More visitors for the Steelers
April 2, 2013
The Steelers hosted another group of rookies today, while also having a veteran guard in for a visit.
The rookies included trio of linebackers - Jarvis Jones, Jamie Collins and Khaseem Greene - and a pair of safeties - Jonathn Meeks and Phillip Thomas.
The veteran guard was former Houston part-time starter Antoine Caldwell.
Jones is the lone potential first-round pick of the bunch, though I've seen some mocks with Greene sneaking into the first round.
Jones has a neck issue that the Steelers will want to check out for themselves, so this was likely a fact-finding issue. He is a first-round consideration for the Steelers.
Collins is a 6-4, 250-pound outside linebacker from Southern Mississippi. He ran a very quick 4.64 40, did 19 reps of 225 on the bench press and showed off his explosiveness with a 41 1/2 inch vertical at his workouts.
He spent a lot of time in opponent's backfields in the past two seasons, recording 39.5 tackles for a loss and 16.5 sacks. He is said to be lacking in instincts, which is why he's more of a second-to-third round prospect.
Greene is a player many in Pittsburgh are familiar with since the former Rutgers star is the brother of Pitt running back Ray Graham. At 6-1, 241, he's not as big as Collins, but has a better motor and instincts.
Greene also runs in the 4.6 range, which is what you'd expect for a former safety. But he also excels in forcing turnovers. He recorded 125 tackles, 5.5 sacks and forced six fumbles in 2012. In Pittsburgh's defense, he would likely be an inside linebacker and would be a second-round possibility.
Thomas is a playmaking free safety who recorded 13 interceptions and six forced fumbles at Fresno State. And at 6-1, 208, he looks like an NFL safety. He did, however, have a knee injury in 2011 that cost him the entire season.
Meeks is a 6-1, 205-pound safety from Clemson who is more of a late-round prospect. He did, however, run a 4.55 40.
As for Caldwell, he appeared in 39 games for the Texans in four seasons, making 19 starts. The former Alabama star can play both guard and center, making him a viable backup option as the swing player on game days.
Michael is considered a third-round prospect. He had some injuries in college and issues with the coaching staff at Texas A&M, but is a talented runner. The Steelers are likely trying to get to know him as well as possible - while also allowing their doctors to check him out.
Simon had a better junior season than senior year thanks to a shoulder injury that required surgery. But at 6-1, 257, he's what the Steelers look for in their outside linebackers. And considering the Buckeyes run a similar defensive system to what the Steelers employ, the transition isn't as difficult for Ohio State players.
Williams, 6-1, 235, is a little undersized, but that seems to be what the Steelers are looking for in their inside linebackers now - smaller guys who can cover in space.
Early observation- OLB is on the radar. Could be that Jones is Option #1 at #17, but kick the tyres of Simon in case Jones is gone.
Greene will play ILB in Pittsburgh. With Williams & Mauti in as well- ILB is on the list.
Here's betting they like Christine Michael- the RB- but not Christine Michael- the human- as much. If his interviews go well, however, he might be the most rounded RB in the draft.
Schiavone's Race Career:
I'm very high on Khaseem Greene (he's been in my mock for a quite a while). He really impressed me this season with his playmaking ability. He is definitely a next generation ILB in the mold of Larry Timmons. He will not be a downhill thumper (though he is a big hitter). But, he will be active and athletic in space and in coverage. He has great field speed and quickness and he is a playmaker. He is an excellent value in the second round!
Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.
TCU wide receiver Josh Boyce 5'11" 206 to come in for a visit as well
1. C.J. Mosley LB Alabama
2. Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt
3. (comp) Philip Gaines CB Rice
4. Arthur Lynch TE Georgia
5. Ross Cockrell CB Duke
5. (comp) Derrick Hopkins DT Virginia Tech
6. Josh Mauro DE Stanford
6. (comp) Shaquil Barrett OLB Colorado State
7. Quincy Enunwa WR Nebraska