019/05/10/Steelers-rookie-Sutton-Smith-linebacker-Keith-Butler-defensive-coordinator/stories/201905100119

RuthlessBurgher
05-22-2019, 10:57 AM
Drafting Sutton Smith viewed as the Steelers’ most ‘under the radar’ offseason move

The Pittsburgh Steelers took a disruptive, but smaller, pass rusher in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft that is getting the attention of others.

By Jeff Hartman
May 19, 2019, 12:28pm EDT

Throughout the course of an NFL offseason, there are moves which get overlooked. Often times these moves are ones which make a big impact on the team, yet were not those BREAKING NEWS stories when the move was made.

Some might call these moves ‘Under the Radar’ moves, and recently SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea gave an under the radar selection for all 32 NFL teams. For the Pittsburgh Steelers he selected a smaller, but powerful, pass rusher drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft from Northern Illinois. None other than Sutton Smith.

See what he had to say about the ‘Under the Radar’ pick:


Pittsburgh Steelers

Drafted DE/OLB Sutton Smith (sixth round)

Smith is extremely small for an NFL pass rusher (6’0, 232 pounds), but he was the nation’s most disruptive player over his last two seasons at Northern Illinois. He’s a gamble, but even a fraction of that production would give Pittsburgh a valuable counterbalance to T.J. Watt’s edge rush.

D’Andrea labeled Smith as a “gamble”, but can you really suggest this to be true as a sixth round draft pick? While some point to Tom Brady and Antonio Brown as sixth round draft picks to become All-Pros, and some of the best of their positions, these cases are truly few and far between.

The reality is 6th and 7th round draft picks flame out more than they pan out, and few become true impact players for their teams. In this case, I don’t view Smith as a “gamble” but as a move with an extremely high upside.

If Smith gets to training camp, shows some promise and makes the team solely as a special teams player, it would follow suit for a 6th round selection. If he provides quality depth at the outside linebacker position for the Steelers, this is an added bonus. If Smith somehow shows his size isn’t a negative, but a positive in terms of leverage, and becomes a sack machine, then you have found yourself a genuine diamond in the rough.

When looking at it this way, Smith isn’t a gamble, but a high upside selection. If there was a gamble move for the Steelers this offseason, it might be the signing of Steven Nelson, the most targeted cornerback in the NFL last season. Paying Mark Barron more than most expected. Moving up 10 picks and giving up valuable draft stock to take Devin Bush. Those moves are gambles in my opinion, not taking Sutton Smith in the 6th round.

With that said, all of Steelers Nation is excited to see what Sutton Smith has to offer the black-and-gold when Organized Team Activities (OTAs) start this Tuesday.

https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2019/5/19/18631386/drafting-sutton-smith-viewed-as-the-steelers-most-under-the-radar-offseason-move-2019-nfl-draft-news

hawaiiansteel
05-23-2019, 03:23 PM
Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

By Alex Kozora
Posted on May 23, 2019

Ever since he’s been drafted, heck, even speaking to the media during his Northern Illinois Pro Day, Sutton Smith has been adamant he’ll play wherever an NFL team wants him to. That statement might have been tested a bit on Thursday. Missi Matthews spotted Smith, wearing a new #42 jersey, lining up with the offense as a fullback/running back.

Smith wore #51 in rookie minicamp and the first few days of OTAs. In the interview, Smith sounded excited to be on the move.

“Did a little fullback stuff, little bit of RB,” he told Matthews. “Back in the high school days, trying to bring me back up a little bit. Just the more I can do, the better. I told everyone that I was an unselfish player and whatever I gotta do to be able to be part of this program and team. Just be successful and help the unit.”

It’s too early to call this a full blown move to the offensive side of the football, Smith was still wearing the defense’s gold jersey in practice, but a linebacker to fullback conversion is fairly common. Roosevelt Nix, the team’s starting fullback, played defensive tackle at Kent State. Pittsburgh briefly switched him to linebacker before flipping him to lead blocker.

