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Author Topic: Who We're Looking at...  (Read 7419 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #50 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 07:36 »

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#7</td><td>Gosder Cherilus</td><td>OT</td><td>Boston College</td><td>6'7" 314</td><td>30</td><td>22</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



quote]Compares To: CORNELL GREEN-Oakland...Cherilus is a classic mauler who excels on down and drive blocks as a run blocker, but he proved in 2007 that he lacks the lateral agility and kick-slide to handle speed moves on the outside and will be a better fit at right tackle or inside at guard. He is not fluid enough to maintain position and mirror from left tackle. He has incredibly long reach and large hands and hits with good pop, but he is inconsistent shooting those hands and needs to be more active or it will negate one of his better assets. Struggled quite a bit with the snap count as a senior, resulting in a slew of penalties. If judged on what he did at right tackle in 2006, he will be an early-round pick.[/quote]

Comment: A solid player of questionable worth to the Steelers, given the angling to extend Max Starks (who himself was a third round pick).  Unless the Steelers are considering Cherilus (or Starks) as a left tackle, it begs the question of how many right tackles the team really needs.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#8</td><td>Malcolm Kelly</td><td>WR</td><td>Boston College</td><td>6'4" 224</td><td>32</td><td>24</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: LARRY FITZGERALD-Arizona...Like Fitzgerald, Kelly takes advantage of his size and strength to break arm tackles rather than trying to get fancy with moves when trying to separate. Both have some of the best natural hands in the game, as Kelly was charted with only one dropped pass in the last two years. Perhaps due to the team's reliance on the running game, he will disappear for stretches on the field. But when he gets into that rhythm he will catch everything in site. Some teams might prefer Indiana's James Hardy, but Kelly is a more natural receiver and comes with no off-field baggage. Could be a perfect fit in Cincinnati with Carson Palmer if Cincinnati trades Chad Johnson.


Comment:  Kelly's slow 40s and blaming the University for them may turn teams off, but he's the kind of reliable receiver the Steelers might consider, given the fact that Hines Ward is 32, and he and Santonio Holmes missed a combined 6 starts in 2007.  A receiver drafted this high would need to flourish early in the Z, and might make Nate Washington a one-and-done.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#9</td><td>Aqib Talib</td><td>WR</td><td>Boston College</td><td>6'1" 202</td><td>36</td><td>29</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: ANTREL ROLLE-Arizona...Talib is a big, physical cornerback with excellent hands and a good feel for the ball in flight. He brings added value as a receiver, showing good extension, leaping ability and timing to get to the ball at its high point, whether catching or picking off the throw. He has been a bit of a project with coaches working to prod Talib to mature, and he showed signs of maturation as a junior. Like Rolle, he does not have the timed speed you look for to handle the blazing receivers on deep routes and he does gamble more than he should (gives a big cushion), seeing more than 51% of the passes thrown his way get caught by the opposition last year (47-of-92). He needs to continue to show that he can play within the system and let his play do the talking on the field at the next level. No doubt, there is talent in Talib, and he has a chance to be a star if he learns to excel within the confines of a defensive scheme.


Comment: Might be a better free safety, per above discussion of Steelers targeting defensive backs.  But admission of repeated marijuana use might push Talib to the Do Not Draft list.  Some teams found Talib's honesty "refreshing," but the Steelers might not be one of them.  

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#10</td><td>Chris Johnson</td><td>RB/WR/KR</td><td>East Carolina</td><td>5'11" 197#</td><td>57</td><td>69</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: DAVE MEGGETT-ex-New York Giants/New England...Some compare him to Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook, but even though the Eagles runner has fine speed, he lacks that explosive second gear Johnson possesses. With his injury woes behind them, Johnson finally came into his own as a senior, as he learned to vary his speed and showed much better patience waiting for blocks to develop. He is much stronger than his size indicates, but with his outstanding timed speed he is a versatile threat who is more than capable of handling kickoff duties. With his suddenness off the line of scrimmage and hand extension ability, he also can line wide in passing situations.


Comment:  Perhaps too much like Willie Parker to be a good change of pace back in the Steelers' running scheme, Johnson nevertheless intrigues for a number of reasons.  First, he's a real threat as a receiver, as the writeup above indicates.  That versatility could have Parker and Johnson share time on some plays.  Second, he's got the speed and experience to contribute immediately as a kickoff returner, a valuable commodity this year to the Steelers' evaluators.  

