the Steelers should definitely use some of their available resources to re-sign Max Starks after June 1st when additional cap space opens up from the release of Willie Colon...
By Dan Pompei | National Football Post
Was it just me or were there a lot of solid prospects who went undrafted this year? Here, with a little help from my front office friends, are my Sunday best college free agents.
QB--Tyler Bray, Chiefs. If he had been a little more disciplined off the field, he would have been drafted, maybe as high as the third round. Some thought he had the best arm in his class. Honorable mention goes to Matt Scott of the Jags.
RB— Miguel Maysonnet, Eagles. This was a highly productive small school player who needs to prove he can make a step up against better competition. Ray Graham signing with the Texans also was a nice pickup, as was Michael Ford with the Bears.
FB—Zach Line, Vikings. He is a player who can carry the ball as well as block. Vikings coaches are going to love his toughness.
WR—Russell Shepard, Eagles. He may not be a special talent, but Shepard knows how to get open and catch. He is capable of carving out a role.
WR—Zach Rogers, Jets. He got lost in the shuffle at Tennessee, but he can run and is competitive. He could blossom in the NFL.
TE—Joseph Fauria, Lions. The Lions like to throw, and he is a tall tight end who can catch. Fauria has the athleticism to stick.
OT—Xavier Nixon, Redskins. He probably would have been a third or fourth round pick, but he failed a lot of physicals, according to one front office man. He has the athleticism to become a left tackle if stays healthy, works hard and adds strength.
OT—Chris Faulk, Browns. There were a surprising number of tackle prospects with talent who went undrafted, including Nick Becton (Chargers), Luke Marquardt (49ers) and Emmett Cleary (Colts). Faulk might have been a pretty high pick if he had not blown out his knee and missed most of the 2012 season.
G—Alvin Bailey, Seahawks. He showed his athleticism in workouts, but some NFL scouts question if it translates to the field. One front office man said he thought he would go in the fourth round.
G—Mike Golic Jr., Steelers. He may be a long shot, but his competiveness and toughness will serve him well in camp. If he gets a break, he will take advantage of it.
C—Graham Pocic, Texans. NFL personnel men I spoke with said they thought he would go in the fourth or fifth round. Pocic might be a man without a position, as teams are unsure if he is a center, guard or tackle. He could become a backup at all five line positions.
DE--Lerentee McCray, Broncos. He is a tweener but has some athleticism and potential to be a situational pass rusher and special teams player.
DE—Wes Horton, Panthers. The defensive ends were picked pretty clean in the draft. Horton has an NFL body but needs to show he knows what to do with it.
DT—Kwame Geathers, Chargers. The scouts I spoke with about Geathers must have been higher on him than many, because I thought he’d be off the board in the fourth round. He isn’t going to make plays, but he’s tough to move with his size.
DT—T.J. Barnes, Jaguars. This big space eater came on last season, and if he continues to develop he can help the Jags.
OLB—Chase Thomas, Saints. His stock dropped as the draft process went on, but he had some good tape and could develop in Rob Ryan’s defense.
OLB—Brandon McGee, Cowboys. His lack of size is why he wasn’t drafted, but he has the instincts, energy and suddenness to be a hit on special teams, at the very least.
MLB/ILB—Kevin Reddick, Saints. It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see him picked as high as the third round. He was a pretty good college player and he has the skills to translate.
S—Rontez Miles, Jets. He probably would have been drafted if not for running a 4.59 40 yard dash at the combine. After that, there were questions about whether or not Miles was a strong safety only.
S—Robert Lester, Panthers. NFL teams liked his instincts but questioned his play speed. Lester is one of those guys who makes plays though.
CB—Daxton Swanson, Colts. Small school corners like him have a history of developing and playing well in the NFL. Swanson doesn’t have ideal size, but he could be a nickel defender who plays over the slot.
CB—Aaron Hester, Broncos. With his size and ability to press, Hester should stick in Denver or somewhere else. The key is fitting him in the right scheme.
Can't figure why this kid wasn't drafted... wouldn't be surprised if he's Jacksonville's starter by mid-season...Honorable mention goes to Matt Scott of the Jags.
By Alan Robinson
Published: Sunday, May 5, 2013
When San Diego State guard Nik Embernate visited the Steelers last month, he left Pittsburgh hoping he would see the city again soon.
“I love this place,” Embernate said. “I was only here for less than 24 hours, but it was awesome.”
Just as Pittsburgh made an impression on Embernate, he apparently made one on the Steelers — one he hopes will help keep him around for more than a little while this time.
Despite being generally regarded as a likely fifth-to-seventh-round pick, Embernate was not selected during the April 25-27 NFL Draft. The Steelers, who had brought him in for a personal visit several weeks before, quickly signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent.
With the Steelers needing backup help along the offensive line, there are indicators the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Embernate isn't just one of those bodies who is brought in to supply depth at training camp.