There’s several examples of it around the league, too. Nick Bellore made the move for in Detroit two years ago. Owen Marecic played LB at Stanford but switched to FB for Cleveland after drafting him. And the Falcons dabbled with Foye Oluokun at that spot in training camp last season, though he never actually saw an offensive snap during the season.

Working out of the backfield isn’t anything new for Smith either. He was a two-way star in high school. rushing for over 2000 yards and 32 touchdowns at fullback as a senior. He had nearly 1700 all-purpose yards the year before. Northern Illinois kept him as an edge rusher. A wise decision, he was twice named MAC Defensive Player of the Year and ranks third in school history in sacks.

“They just want to test the waters,” Smith said of Thursday’s experiment. “That’s what happened today. I thought I did pretty well at it. We’ll see what happens. The more I can do, the better. Whatever Coach Tomlin needs, anything really, I’ll be there.”

The goal for Smith is to maximize his value. The more hats you wear, the more things you’re capable of doing, the more value you have and the easier it is to make a 53 man roster and earn a helmet on gameday. You certainly have to admire Smith’s can-do attitude. He may not make the roster but he’ll be a tough out when the final decisions are made.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/sutton-smith-moves-to-fullback-during-thursdays-practice/

flippy
05-23-2019, 03:39 PM
Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

By Alex Kozora
Posted on May 23, 2019

Ever since he’s been drafted, heck, even speaking to the media during his Northern Illinois Pro Day, Sutton Smith has been adamant he’ll play wherever an NFL team wants him to. That statement might have been tested a bit on Thursday. Missi Matthews spotted Smith, wearing a new #42 jersey, lining up with the offense as a fullback/running back.

Smith wore #51 in rookie minicamp and the first few days of OTAs. In the interview, Smith sounded excited to be on the move.

“Did a little fullback stuff, little bit of RB,” he told Matthews. “Back in the high school days, trying to bring me back up a little bit. Just the more I can do, the better. I told everyone that I was an unselfish player and whatever I gotta do to be able to be part of this program and team. Just be successful and help the unit.”

It’s too early to call this a full blown move to the offensive side of the football, Smith was still wearing the defense’s gold jersey in practice, but a linebacker to fullback conversion is fairly common. Roosevelt Nix, the team’s starting fullback, played defensive tackle at Kent State. Pittsburgh briefly switched him to linebacker before flipping him to lead blocker.

There’s several examples of it around the league, too. Nick Bellore made the move for in Detroit two years ago. Owen Marecic played LB at Stanford but switched to FB for Cleveland after drafting him. And the Falcons dabbled with Foye Oluokun at that spot in training camp last season, though he never actually saw an offensive snap during the season.

Working out of the backfield isn’t anything new for Smith either. He was a two-way star in high school. rushing for over 2000 yards and 32 touchdowns at fullback as a senior. He had nearly 1700 all-purpose yards the year before. Northern Illinois kept him as an edge rusher. A wise decision, he was twice named MAC Defensive Player of the Year and ranks third in school history in sacks.

“They just want to test the waters,” Smith said of Thursday’s experiment. “That’s what happened today. I thought I did pretty well at it. We’ll see what happens. The more I can do, the better. Whatever Coach Tomlin needs, anything really, I’ll be there.”

The goal for Smith is to maximize his value. The more hats you wear, the more things you’re capable of doing, the more value you have and the easier it is to make a 53 man roster and earn a helmet on gameday. You certainly have to admire Smith’s can-do attitude. He may not make the roster but he’ll be a tough out when the final decisions are made.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/sutton-smith-moves-to-fullback-during-thursdays-practice/

Didn't James Conner also play a little DE while he was at Pitt?

Steel Maniac
05-23-2019, 05:20 PM
Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

By Alex Kozora
Posted on May 23, 2019

Ever since he’s been drafted, heck, even speaking to the media during his Northern Illinois Pro Day, Sutton Smith has been adamant he’ll play wherever an NFL team wants him to. That statement might have been tested a bit on Thursday. Missi Matthews spotted Smith, wearing a new #42 jersey, lining up with the offense as a fullback/running back.

Smith wore #51 in rookie minicamp and the first few days of OTAs. In the interview, Smith sounded excited to be on the move.