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#11</td><td>Cliff Avril</td><td>OLB</td><td>Purdue</td><td>6'3" 253#</td><td>58</td><td>47</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: SHAUN PHILLIPS-San Diego...Earlier in his career, Phillips struggled trying to play with his hand down at the NFL level. When the Chargers moved him to linebacker, they found a dominant force that could also attack the backfield and pressure the pocket. If some NFL team takes that lesson learned by the Chargers and shows patience letting Avril develop at strong-side linebacker, they could be rewarded with a Phillips clone. There is no question that he has the speed to cover receivers in the short-to-intermediate area and if he's not getting pounded by offensive linemen that outweigh him by 50-80 pounds on every play, his level of play could rival that of Phillips and another former Boilermaker, Dallas' Anthony Spencer.


Comment:  Avril looks like yet another Boilermaker defensive end to be converted to outside linebacker.  He's got outstanding speed that could be a huge asset as a weakside backer.  In the bang for the buck, Avril in the second round might be even better than Groves in the first; however, I have Avril rated as going just before our second round pick.  In a trade-down scenario, Avril should be an early round two target.
« Last Edit: Apr 22, 2008 at 13:53 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #51 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 09:19 »

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#12</td><td>Jerome Simpson</td><td>WR</td><td>Coastal Carolina</td><td>6'2" 199#</td><td>67</td><td>82</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH-Cincinnati...Like Houshmandzadeh and the Colts' Reggie Wayne, Simpson gets outstanding elevation going for the ball in a crowd. He needs to add more bulk and improve his overall strength, but he has incredible arm length and large, natural hands, along with outstanding elevation to get to the ball at its highest point. Due to a lack of blazing speed, he might be a better fit playing the slot, but he shows great field vision and boundary awareness, as his change-of-direction agility and array of moves surprise the defense in attempts to separate.


Comment: Not exactly a sleeper, Simpson is probably the best small-school receiving prospect in this year's draft.  Contrary to the above report, he does have 4.42 speed.  One scout has said of Simpson that he can "catch a BB in the dark."  Hard to tell where he might be drafted: could last to our third round or go before our second round pick.  Most likely his value lies somewhere in between the two.  Would also be a solid pickup, especially if we were to add a pick in a trade-down scenario (see Avril comments).

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#13</td><td>Antwuan Molden</td><td>CB/FS</td><td>Eastern Kentucky</td><td>6'1" 198#</td><td>68</td><td>116</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: WILL ALLEN-Miami...Like Allen, there is no questioning Molden's athletic ability and impressive looking frame. The concern is his inability to read and react to the play quickly. He is a good downhill tackler and solid man coverage defender in the short area, but struggles to close on plays when the receiver gets behind him on deep routes. He lacks natural hands for the interception and did not even start a game until his senior year. At his level of competition, he should have dominated, considering the mediocre receivers he faced in every game except the Kentucky clash. Yet, teams were successful on 48.1% of the passes thrown into his area, as he allowed 14.73 yards per pass completion (37 for 545 yards and three touchdowns). Based on athletic talent and his play with the kickoff coverage unit, he could make a nice later second day pick-up, but I feel that his downhill tackling ability would be a much better fit at free safety than playing cornerback at the next level.


Comment: No denying the measurables, but allowing 48.1% completion against lower level of competition is a concern.  Might get over-drafted.  A better value in the third round, but may be gone by then.  More of a track star than a football player?

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#14</td><td>Dre Moore</td><td>DE/DT</td><td>Maryland</td><td>6'4" 305#</td><td>69</td><td>63</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: KRIS JENKINS-Carolina...Aside from similar Maryland background, both have taken strikingly comparable paths to the National Football League. They're late bloomers in high school who went through growing pains earlier in their college careers. Moore is lighter than the more stout Jenkins, but both have strong bull-rush skills to consistently pressure the pocket. Moore was much more consistent as a senior, as he played with better awareness, a trait that was lacking most of his career. He still needs a tough coach to light the fire, but he has the athletic ability to be a dominant run stuffer if he can keep his head in the game.


