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Author Topic: Finny's 2012 Thumbnail Guide to the Draft  (Read 6696 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #20 on: Apr 12, 2012 at 12:41 »

Finny’s 2012 Thumbnail Guide to the Draft:  Inside Linebackers

Again, background, from Finny’s 2011 IOL Draft Guide (maliciously deleted by that fucker Penso-Cromartie):

Quote
I have two trains of thought about the ILB situation for the Steelers, so I’ll present them both.  They don’t agree neatly, so this is sort of an “argument with myself.”  In the end, I hope it helps folks take a fresh look at the LeBeau 3-4 and what we may be looking for in an ILB.

Point:  Buck hunting

James Farrior is 36, and if the Steelers make the playoffs again, he’ll be cutting a cake with 37 candles on it in January.  The ageless wonder remains productive amidst whispers that he is too old, and a step too slow in coverage assignments.  But when fans look at the draft, they think it’s time to find Farrior’s heir.

They’re dead wrong.

They need to find Larry Foote’s heir.  And a good thing, too, because you can find a Larry Foote in the fourth round, even in a class of ILBs as pisspoor as this one.

Let me explain.

In Dick LeBeau’s 3-4, there are two ILB positions tasked very differently.  The strong side ILB, or buck and the weak side ILB, or mack.  Unlike OLB, where lining up against the RT is the strong side position, the ILB move around in response to where the TE or FB line up.  The buck LB is the thumper, the cattlecatcher at the front of the locomotive.  This is Larry Foote, in the classic 2K Steelers configuration, or Bart Scott, in Baltimore’s.  The buck eats up blockers.  He hits OGs and stops FBs.  He’s not shedding blocks, he’s stymying all those neatly drawn rushing lanes.

The mack gets the silkier name and the playmaker role.  He doesn’t have a gap assignment.  He flows to the action, shedding blocks, and getting to the ballcarrier.  The buck sets up the mack for the kill.  This is your leader in tackles.  James Farrior.  Ray Lewis.  He needs to be fluid enough to drop into coverage, and slick enough to shoot the gaps for the timely sack.  

Now, if you think Lawrence Timmons fits the buck description raise your hand.

Ever since the Steelers drafted Timmons, they’ve had a schizophrenic mindset as to how to use him.  Remember when he was going to be Tomlin’s OLB in the mold of Derrick Brooks?  After all, Brooks was only 6’0” and Tomlin had seen him up close and personal in his time at Tampa Bay.  Of course, in the very next round we drafted LaMarr Woodley, and that was the end of that.

It was clear that Timmons was better suited inside.  But we already had a productive tandem inside in Foote and Farrior.  Of the two, who do you think the FO would allow to test free agency?  Why, Larry Foote, of course.  But that left the Steelers in an interesting conundrum.  Farrior and Timmons were clearly the ILB keepers.  But they also both play the same position: mack LB.

So the issue of Farrior’s replacement is quite simple: we already have him on the roster, and his name is Lawrence Timmons.  The question is really more about who our buck LB is, our thumper.  And we have to ask, what do we do with Farrior?  Do we force him to a backup role?  Do we play a dual-mack LB system for another year?  And can Larry Foote return to play buck alongside Timmons when Farrior does move on to a different role?

I think Dick LeBeau allows Farrior to start as long as he keeps showing up in shape.  He’s loyal to the old guard, and Farrior won’t be cut outright.  In fact, he’s likely the starter unless something drastic happens, so saddle up for another year of the dual-mack.  But if not now, Farrior will step aside sometime, and Larry Foote is 30, meaning new blood is needed at buck.

Key Fox looked like a guy who could fit that role, but he’s 29, and he showed an aptitude for bonehead plays on teams.  Dude, your only assignment is special teams, and you effed that up?  My faith in Fox has waned, and he’s a FA who may not be invited back.  The Steelers drafted Stephenson Sylvester, but Sly looks like, surprise, more of a mack LB.  Keith Butler said in his post-draft comments that he struggles with big guys, and needed to add weight.  OK, so maybe Sly matures into a buck LB.  But what I’ve seen of him has shown a guy who looks less like the enforcer, and more like the pimp.