“Did a little fullback stuff, little bit of RB,” he told Matthews. “Back in the high school days, trying to bring me back up a little bit. Just the more I can do, the better. I told everyone that I was an unselfish player and whatever I gotta do to be able to be part of this program and team. Just be successful and help the unit.”

It’s too early to call this a full blown move to the offensive side of the football, Smith was still wearing the defense’s gold jersey in practice, but a linebacker to fullback conversion is fairly common. Roosevelt Nix, the team’s starting fullback, played defensive tackle at Kent State. Pittsburgh briefly switched him to linebacker before flipping him to lead blocker.

There’s several examples of it around the league, too. Nick Bellore made the move for in Detroit two years ago. Owen Marecic played LB at Stanford but switched to FB for Cleveland after drafting him. And the Falcons dabbled with Foye Oluokun at that spot in training camp last season, though he never actually saw an offensive snap during the season.

Working out of the backfield isn’t anything new for Smith either. He was a two-way star in high school. rushing for over 2000 yards and 32 touchdowns at fullback as a senior. He had nearly 1700 all-purpose yards the year before. Northern Illinois kept him as an edge rusher. A wise decision, he was twice named MAC Defensive Player of the Year and ranks third in school history in sacks.

“They just want to test the waters,” Smith said of Thursday’s experiment. “That’s what happened today. I thought I did pretty well at it. We’ll see what happens. The more I can do, the better. Whatever Coach Tomlin needs, anything really, I’ll be there.”

The goal for Smith is to maximize his value. The more hats you wear, the more things you’re capable of doing, the more value you have and the easier it is to make a 53 man roster and earn a helmet on gameday. You certainly have to admire Smith’s can-do attitude. He may not make the roster but he’ll be a tough out when the final decisions are made.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/sutton-smith-moves-to-fullback-during-thursdays-practice/

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Iron City Inc.
05-23-2019, 08:40 PM
Alex painted a good picture of the case for Smith to be an asset for us. The main factor however will be if he can bend the arc as a stand up olb. If he can do that with some consistency any other talents will be a bonus. Contribute as a back up ilb, special teamer and perhaps occasional fullback.
It's unknown as of today how good a pass rusher he'll be. He was excellent at that at the lower level but pass rushers are rare. He excels as a rusher in camp and the pre-season he has a good chance to make the 53.Tomlin loves versatility so he has a shot. But making the team is one thing contributing even if it's just on 3rd n long is another.
Good camp watch in a few short months.

Disco1981
05-23-2019, 10:30 PM
Asked and Answered: May 9

Bob Labriola
STEELERS.COM

Let’s get to it:

JERRY AVERS FROM LANCASTER, PA: Is the running back position going to be an open competition since we added possibly a better one in the draft?

ANSWER: I don’t understand why you have such a low opinion of James Conner, but allow me to refresh your memory with some statistics: In 2018, his second NFL season, Conner rushed for 973 yards and averaged 4.5 per carry doing it; he also caught passes for another 497 yards, which gave him 1,470 yards from scrimmage; and in addition he scored 13 touchdowns. To put this into further perspective, this is a list of the NFL running backs who finished with more yards from scrimmage in 2018 than Conner: Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey, Todd Gurley, and Alvin Kamara. The one negative that can be associated with Conner’s performance in 2018 was his four fumbles, and if that continues to be an issue for him, well, suffice it to say he would discover that Coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t have a bottomless well of patience for running backs who cannot hold onto the football. But as of right now, James Conner is entering his third NFL season, and he has improved consistently over that time. If Benny Snell Jr. can find a way to carve out a complementary role as a rookie, the Steelers backfield – Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Snell, and fullback Rosie Nix – could be a real force during the 2019 season.

TYLER SEAMSTER FROM NEW HOPE, VA: With Joe Haden approaching his final year of his deal, has there been any talks of an extension?