Comment: Good size and speed to play end, or with added bulk could move to nose later in his career.  A solid value for the second round, Moore might not get picked if the Steelers believe they can find similar talent in round three.  Unlikely to displace the starting ends, but could be used in rotation, and depth and future starters are a big concern on the defensive line.  When Aaron Smith went down, the entire defense seemed to sag.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#15</td><td>Philip Wheeler</td><td>ILB/OLB</td><td>Georgia Tech</td><td>6'2" 248#</td><td>77</td><td>104</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: WILL WITHERSPOON-St. Louis...Wheeler is not the second coming of Keith Brooking. He is an efficient blitzer who does a nice job of keeping plays in front of him, but he is too inconsistent in reading keys and his penetration skills might be better suited for the outside. However, he lacks the range to make plays in long pursuit, is a bit stiff in his hips and can be exposed when he comes out of his backpedal. He has some decent value forcing the run, but he fails to use good punch or hand placement vs. tight ends and is marginal in coverage. If some team can be happy with a two-down player, Wheeler might fit their needs, but he's not an every-down contributor based on his play in 2007.


Comment:  Wheeler's an enigma.  He's got all the physical skills, but whether he can handle the mental aspects of coverage in Dick LeBeau's defense is another question.  Would undoubtedly need a year and possibly more to learn.  The bigger question is whether he's an inside our outside backer.  He's bigger than Timmons and James Harrison, but looks more natural as a 3-4 inside backer.  If Timmons is being groomed at the mack position, it might be feasible to consider Wheeler to take over at the buck, given the fact that Farrior is 33 and on his final contract year.  At the very least, depth figures to be an issue, but more likely a successor needs to be groomed.  Best value might come in the third round, but is likely gone by then.  Might have too many questions to select in the second.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#16</td><td>Tracy Porter</td><td>CB//FS/KR</td><td>Indiana</td><td>5'11" 188#</td><td>84</td><td>76</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: RICARDO COLCLOUGH-Cleveland...Like Colclough, Porter's timed speed and natural hands are his best assets. Both have been productive returners and Porter shows good ability as a gunner on special teams. Neither is known for tackling ability, or a desire to make plays vs. the run. Porter is rail-thin, but additional weight would take away his best quality -- speed. He lacks consistency recognizing the play as it develops and will never be more than marginal in run support. Yes, he has great hands and a good eye to make the big play, but he's more of a sub package type of defensive back than one who can play all four downs.


Comment: The Colclough comparison might better fit Molden, whose level of competition is a concern.  Molden and Porter actually have similar strengths and weaknesses, but Porter's transition might be easier to the NFL.  Of the defensive backs considered, Porter might have the best overall skill set but the least versatility to move to free saefty.  Would be an immediate contributor on special teams as gunner (compare to Chidi Iwuoma) and kick or punt returner.
 
« Last Edit: Apr 22, 2008 at 13:53 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 10:47 »

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#17</td><td>Jerome Shawn Crable</td><td>OLB</td><td>Michigan</td><td>6'5" 245#</td><td>85</td><td>87</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: SHAUN PHILLIPS-San Diego...Crable is not as bulky as Phillips, but his frame has the potential to carry 260 pounds. He is a very good edge rusher and blitzer who relies a lot on his quickness to surprise a lethargic blocker. He lacks the sand in his pants to generate a good anchor and must do a better job of using his hands to protect his body from combo blocks and cut blocks. He is quick to see the play develop, but it is rare for him to come out of his area to make a play. He is too stiff in his hips to get good depth in his pass drops and struggles with ball recognition when playing in the zone, as he does bite on play-action. He will need to improve his lower body strength for the next level, as his only value right now is as a pass rusher.


Comment: Not quite as speedy as Avril, but again begs the question of how much would we lose going from Groves in the first to Avril in the second, or from Avril in the second to Crable in the third round?  All three share similar triangle numbers.  Wolverine bookends at outside linebacker?  Think Brady Quinn (above) would enjoy facing Crable again?  