The more I consider the Steelers’ options at ILB, the more I see us adding a Foote-type guy, and that can be done in value rounds.  And like last year, don’t simply scan the draftnik ILB lists, because Sly was an OLB on most boards.  There are OLBs who fit the inside of the 3-4.  If the Steelers are committed to upgrading the OL and secondary, ILB can wait until R4-6.

Counterpoint:  Return of the mack

While it’s true that the roles of buck and mack ILB are that of thumper and playmaker, it’s also true that as offenses evolve, defenses need to evolve as well.  Dick LeBeau may be playing his two best ILBs, but is he really mis-using Timmons in the buck position?

Actually, no.  Think about the safety position.  The FS and SS aren’t rigidly assigned the roles of centerfielder and mid-field rover.  Polamalu and Clark can be moved around with great flexibility, especially Polamalu.  Fewer teams use a FB and a power running game, and more use ZBS and emphasize passing.  That means the buck needs to be able to add cover skills and blitzing ability to his repertoire.  

Which brings us back to Lawrence Timmons.  Timmons may not be the Superman that Polamalu is, but his combination of speed and size allows him to play the new buck hybrid, much more akin to the former mack role.  James Farrior may well start another year, two, or three, but the Steelers always keep a pipeline of developmental players at LB, just in case.  As noted, OL and secondary are higher needs, but the ILB the Steelers do draft can’t be some slow-of-foot guy who can’t adjust to the new ILB duties, even if Timmons were to assume the “mack” role and the rookie were in the putative “buck” role.

Larry Foote was the buck ILB from 2004-08, with his most productive year being the 2005 Super Bowl season, when he notched 102 tackles.  That was his only season with 100+ tackles.  It took Foote 2 years to develop into a starter after being drafted in R4 out of Michigan.

In contrast, James Farrior has been a starter each of his 9 seasons with the Steelers, 2002-10, and he has had 100+ tackles in 6 of those 9 seasons, including 5 of the last 6.  He has never been paired with another ILB who had a season as productive as Lawrence Timmons did in 2010, when he put up 135 tackles to Farrior’s 109.  (That tandem of 244 tackles is the highest number since Farrior and Kendrell Bell totaled 241 in 2003, Farrior’s 141 tackle season.)

The point is that both the buck and the mack are now expected to be playmakers.  So it’s crucial that the next ILB have all the traditional skills the Steelers covet – smarts, a love for hitting, the discipline to play under the LeBeau system – but the new breed will also need improved cover skills, and the foot speed that comprises.  

The prototype for this player would look a lot like… well, a lot like Lawrence Timmons.  As noted, Stephenson Sylvester is a developmental guy in that same mold, and the Steelers aren’t likely to find anyone much better than Sly in the value rounds again this year.  Larry Foote was a R4 pick, Sly was a R5, and maybe the Steelers find another late value again this year.  Or maybe they wait another year and hope for a better group of ILBs, when they can spend a higher draft pick on another premier talent.

So, Farrior is gone, Foote appears to be the likeliest stopgap, Stevenson Sylvester will push for starting time, and the FO will look at drafting an ILB this year if (as always) the draft value is good.  There are two players worth noting at the top of the draft (Kuechly, Hightower), a cluster of R2-4 value players, and a rather precipitous drop-off following that.  It’s also worth scouring the OLB lists for players whose frame and skill set might work in the 3-4, but even with OLBs considered, the net catches little.

The dual-mack system was, at times, a frustrating experience in 2011, as Farrior’s speed in coverage was again exposed, and both he and Farrior seemed less potent against the run.  Farrior’s 78 tackles was a notable decline (his five previous seasons saw 109, 102, 133, 94, and 126 tackles), but Timmons likewise declined from his 2010 breakout, going from 135 down to 93.  Whether we attribute the lack of potency to Farrior’s declining production, Timmons’s sometimes scattershot play, or the lack of a buck ILB, it would be nice to have some thump back in the middle.

Moreover, I’m not convinced Timmons is the kind of guy to set the defense.  He doesn’t seem to have the vision or leadership ability needed.  So, it’s all rather simple.  Needed:  one ILB, ability to run with TEs down the middle, float like a butterfly and sting like a bee; ability to set the D and call blitz adjustments preferred.

