9 p.m.: Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and in this small window of sobriety this morning you can get the rundown of the Steelers’ activity at five Pro Days yesterday.
First of all, Steelers Director of football Operations Kevin Colbert walked across the parking lot to watch Pitt’s Pro Day. The highlight was a pair of late-round tight ends, but that’s a position at which the Steelers – with four experienced tight ends on the roster – are showing little interest.
Maybe Colbert had his eye on Bill Stull as a post-draft signee, because it does seem as if the Steelers are looking for a developmental quarterback. That’s what took them Tuesday to Bowling Green University, where quarterback Tyler Sheehan “drew a lot of interest from the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers,” according to The Bowling Green News. (The NCAA’s leading receiver, Freddie Barnes, told reporters he ran in the 4.6 to 4.7 range.)
Sheehan, who orchestrated BGU’s opening-day upset of Pitt in 2008, measures 6-3.1, 223 and runs a 4.8 40. He capped his career with school records of 4,051 yards and 27 touchdowns this past season.
The Steelers also appeared at Appalachian State to watch Armanti Edwards, the quarterback who engineered the famous upset of Michigan in 2007. An Antwaan Randle El type of prospect, Edwards is the only player in Division 1 or 1-AA history to pass for 10,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards. He’s also the only two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award. Edwards is 5-11 and dropped five pounds from the combine to weigh in yesterday at 182. His coach said he ran a 4.43 40 for scouts with a 34.5 vertical jump and 13 reps on the bench. Considered a late-round prospect, Edwards worked out for scouts at quarterback, wide receiver, and punt returner.
The Steelers also joined the rest of the league at Georgia’s Pro Day, where, according to the school paper, nose tackle Jeff Owens ran a 4.96 40. The National Football Post reported that Owens ran a 4.83. Geno Atkins, a 4-3 lineman, did not run. Safety Reshad Jones measured 6-1.5, 209 and ran a 4.53 40.
Finally, the Steelers showed up Tuesday at Toledo to watch SS prospect Barry Church, one of three players to ever have been chosen first-team All-MAC four times (Brian McClure, Dave Zastudil). The 6-1.4, 222-pound Church ran a 4.62 40, according to The Toledo Blade. Church played high school football at Pittsburgh suburb Penn Hills. One of his former coaches told me that Church is not an innate tackler, “but will never be out of position, has great hands, and will never get into any trouble.”
* Results from Monday’s Youngstown State Pro Day have been released, and they’re quite good for Donald Jones, a wide receiver who was deemed too slow – “he can’t run” – by one scout at the Senior Bowl. But the 214-pounder who styles his game after Anquan Boldin and Hines Ward reportedly ran a 4.47 40 with a 41-inch vertical jump. The Steelers attended the workout, but can also ask their new quality control coach, Jerry Olsavsky, for an in-depth report on his former Penguin.
* Also forgotten in my weekend coverage of the Ohio State Pro Day was the scintillating show put on by IUP cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (6-0, 207), a Columbus native who ran in the 4.34-4.36 range with 21 bench reps, according to the Dayton Daily News. The web site also reported that Dr. James Bradley of the Steelers will perform shoulder surgery on Owusu-Ansah.
* Today’s a big day for draft prospects. It’ll be interesting to see whether Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin attends one of the workouts at Penn State, Tennessee or Florida.