***STEELERS SELECT 3.88***

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#18</td><td>Kendall Langford</td><td>DE/DT</td><td>Hampton</td><td>6'6" 287#</td><td>94</td><td>93</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: TY WARREN-New England...Some scouts say Langford is more like Richard Seymour, but he is more than likely to play outside in a 3-4 alignment than to line up at under tackle. Langford is a dominant run stuffer who still needs to develop more pass-rush moves, but he has the size to clog rush lanes. He must develop better hand punch to help him combat isolated blocks and lacks ideal explosion to be much of an edge rusher, but like Warren, his ability to play a variety of roles and positions up front will help him earn a spot in a team's defensive rotation.


Comment: The first of three defensive linemen who could be selected by the Steelers in round three, Langford will need a good year of coaching but could develop into a dominant 3-4 end.  Steelers will prize his ability against the run, and may look for pass rush from outside linebacker prospects.  Unlikely to be used inside except perhaps in the 4-3 look used on passing downs, where he could find action right away.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#19</td><td>Jason Jones</td><td>DE/DT</td><td>Eastern Michigan</td><td>6'5" 273#</td><td>98</td><td>73</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: MICHAEL MYERS-Cincinnati...Like Myers, Jones is a bit of a 'tweener, as he lacks bulk and ideal lower body strength to play inside and is too inconsistent with his pass rush moves to be an impact edge rusher. He is very good at run containment, but you would think a player with his incredibly long arms could get more pass break-ups than he has. He lacks pass rush moves, relying more on a clean release from the outside or squeezing through the gaps to impact the pocket. Still, he has been productive vs. the ground game, and later in the draft he is worth a pick to see if he can develop into a starter at end or tackle. At worst, he will provide decent back-up depth.


Comment: Very similar to Langford, above, only slightly smaller and faster.  Might be moving up draft boards faster than Langford, too.  If he lasts to 88, he would be an obvious target.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#20</td><td>Charles Godfrey</td><td>CB/FS</td><td>Iowa</td><td>6'0" 207#</td><td>102</td><td>44</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: TANARD JACKSON-Tampa Bay...Like Jackson and Alabama's Simeon Castille, Godfrey might be a better fit as a free safety than at cornerback. He made great strides in his coverage skills as a senior, but just seems more comfortable in run support and playing the ball than covering a receiver one-on-one. He is too aggressive at the corner position and the result has been a high amount of interference calls. He has excellent timed speed, but with stiff hips and a marginal backpedal, it is negated by the false steps and poor turning agility he shows in transition. Move him inside, where he can play downhill, and you get better value.


Comment: Allowed 15 passes for 117 yards and no touchdowns his senior season.  Might be a better free safety prospect than Tracy Porter, and with a 4.43 40 I think he's likely a second rounder now.  Another special teams guy who could have great value early.
 
« Last Edit: Apr 22, 2008 at 13:54 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 11:20 »

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#21</td><td>Joseph "Red" Bryant</td><td>DE/DT</td><td>Iowa</td><td>6'4" 318#</td><td>118</td><td>86</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: CASEY HAMPTON-Pittsburgh...Bryant is bigger, faster and stronger than Hampton, but both play with great anticipation and short-area explosion to dominate vs. the run. Bryant is very good at neutralizing double teams and has few peers when it comers to shutting down the inside running game. He is a tireless worker in the trenches who has not been used much as a pass rusher, but with his speed, lateral agility and strength, he could develop nicely there if a patient coaching staff teaches him proper technique. Whether in a 3-4 as a nose guard or in a 4-3 alignment as a defensive tackle, few blockers at the professional level will have success containing him.


Comment: Might be too tall to play the 3-4 nose, and would definitely need to add bulk.  (Casey Hampton, Vince Wilfork, and Jamal Williams are all 2-3 inches shorter and carry their weight more thickly.)  Looks like an end for now, but could possibly make the transition inside later.  Run-stuffing stat to digest: the 83 running plays Bryant's direction netted 46 yards.  That's 0.55 yards per carry.  The third of three intriguing defensive line prospects the Steelers might target in round three.

***STEELERS SELECT 4.123***
***STEELERS SELECT 5.156***


[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#22</td><td>Orlando Scandrick</td><td>CB/KR</td><td>Boise State</td><td>5'10"</td><td>192#</td><td>148</td><td>144</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: ERIC WRIGHT-Cleveland...Scandrick is not the most physical cornerback, but he brings instant value in the sub package as a nickel back due to his short-area coverage skills, and on special teams, where he excels as a kick blocker. He needs to show more urgency in his play and despite his timed speed, he fails to show the explosive burst coming out of his high backpedal to stay tight with the receiver. He needs patient coaching to help him develop, as his instincts seem to be lacking, despite three years as a starter. His speed is unquestioned, along with his elevation skills, and he could be drafted earlier than his marginal strength and adequate man-coverage skills merit.


