The fastest man at the 2011 combine is going to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Pro Football Talk has learned that the Steelers will sign cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke. Van Dyke was waived by the Raiders on Monday when they signed veteran corner Joselio Hanson.
Van Dyke, who passed through waivers unclaimed, ran a 4.28 40 at last year’s combine. That helped him become a third-round pick of the Raiders, who were never shy about picking up players who could run like the wind.
As they say, you can’t teach speed. Van Dyke’s problem is that he sometimes made it look like he couldn’t be taught cornerback either. He was part of a Raiders cornerback corps that allowed opponents 251 yards per game through the air. None of the five cornerbacks who saw extensive time for the Raiders last season are still with the team, with Van Dyke helping to author his own pink slip with a rough night in a preseason game against Arizona.
Still, he’s got that speed and he’s 6’1″, which is a combination that makes football people try to make it all work out. Ike Taylor and Keenan Lewis are set as the starters in Pittsburgh, with Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown in reserve. Van Dyke will try to work his way into the rotation while working with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and other Steelers coaches try to put his impressive physical tools to better use on the field.
There’s no word of a corresponding move, although the Steelers could place rookie guard David DeCastro on injured reserve with the designation that he’s able to return after eight weeks.