ANSWER: I don’t believe the Steelers have sufficient salary cap space left to do an extension for Joe Haden this summer, but I also believe the team values him for his play on the field and for the calming influence and leadership he contributes to a secondary made up of mostly younger players. I also believe this: Haden came into the league as a top 10 pick and as a result has been paid top dollar throughout his NFL career, and so at this point the most important thing to him is the winning and annually competing for a championship. Not that the Steelers would suddenly offer him nothing but the veteran minimum, nor would Haden give up fair compensation to stay here, but this seems to be the kind of arrangement that both sides are interested in maintaining. Maybe I’m delusional, but I wouldn’t be really worried if there was no extension for Haden this summer, because the Steelers value him and he likes playing here. As long as that remains the case, the other stuff will get worked out.

BRIAN FIORE FROM MARINETTE, WI: My question regards position switches like the one mentioned for Sutton Smith. How does switching Sutton Smith from college defensive end to NFL linebacker fit into what you stated in the May 7 installment of Asked and Answered? Are the positions so similar that there are only subtle nuances to be learned?

ANSWER: In many instances, it’s best to focus more on the job description of the respective positions than the names of the positions when trying to determine if a “position switch” is realistic for a player going from college to the NFL. In the case of Sutton Smith, one of his primary assignments at Northern Illinois was rushing the passer, and he finished his three seasons as a player there with 30 sacks and 58 tackles for loss. After the Steelers picked him, defensive coordinator Keith Butler immediately referred to Smith’s ability as a pass-rusher and how the Steelers will utilize him there as they’re in the process of finding out what else he can do well. What is being discussed with Sutton Smith, in my mind, is less of a position switch and more of a defining of a role.

VAILLARD ULISEE FROM MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: When the team declines the fifth-year option on a player, as happened with Artie Burns, is a further drop in performance expected during the player’s last year with team? And is the decision not to extend the contract final?

ANSWER: The act of declining the fifth-year option happens when the team perceives the player’s performance through his first four seasons in the NFL as not reflective of the amount of money that player would be guaranteed by exercising the fifth-year option. As an example, Bud Dupree’s fifth-year option will pay him $9.232 million in 2019, and that amount now is guaranteed. The Steelers still are trying to turn Burns around, find some way to make him the kind of player they envisioned when they made him a No. 1 pick. If that doesn’t happen, Burns can become an unrestricted free agent in March 2020. If Burns has a turnaround season in 2019, the Steelers would be able to try to negotiate something long-term with him after the season ends.

ELBERT BEATTY FROM CLEAR BROOK, VA: I wanted to schedule some days off from work to come to training camp, but I want to be there when they’re in pads and hitting. Any idea?

ANSWER: I’m going to take a shot at guessing for you, but I do so with a warning that I’m guessing. Teams are permitted to open their training camps 15 days before their preseason openers, and since the Steelers preseason opener is on Friday, Aug. 9, my prediction would be that players will report to Saint Vincent College on Thursday, Aug. 25. Then the CBA also mandates two acclimation days, which call for padless practices. If that scenario holds true, the first day in pads for the Steelers this summer would be Sunday, July 28. Based on that, my suggestion would be for you to look at dates starting with Wednesday, July 31 and going through Sunday, Aug. 4, with the understanding that Friday, Aug. 2 could be Friday Night Lights, which is the annual night practice at Latrobe Stadium. Or, you could play it safe and wait for the training camp schedule to be released, which will be in early July, on Steelers.com.

MIKE FEDERICO FROM MEMPHIS, TN: Steelers President Art Rooney II stated that the 2018 Steelers lacked even an average kicking game. With that being the case, how and when do you think the team will address that weakness?

ANSWER: Your assumption seems to be that the only way to address that issue is by changing the personnel, which isn’t the way I see the Steelers perceiving the issue. In 2017, Chris Boswell converted 92.1 percent of his field goals, including 4-for-4 from 50-plus yards out, on the way to scoring 142 points and winning several games for the team with clutch kicks in the final seconds. So, you’re just cutting him now? I see the more prescient course of action being to have him compete through training camp and the preseason and see if he gets his stroke back. If not, then a change might be necessary, and based on what Matt McCrane did in the regular season finale against the Bengals, I believe the Steelers think he can provide that competition and then be a representative replacement should Boswell falter during the competition.