Comment: Perhaps the least likely to transition to free safety of all the defensive backs on the visit list, Scandrick nevertheless offers unique speed (4.32 40) and returned 24 kickoffs a whopping 1024 yards (46.5 yard average).  While NFL Draft Scout has him closer to a fifth round value, I have him as a solid fourth on kick returns alone.  Other teams may have him rated even higher, so waiting will be tricky.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#23</td><td>Dennis Dixon</td><td>QB/ATH</td><td>Oregon</td><td>6'3"</td><td>195#</td><td>155</td><td>140</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: WARREN MOON-Ex-Houston/Minnesota/Seattle/Kansas City...Like Moon, Dixon is emerging late in his career, having found the ideal tutor in offensive coordinator Chip Kelly. He is a dangerous scrambler who is showing much better patience in the pocket and better confidence in his ability. He is using his fine peripheral vision to make better checks and progression reads and no longer plays with an attitude that he has to make something spectacular happen on every play. He still needs to be conscious of stepping into his long throws better, but unlike another Oregon one-season wonder, Akili Smith, Dixon appears to have more value as an athlete and a better concept of how to execute a game plan.


Comment: Showed good mobility, accuracy, and efficiency before the ACL injury sidelined the Ducks' season.  Some question as to how that would translate to the NFL, but as a fifth round pick, Dixon would be at the worst a third quarterback, and at best a developmental project who could either take over at number two in a couple of years, or could fetch substantial trade value.  Some talk of trying him at safety or other positions, but his quarterbacking skills are too hard to ignore.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#24</td><td>Mario Urrutia</td><td>WR</td><td>Oregon</td><td>6'6"</td><td>232#</td><td>155</td><td>140</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: MATT JONES-Jacksonville...While Urrutia is an imposing-looking athlete, like Jones his desire for the game runs hot and cold. He is a physical receiver, but seemed to revert to body catching rather than extending for the ball as a junior. His turf toe injury probably affected his leaping ability, but even before the injury he was not firing on all eight cylinders. When his head is in the game, he is a classic chain-mover, especially inside the red zone. However, if he doesn't get his fair amount of touches, he gets frustrated, gets into penalty trouble and simply disappears for long stretches. He is certainly a player who needed to return to school to repair his tarnished image.


Comment: Hard to believe Urrutia declared after the crash and burn 2007 season.  Besides the injury, Urrutia was also benched for playing too undisciplined.  The entire team seemed disrupted in the wake of coach Petrino leaving for the ill-fated Falcons coaching job, but Urrutia's sophomore season had parallels to one Plaxico Burress, formerly of Michigan State.  Had Urrutia had a better year, he could be in the discussion as a first round talent.  Is definitely the big-sized target Ben would like, but might take some time to contribute.  Immaturity is a big flag.

***STEELERS SELECT 6.188***

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#25</td><td>Jehuu Caulcrick</td><td>FB/HB</td><td>Oregon</td><td>6'0"</td><td>254#</td><td>319</td><td>N/A</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: RON DAYNE-Houston...Built more like a fullback, Caulcrick's lack of technique and desire makes him a liability as a blocker, eliminating the ability to use him at that position on a full-time basis. He is an efficient short-yardage runner who needs to add lower-body strength to move the pile. Like Dayne, he has limitations running the ball because of his high stance. He is a marginal receiver out of the backfield, and also needs to improve his ball security. If a team uses him like Dayne or Zack Crockett as a scorer inside the red zone, he could be a decent value pick at the end of the draft.