He could be around in September.
Embernate is a physical, competitive and aggressive player who gained the nickname of “Embernasty” after engaging a Wyoming defensive lineman in a 2009 fight. He is an excellent run blocker — the Aztecs ran for more than 2,000 yards in 2010 and 2011 — and the Steelers badly want to upgrade their running game.
“Going back to college, the way I played hard, physical, tough — that's what the Steel City is all about,” Embernate said. “That's what I kind of feel myself as: a blue-collar worker. I've got my lunch pail going to work every day, just trying to get better and help out no matter what way I can.”
For his aggressiveness, which he considers to be an asset, Embernate is a disciplined player. His father and step mother were Los Angeles County police officers, and his two grandfathers also were policemen, one in San Diego and the other in Hawaii.
Being slighted in the draft when some scouting services listed as one of the top 15 guards is a motivating factor for him. He played through injuries the last two seasons — a torn labrum in his left shoulder in 2011 and a high ankle sprain last season — one reason why the Steelers checked him out in advance.
“I can't really say I was surprised. I was disappointed,” Embernate said of going undrafted. “You always want the best for yourself, but it's just another way for me to compete and kind of prove people wrong.”
He first did that when he successfully shifted from baseball to football in 10th grade. Later, only two schools, Nevada and San Diego State, offered him a scholarship.
Embernate started to believe he might be able to play in the NFL when, two seasons ago, multiple Michigan defensive linemen complimented him following a physical game and told him they thought he could play at higher level.
He's at one now. And he wants to stay around for more than just spring practices and a summer training camp.
“It's an awesome team to be on,” Embernate said. “I love it here from a football standpoint, a city standpoint.”
You know what's even sadder?
I am a poet and for me spring does not exist
Steelers rookie camp: Chip off the old blocker?
Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
By Mike Bires
Notre Dame's Jake Golic #88 watches teammate Mike Golic Jr. (57) bounce a ping pong ball off his head as they play a game during Media Day for the BCS National Championship college football game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Miami.
PITTSBURGH – As Mike Golic Jr. tries to land a job with the Steelers, he can only hope it’s like father, like son.
As an undrafted rookie, Golic Jr. knows it won’t be easy finding work in the NFL.
It’s not impossible for undrafted rookies to earn roster spots, but the odds just aren’t favorable.
Still, the offensive lineman from Notre Dame knows it can be done. His father, Mike Golic, who also played for the Fighting Irish, lasted eight years in the league as a defensive lineman even though he was a lowly 10th-round pick in the 1985 draft.
Once he quit playing football, Mike Golic launched a successful career in television and radio. For the past 13 years, he’s teamed with Mike Greenberg on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” talk show.
“My dad has worked very hard to get to the point where he’s at,” said Golic Jr., who practiced the past three days at the Steelers’ rookie mini-camp. “I have so much respect and admiration for my dad. He’s a guy I’ve looked up to forever.
“To have a dad who’s been to where I want to be at this level of football and who’s able to pass on to me the knowledge of how he got there and the things he did on a day-to-day basis to get there , it’s extremely beneficial. I try to use that as much as I can.”
After starting every game at right guard last season for Notre Dame’s 12-1 team that lost to Alabama in the national championship game, Golic Jr. hoped he might get picked in the late rounds of this year’s draft.
That didn’t happen. But as the seventh and final round came to a close, a few teams called him and said they’d like to sign him to a free-agent contract. One of those teams was the Steelers.
It didn’t take Golic Jr. – with the advice of his father and agent – to sign with the perennially successful Steelers, who also have plenty of opportunity for back-up jobs on the offensive line.
The Steelers’ five starters are Maurkice Pouncey at center, David DeCasto and Ramon Foster at guard, and Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams at tackle. The only other offensive linemen on the roster who played with the Steelers last year are tackle Kelvin Beachum and center/guard John Malecki.
Guard Willie Colon, tackle Max Starks and center/guard Doug Legursky were not re-signed.
“Any where you go, there’s going to be competition,” said Golic Jr., who played strictly right tackle during rookie mini-camp.
“That’s all I really came here thinking, that I’ll have to compete and show them that I can be a contributor to this team no matter what the numbers situation is. There are a lot of great players here. I’m just trying to show them I belong in those ranks and that I can come in here the hopefully contribute to this football team.”
At Notre Dame, Golic Jr. was an Academic All-American who graduated in May of 2012 with an overall 3.4 grade-point average. After earning his degree in Film, Television and Theatre, he enrolled in graduate studies.
When asked if he plans to someday follow his dad’s footsteps in the broadcast business, Golic Jr. said he hasn’t looked that far into his future.
“I’ll figure that out after I’m done playing football,” he said. “I’m not really sure right now. All I know is that right now I want to be a Pittsburgh Steeler for as long as I can.”