JOSIAH ROMAN FROM CHICAGO, IL: What are the odds that the Steelers go out and trade for a big-name talent to fill a need at positions like safety and tight end?
ANSWER: First of all, it’s your assessment that the Steelers have needs to fill at safety and tight end, because as the draft ended Coach Mike Tomlin said this when asked about the numbers at safety: “We're comfortable with the number of people that we have working. We're also comfortable with the versatility of some of the corners. You've seen Cam Sutton play some safety. You've seen Mike Hilton play safety on our football team in the past. I'm sure there are others who are capable as well. So, we're comfortable, not only with our numbers, but with the flexibility of others who may not be ‘safeties.’” So, what are the odds the Steelers make a trade for a safety or a tight end? The odds are better that I am elected Pope.

JOE WERNER FROM WEST HENRIETTA, NY: Since the start of the Chuck Noll era, who would be the highest-drafted rookie to fail to make the team after training camp?
ANSWER: There are two players, both second-round draft picks, who failed to make the roster coming out of their rookie training camps since Chuck Noll was hired in 1969. The first was a defensive back from Mississippi State named Ken Phares, who was a No. 2 pick, the 50th overall, in 1973; and Grambling State defensive end Bob Barber, who was a No. 2 pick, the 51st overall, in 1975. Of course, rookies who were injured and landed on injured reserve don’t count.

McCrane got cut

hawaiiansteel
05-24-2019, 12:22 AM
McCrane got cut

yeah, Boswell's new competition is now Matthew Wright from UCF.

Oviedo
05-24-2019, 09:35 AM
yeah, Boswell's new competition is now Matthew Wright from UCF.

Not sure Wright is really a competition. I watched him the whole time he was a UCF. The ball does not explode off his foot. He is accurate but I think he lacks Boswell's range (provided Bos quits with the Steve Blass imitation). Don't ever expect to see a kick into the end zone; most will land between the 5 and 10 yard line.

hawaiiansteel
05-27-2019, 03:21 PM
Sutton Smith: ‘I’m Not A Selfish Player’

By Matthew Marczi
Posted on May 27, 2019

Championship rosters need talent at the top, without question. Just look at the list of the past however many Super Bowl champions and see who was playing a quarterback, for example. But championship rosters are also built from the bottom up with unselfish players who are willing to do whatever is necessary from the team’s perspective to help the group succeed as a whole.

That is who Pittsburgh Steelers sixth-round rookie draft pick Sutton Smith wants to be. An undersized college defensive end, Smith was drafted to play outside linebacker in the team’s 3-4 defense, with an eye toward possibly playing inside as well if that doesn’t work out. Yet during the first week of OTAs, they even had him lining up at fullback.

“Just the more that I can do, the better”, he said, which I’m sure Head Coach Mike Tomlin amply informed him of. The more hats you can wear, the more useful you’ll be. “Whatever Coach Tomlin needs, anything really, I’ll be there”, the Northern Illinois product said.

One thing he’s pretty much going to have to do without question to make the roster is to work on Danny Smith’s special teams units, a fact of which he is well aware. Whether he plays outside or inside or even at fullback, any of those positions would require him to contribute in the third phase of the game as well.

“I told everyone I wasn’t a selfish player. Whatever I’ve got to do to be able to be a part of this program and team and just be successful and help the unit. That’s my goal”, Smith said while being interviewed last week for the team’s website about his first week of practice with the full squad.

“It doesn’t matter to me, I’ll do whatever they ask. It’s just, we’ve got to learn it and move forward from it”, he went on, adding, “like I said, I’m not a selfish player. I’d like to do whatever they need”.

These are the sorts of players whose names are not going to be known outside of the home city in which they play, but the diehard fans might know them quite well. The guys who are willing to do anything for the sake of the betterment of the team. That’s a pretty easy concept to root for, after all.