Comment: Caulcrick certainly has the size to be a fullback, and could step in right away for tough goal-line yardage.  Ran for 1670 yards as a junior.  Would need to develop into a better blocker.  What does having two fullbacks on the visit list say about Dan Kreider and Carey Davis?  Or is Caulcrick being looked at more as a halfback?
« Last Edit: Apr 22, 2008 at 11:36 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 11:31 »

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#26</td><td>Ryan Torain</td><td>RB</td><td>Arizona State</td><td>6'0"</td><td>254#</td><td>328</td><td>285</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Compares To: MIKE ANDERSON-ex-Baltimore...Like Anderson, Torain can get the tough yardage in between the tackles or in short-yardage situations. He is a physical runner with adequate speed, but lacks the burst or elusiveness to break free in the open field. He shows good vision attacking the holes and patience following his blockers, but is strictly a one-cut runner with marginal hip wiggle. He is never used on complicated pass routes, as he doesn't have the skills to look the ball in over his head, but shows decent pass catching ability for dump-offs. His blocking technique needs complete refinement, as he gets too wild with his hands to sustain. If your team has a lightning quick back and you are looking for one with a little thunder to complement, Torain might fit that role, but he is not one to build your overall running game around.


Comment: The convergence of two fullbacks and one big halfback late in the draft might in fact signal that the coaches want a value-type bigger back to get tough short yards, since Torain has never played fullback.  Gained 1229 yards as a junior and has a nice speed-size combination.  A series of injuries are of concern, especially what has been reported as a Lis Franc injury that sidelined him most of the year.  That brings some bad Duce Staley flashbacks.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#27</td><td>Bryan Smith</td><td>OLB</td><td>McNeese State</td><td>6'3"</td><td>231#</td><td>480</td><td>298</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Small school defensive end prospect who will have to be moved to outside linebacker in the NFL, but has flashed the athleticism and certainly the big-play ability to warrant this projection. The most dominant edge rusher in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly D-IAA) over the past two seasons, Smith is a two-time All-American and Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year. As one would expect of a player his size, Smith possesses great burst off the snap and the straight-line speed to chase down ballcarriers. He has intriguing change of direction and flashes explosiveness in his hands, prompting some to view him as a potential diamond in the rough.


[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#28</td><td>Brandon McAnderson</td><td>FB/HB</td><td>Kansas</td><td>5'10"</td><td>240#</td><td>561</td><td>N/A</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Despite a breakout senior season in which he rushed for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns, McAnderson lacks the elusiveness and breakaway speed to remain as at running back in the NFL. Blessed with good size for the switch to fullback, McAnderson has flashed the toughness and strength to successfully make the transition to a more traditional fullback role.


Comment: The quote above further muddies the Steelers' intentions.  Do they want a fullback, big short-yardage back, or some hybrid?  With three late looks at the same type of back, the interest is there.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#29</td><td>Willie Cooper</td><td>SS/ST</td><td>Miami</td><td>6'1"</td><td>210#</td><td>647</td><td>N/A</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Talented reserve and stellar special teams player who moved from safety to linebacker then back to safety in 2005...Started as a linebacker, then moved to strong safety after his redshirt season in 2003...Durable and tough player who has played in 22 games over the last two seasons, mostly on special teams...A former high school quarterback, his mental approach and athletic ability impressed the coaching staff early in his career...Liberal arts major.


Comment: Looks like the team is hunting special teams players in free agency.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Visit</th><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>#30</td><td>Matthew Slater</td><td>KR</td><td>Miami</td><td>5'10"</td><td>240#</td><td>561</td><td>N/A</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]



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Special Teams/Speed Gunner/Kick Return Specialist, 13 GP; 0 GS; 9 TT; He appeared in all 13 games, including two (Washington and Arizona) on defense. Excelled on kick coverage, specializing on big hits on kick returners to help minimize kick return yardage in '06. Missed the first three games due to a stress reaction in his left leg in '05. Saw limited action as a second-year freshman in '04. Redshirt in '03.


Comment: More free agent scouting.  Special teams are obviously a focus here.


Visits Allowable within Local Distance

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>Jeff Otah</td><td>OT</td><td>Pittsburgh</td><td>6'6"</td><td>322#</td><td>20</td><td>17</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]

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Compares To: MAX STARKS-Pittsburgh...Otah has the frame and bulk that the football gods love in a left tackle, but with his relative inexperience and just adequate field instincts, he might be a liability as a left tackle. He needs to be more consistent shooting his hands in attempts to battle counter moves and struggles to adjust when working on the edge. He could be a better fit at right tackle or as a guard, but will need to rededicate himself in the training room, as he has good natural strength, but poor weight-room numbers. He can play like an all-world prospect one game (see 2007 vs. Chris Long-Virginia and George Selvie-South Florida), but at other times, he can self destruct when facing speedy edge rushers with an array of counter moves (see 2007 Michigan State, Louisville and Rutgers games).


Comment: Per the quote above, I see Otah as primarily a right tackle, due to foot speed and agility.  Like Cherilus, he's a talented player who's not a good first round value for us.  

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>Mike McGlynn</td><td>OG/OT</td><td>Pittsburgh</td><td>6'4"</td><td>311#</td><td>96</td><td>108</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]

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Compares To: MARK TAUSCHER-Green Bay-Like Tauscher, McGlynn has lots of field savvy and the knowledge to excel at any position on the front wall. His trap-blocking skills are solid enough to move to guard and his nimble kick-slide leads you to believe he could excel as a left tackle. He works well in unison with his guards and tight ends to seal off the backside charge at right tackle, but with his hand quickness and deep-snapping skills, he could find a home at center in the NFL due to his intelligence and field awareness.


Comment: I believe McGlynn, one of the strongest guards this year, is being seriously underrated by most draft sites and will likely go closer to the beginning of round three or even the end of round two.  Not sure if he could really handle left tackle, but could play every other spot on the line.  Can long-snap.  Is a fiery on-field leader, has that demeanor coaches love, and graded out very well, better than most offensive linemen this year.  If the Steelers were to select one utility line player, McGlynn would be the best bet, hands down.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>Keilen Dykes</td><td>DE/DT</td><td>West Virginia</td><td>6'4"</td><td>306#</td><td>188</td><td>186</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]

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Compares To: KELLY GREGG-Baltimore...Like Gregg, Dykes won't excite on eye contact, as he has a short, squatty frame that is more top-heavy than most. He lacks a great feel for the play developing, but does play with a good motor. He generates good pop on contact, but despite his upper body strength, he leaves his chest too exposed and narrows his base often, which prevents him from getting a strong anchor vs. double teams. Still, he has the raw power to impact the play, if he gets his mitts on an opponent. Like Gregg and Pittsburgh's Chris Hoke, there are just some intangibles in his game (strength, desire, versatility) that will earn him a roster spot for a team looking for depth.


Comment:  Dykes, like Red Bryant, might need to add bulk to anchor the nose, but could spend a couple years at end.  Would be worth a sixth round pick, but the Steelers need to address defensive line before that.

[doHTML]<table border="8"></tr><tr><th>Player</th><th>Position</th><th>School</th><th>Height & Weight</th><th>NFLDS Projection</th><th>Finny Projection</th><th>KC Projection</th></tr><td>Ryan Mundy</td><td>FS/CB</td><td>West Virginia</td><td>6'1"</td><td>215#</td><td>265</td><td>280</td><td>??</td></table>[/doHTML]

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In 2007, Mundy took advantage of a short-lived NCAA rule allowing graduating players to use their last year of eligibility while in a graduate program at another college. After starting 18 games for Michigan over three years (plus a redshirt year for a shoulder injury), he decided to go to a school closer to his hometown. Mundy managed 62 tackles, three interceptions and seven pass breakups as a starting free safety during his one year in Morgantown.


Comments: Decent measurables and Michigan-WVU pedigree still might not add up to Mundy getting drafted.  If the Steelers are looking for a camp body to compete at safety, Mundy would be a great free agent pickup.

Unsubstantiated Rumors of Visits[/u]

Early on, certain Steelers visits lists began appearing on the web, but I was unable to substantiate actual visits to Pittsburgh.  It may be that the team met with these players at the combine.  In some cases, such as the Garcon and Phillips "visits," the reports seem to be nothing more than rumor.  In such cases, it may be that the Steelers visited a player's pro day, or the reports could have been manufactured by the player's agent.  I have attempted to cite sources where possible.
  • WR Limas Sweed, Texas.  Unattributed.
  • FS Kenny Phillips, Miami.  Reported on Pro Football Rumor Mill by Mike Florio.  Could not be corroborated.  Reported after local press indicated all 30 visits had occurred.
  • OG Chilo Rachal, USC.  Unattributed.  
  • OG James Blair, Western Michigan.  Unattributed.
  • C Mike Pollak, Arizona State.  Unattributed.
  • CB Chevis Jackson, LSU.  Unattributed.
  • DE Eric Foster, Rutgers.  Unattributed.
  • WR Pierre Garcon, Mount Union.  Reported on kffl.com by Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  Garcon, of Division III Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, is widely considered one of the best small-school prospects at receiver.  This visit was never reported by Pittsburgh press, but if it is true could fall under a local vist (84 miles), similar to WVU being considered local (75 miles).
Reports of Team Interest[/u]