Of course, if he actually develops into the position for which he was drafted, namely getting after the quarterback, the Steelers will find ways to get him on the field in the long run. on defense, there isn’t anything more valuable than the man who can put the quarterback on his back. But unless or until he shows himself to be that guy, he could be wearing a lot of different hats, so an unselfish attitude is just what the job calls for.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/sutton-smith-im-not-a-selfish-player/

SteelerOfDeVille
05-28-2019, 05:10 PM
Kind of at a loss why so many refer to this "position switch" for Sutton as such a big deal (both for him and the Steelers)... First of all, it's what the steelers have done for forever.. Aren't both Bud and TJ former DEs? Moreover, (after a quick draft scan) Joey Porter, Clark Haggans, Lamarr Woodley, Mike Vrabel, Jason Gildon, Jason Worilds, Alonzo Jackson -- sorry, had to -- were all defensive ends. And I'm sure i missed a few. So, the TEAM knows what it's looking for and how to handle the transition from DE to OLB.

Which leads to part 2 - the player. You're clearly a good pass rusher if they selected you. Just listen to the coaches and do your job as best as you can...

hawaiiansteel
05-28-2019, 05:32 PM
Kind of at a loss why so many refer to this "position switch" for Sutton as such a big deal (both for him and the Steelers)... First of all, it's what the steelers have done for forever.. Aren't both Bud and TJ former DEs? Moreover, (after a quick draft scan) Joey Porter, Clark Haggans, Lamarr Woodley, Mike Vrabel, Jason Gildon, Jason Worilds, Alonzo Jackson -- sorry, had to -- were all defensive ends. And I'm sure i missed a few. So, the TEAM knows what it's looking for and how to handle the transition from DE to OLB.

Which leads to part 2 - the player. You're clearly a good pass rusher if they selected you. Just listen to the coaches and do your job as best as you can...

I don't think it's the position switch as much as Sutton's lack of size that concerns people. he got totally manhandled at the Senior Bowl...

NorthCoast
05-28-2019, 07:15 PM
Kind of at a loss why so many refer to this "position switch" for Sutton as such a big deal (both for him and the Steelers)... First of all, it's what the steelers have done for forever.. Aren't both Bud and TJ former DEs? Moreover, (after a quick draft scan) Joey Porter, Clark Haggans, Lamarr Woodley, Mike Vrabel, Jason Gildon, Jason Worilds, Alonzo Jackson -- sorry, had to -- were all defensive ends. And I'm sure i missed a few. So, the TEAM knows what it's looking for and how to handle the transition from DE to OLB.

Which leads to part 2 - the player. You're clearly a good pass rusher if they selected you. Just listen to the coaches and do your job as best as you can...

I think switching positions is overplayed (I say that having never played a snap in professional sports). It does take a particular type of player to make a switch (smarts, willingness to learn something different, flexibility). But there is some physical aspects too (clearly a CB in college will not be playing center in the NFL).
I would be concerned they are following the Dupree path again with Sutton. A speedy guy that will try to run around the lineman but rarely hitting home.

SteelerOfDeVille
05-29-2019, 04:20 PM
I think switching positions is overplayed (I say that having never played a snap in professional sports). It does take a particular type of player to make a switch (smarts, willingness to learn something different, flexibility). But there is some physical aspects too (clearly a CB in college will not be playing center in the NFL).
I would be concerned they are following the Dupree path again with Sutton. A speedy guy that will try to run around the lineman but rarely hitting home.
sad thing about Dupree, he's got the strength... would rather use speed.

hawaiiansteel
05-30-2019, 03:58 PM
Steelers Rookie Sutton Smith Not Overthinking Being Asked To Play Both Ways During OTAs

By Dave Bryan
Posted on May 30, 2019

The Pittsburgh Steelers first preseason game of 2019 will take place at Heinz Field 10 weeks from tomorrow and that contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will include mostly younger players getting most of the playing time. One of those younger players, Sutton Smith, one of the team’s three sixth-round draft picks this year, will likely play offense, defense and special teams in the preseason opener and thus log the most playing time of anybody on the roster in that contest.

Smith, who played defensive end during his college career at Northern Illinois, after mostly playing running back in high school, has been asked to play outside linebacker and fullback so far during the team’s OTA practices, the sixth of which concluded on Thursday. At the conclusion of Thursday’s practice, Smith talked more about his willingness to do whatever it takes to make the Steelers 53-man roster this year and how OTAs are going for him so far.

“I think it’s gone petty good,” Smith said, according to 93.7 The Fan. “You know, I mean, they want me to learn two positions right now and I think I’m doing really well at that. It’s, honestly, it’s a learning curve, you know, like for all the rookies, but I think I’m picking up well and I think I just got to keep playing fast and leave nothing on the field every day.”

Last week during the team’s first week of OTA practices, it was revealed that Smith was getting some reps at the fullback position. He was asked again after Thursday’s practice what precipitated that position addition and how he’s received being asked to take reps at fullback, in addition to some at linebacker.

“It’s definitely a change because I played running back back in high school and obviously everybody thought like since of my stature, fullback could be a possibility,” Smith said. “And I definitely agree. Whatever I can do to be on the field is what I’m going to do. And whatever they need. Like I’ve said in the past, I’m going to do whatever a Coach Tomlin needs and the Steelers organization needs me to do to be successful for this program and just helping out everybody here. That’s my goal.”

Smith was later asked on Thursday if he knew there would be a possibility throughout the pre-draft process that some teams might want to look at him as a running back or fullback being as he did mainly play in the offensive backfield during his high school career.

“I just heard from like outside scouts earlier on in my draft process that that’s a possibility,” Smith admitted. “People wanted to work me out at that [position] a little bit. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just another opportunity for me to go out and seize and hopefully do a great job at and that’s my goal right now.”

After Thursday’s OTA practice ended, several videos of Smith participating on both sides in a running back versus linebacker open-field drill surfaced on Twitter. During his Thursday post-practice media session, Smith was asked about how big of challenge it is for him to play running back one rep in that drill and linebacker in the next rep.

“I just gotta be athletic,” Smith said. “Just don’t think about it. Flip the switch really quick. Football is football, man. If you overthink things, you’re gonna play slow. So, I just came out here and I did running back, that little inside tackling box drill thing with the running backs. I just switched with it. And switching from running back to outside linebacker, you just gotta make the switch quick and that’s what pros do and I just gotta be that pro. So, that’s all I’ve got to do right now.”

Even though there were some rumblings right after Smith was drafted by the Steelers that he might work some at inside linebacker in addition to outside linebacker, he said Thursday that outside linebacker and fullback are the only positions he’s practiced at thus far.

“Mostly right now we’re looking at outside and then fullback right now,” Smith said. “So, I mean there might be things to come, I don’t know. That’s for Coach Tomlin and the coaching staff to decide, but I’m just here to help out the Steelers organization any way.”

Smith also made it clear on Thursday that he doesn’t believe working some at fullback during OTA practices will in any way stunt his development as an outside linebacker. In fact, he thinks working on both sides of the football during OTAs might help him become a better all-around player.

“No, I don’t think it should stunt anything at all,” Smith said. “If anything, it should improve my athletic ability. I mean, honestly, work is work out here whenever we’re doing all the drills and stuff. So, any type of running back drills that I’m doing is only going to help my feet, only going to help my mobility and movement. So, whatever type of work that I can do and get in is going to help me be on good on defense or offense. So, either one works.”

That’s certainly a great point by Smith and if anything, he figures to be in great physical condition by the start of training camp thanks to the extra reps he may have received on both sides of the football during OTAs. After all, like he and so many other younger players currently on the team’s offseason roster, he can’t afford to miss practice time during training camp once it gets underway in late July.

Even though it certainly looks like the Steelers are purposefully attempting to carve out a spot on this year’s 53-man roster for Smith by making him a two-way player and four-phase special teams player, it doesn’t sound like the sixth-round draft pick is taking anything for granted with two weeks of OTA practices now in the books.

“I feel like they just want to keep me versatile, whatever,” Smith said. “I don’t honestly know what Coach Tomlin’s plan is. But you know, I know that he’s got a plan and I’m just going to trust in it and that’s all I got to do. I’ve just got to play fast and whatever happens, happens. I mean, I’m not going to look back, I’m just going to keep moving forward.”