These reports are very unreliable, and could constitute front office jockeying or sincere interest.  With some prospects not high up most draft charts, the likelihood may fall to the latter, especially if the value aligns with a nexus in the official visits chart (e.g., FB/HB).
  • FB Rolly Lumbala, Idaho.  Reported by J.J. Pesavento of NFLDraftBible.com, via kffl.com.
  • TE Michael Peterson, Missouri State.  Reported by J.J. Pesavento of NFLDraftBible.com, via kffl.com.
  • SS/OLB Matt Hewitt, Arkansas.  Reported by J.J. Pesavento of NFLDraftBible.com, via kffl.com.
  • CB Reggie Corner, Akron.  Reported by J.J. Pesavento of NFLDraftBible.com, via kffl.com.
  • SS Curtis Cutts, Central Michigan.  Unattributed pro day report.
Pro Days Attended by Tomlin, with Player Lists[/u]

Last year, Tomlin was noticably interested in Lawrence Timmons at Florida State's pro day.  This year saw a similar reaction to Quentin Groves at Auburn's pro day.  the question seems to be whether Tomlin has learned how to sedn up smoke signals, or whether he's still easy to read.  Any pro day Tomlin personally attends, however, is significant.  I have italicized players I feel are of special interest.

Auburn

OLB - Quentin Groves, FB - Carl Stewart, DT - *Pat Sims, CB - Patrick Lee, OT - King Dunlap, CB - Jonathan Wilhite, TE - Cole Bennett, SS - Eric Brock, DT - Josh Thompson, OG - Leon Hart, CB - Zach Gilbert, WR - Prechae Rodriguez, QB - Brandon Cox
*OLB - Curtis Johnson, Clark-Atlanta, worked out at Auburn's pro day

LSU

DT - Glenn Dorsey, FB - Jacob Hester, SS - Craig Steltz, LS - Jacob O'Hair, WR - Early Doucet, OLB - Ali Highsmith, QB - Matt Flynn, CB - Chevis Jackson, P - Patrick Fisher, FB - Steven Korte, OT - Carnell Stewart, CB - Jonathan Zenon, TE - Keith Zinger, OLB - Luke Sanders, OG - Will Arnold

Penn State

ILB - Dan Connor, CB - *Justin King, QB - Anthony Morelli, RB - Rodney Kinlaw, FB - Matt Hahn, OT - John Shaw, WR - Terrell Golden, RB - Austin Scott

Pitt

OT - Jeff Otah, OG - Mike McGlynn, TE - Darrell Strong, DE - Joe Clermond, CB - Kennard Cox, DE - Chris McKillop, SS - Mike Phillips, WR - Lowell Robinson

Virginia

OG - *Branden Albert, DE - Chris Long, P - Chris Gould, SS - Nate Lyles, TE - Tom Santi, C - Jordan Lipsey, P - Ryan Weigand, OG - Ian-Yates Cunningham, TE - Jonathan Stupar, DT - Allen Billyk, WR - Chris Gorham, ILB - Jermaine Dias
« Last Edit: Apr 22, 2008 at 13:30 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 13:55 »

Well, I think that's the complete roundup.  
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« Reply #56 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 18:28 »

Excellent work as always, Finny.

 :bow:  
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #57 on: Apr 26, 2008 at 10:28 »

The Trib's official visit list.

Confirms my list, but...  anyone notice anything odd about their 30 visits?
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« Reply #58 on: Jan 09, 2009 at 13:20 »

Intersting thread. Only Dixon and Sweed showed up on the radar leading up to the draft.
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« Reply #59 on: Jan 09, 2009 at 22:51 »

Blast from the past.
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