Like many of you reading this post, I look forward to hearing more about Smith as the offseason practices progress and I really look forward to seeing how many helmets he ultimately wears in the Steelers preseason opener and the kind of performance he has against the Buccaneers. He might be the ultimate Swiss army player for the Steelers during his rookie season and more than justify himself a roster spot.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/steelers-rookie-sutton-smith-not-overthinking-being-asked-to-play-both-ways-during-otas/

hawaiiansteel
05-30-2019, 11:23 PM
Sutton Smith trying to become Steelers utilityman as a rookie

BRIAN BATKO
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
MAY 30, 2019

When Sutton Smith wants something, he isn’t afraid to go take it. It’s the kind of personality one should probably have to plan a proposal to his girlfriend after a conference championship, which is exactly what Smith did in December, a plan that worked out perfectly on the heels of a 30-29 win against Buffalo in the MAC title game.

Six months later, Smith is chasing another goal in his first NFL offseason practices, and he’s driven enough to take on whatever role the Steelers propose to him. Two weeks and six workouts into it, that includes fullback as much as it does outside linebacker, the bullet on his resume that made him a sixth-round draft pick last month. It’s clear now that trying him on the other side of the ball is more than just a one- or two-day experiment.

“I don’t think it should stunt anything at all,” Smith said of his development so far. “If anything, it should improve my athletic ability. Honestly, work is work.”

And the 6-foot, 233-pound Smith is getting plenty of it, albeit only in a non-padded setting to this point. But here’s hoping you didn’t rush out to buy your No. 51 Smith jersey because the past few days of OTAs, he’s been sporting No. 42. Not a typical number for a pass-rusher, but it is befitting a fullback.

Smith, an all-everything defensive star at Northern Illinois, is taking handoffs, working on ball security and honing his pass protection in individual drills. When it comes time for team periods, he hops in with the defensive backups. It’s easy to see Mike Tomlin is keeping an eye on how he handles the dual workload.

“There might be [more] things to come. I don’t know, that’s for coach Tomlin and the coaching staff to decide,” said Smith, who might also project as an inside linebacker, given his lack of NFL size. “But I’m just here to help out the Steelers organization in any way.”

An organization that has made the same move with a different but similarly accomplished player. Smith is aware that the starting Steelers fullback, Roosevelt Nix, is another former MAC defensive player of the year who was undersized. The 5-11, 248-pound Nix converted from defensive tackle to carve out a niche for himself in the NFL.

If you go back to watch the grainy highlight tapes of Smith’s pre-college days, all you’ll really see is him being an all-state running back at Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, Mo. The Steelers probably wouldn’t put all that much stock in that long-ago chapter of Smith’s football journey, but at least it’s a foundation to build on in exploring his versatility.

“Quick backstory,” Smith said with a smile. “I’ve always been flipping back and forth between defense and offense my whole life, so it’s not unusual that teams see me in a different way. … And that’s what great coaches do, they see the athleticism in a person and try him out in multiple places. Credit to coach Tomlin; he’s doing everything that he can to find me spots on the team, and I think I’m doing just that. Two positions is awesome. They even told me that today, that it’s a really good thing.”

Truth be told, it’s not offense or defense Smith is most focused on at this point. He’s concentrating the most on trying to make a splash via special teams, which makes perfect sense for a sixth-round rookie. According to Smith, he wasn’t used much in that capacity at Northern Illinois — because he was so important to the defense — but when he did play on the kickoff team, he led the Huskies in tackles for loss behind the 20-yard line.

As a native of the St. Louis area, Smith is pulling for the Blues against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals. He insists that if he manages to stick around Pittsburgh for a while, he’ll definitely become a fan of the local teams, but Smith must admit he grew up a Cardinals fan.

Clearly, he’s enough of a baseball guy to understand the value of being a utilityman — or a switch-hitter.

“I’ve heard that all the time: The more you can do, the better,” Smith said. “Special teams, outside linebacker, fullback, whichever order.”


https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2019/05/30/Sutton-Smith-Steelers-fullback-outside-linebacker-OTAs-special-teams/stories/201905300114