One thing to consider when poring over collegiate player stats and productivity is that before you come across some R3 prospect and think you’ve uncovered some unheralded gem, some physical specimen who, with the right coaching, could be the next James Harrison, consider this:  is the prospect any better than what we already have?

I’m not referring to Timmons, or even that Band-Aid, Foote.  I’m referring to third-year ‘backer Stevenson Sylvester, and even a dark horse second-year man on the roster right now.  After all, wasn’t Sylvester a late round developmental ILB?  And now that he’s had a couple of years in the system, why wouldn’t he have a leg up on most rookies not named Kuechly or Hightower by having become familiar with LeBeau’s system, and having spent a couple of years in a pro training and conditioning environment?  Sylvester, 6’2”, 231#, is just 23 (will be 24 this fall), so we got him young and have molded him… but is he maxed out as a backup, or can he actually become a starter?

Either way, is the rookie prospect we might spend a draft pick any better than Sylvester?  If not, then why bother?  And let me point out that we have another LB who could make a surprise impact if he plays to potential in his second year.  Chris Carter, who played DE at Fresno State and was another R5 selection by the Steelers, was ostensibly chosen as a backup OLB.  But Carter could be an intriguing fit on the inside.  Carter just turned 23 on 4/6/12, so he’s another guy who’s pretty young, and while he had an uneven CBA-shortened preseason followed with some injuries in the regular season, he’s at least had a chance to become acclimated to the transition to the pros.

Moreover, Carter’s size (6’1”, 248#) and measurables (4.58, 27 reps, 36” vertical, 9’6” broad) make him a nice combination of thump and speed.  In fact, it’s Carter’s measurables that I’d put against this 2012 ILB rookie class.  That 4.58 40 ties Kuechly, for example, and of the ILBs I’ll cover, only Cal’s Mychal Kendricks (4.47), North Carolina OLB Zach Brown (4.50), WVU OLB Bruce Irvin (4.50) and Utah St. OLB Bobby Wagner (4.58) ran faster.  Carter’s 72.5 KEI, a good indicator of physical attributes for pass rushers, beats Sylvester’s 64, and the 70 cutoff even seems to indicate that Sylvester might be substandard as a pass-rusher.  Again, of the ILBs I’ll cover, only Arkansas St. OLB Demario Davis (81), Kuechly (75), Utah State OLB Bobby Wagner (74.5), Kendricks (74), and Oklahoma OLB Ronnell Lewis (74) popped better.

To the list.

BC’s Luke Kuechly,[/u] 6’2”, 242#, 4.58, 27 reps, 38” VJ, 10’3” BJ, is ranked 12th by NFLDS as of 4/11/12, and is very unlikely to fall to 1.24.  I’ve opined before that Kuechly (and OG David DeCastro) would be a player I’d move up for in the draft, if he fell to 1.18 (approximately or R1 and R3 picks).  The only hope for Kuechly to fall has been the trend to devalue ILBs in R1, with (by my count) only 8 drafted over the past 10 years in R1.  (Compare to 13 for IOL, C and OG, and 14 for safety, FS and SS.)  Kuechly is often compared to Zach Thomas, a small-ish but active player with a motor that never quits.  Kuechly is a tackling machine, but doesn’t exactly lay the wood, and he looks like he could add to his frame.  Still, his productivity and on-field smarts make him the best ILB of the class.  He’s got everything the Steelers are looking for save the “thump.”  I’d move up to 1.18, San Diego willing, and part with R1 and R3 to get Kuechly, but he’s likely gone in the top 15 or even top 10.  Kuechly reminds me of a faster, younger James Farrior.

Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower,[/u] 6’2”, 265#, 4.68 (4.62 pro day), (did not lift), 33” VJ, 9’9” BJ, 41st overall, is also an on-field leader in Bama’s impressive pro-style defense.  The plus-sized Hightower played ILB, plus some OLB and even DE in Bama’s scheme, but the concern has always been his ability to be a 3-down backer, and match speed with NFL TEs and even WRs.  Hightower has also been inconsistent since 2009’s ACL and MCL injuries, seemingly hesitant to go all-out all the time.  Still, he looks like he could step in and be a strong presence in the middle from the beginning, and appeared to move well in pro day drills.  I’m of two minds with respect to Hightower, and I’ll illustrate this by comparing him to two Steelers LBs.  First, the plus-sized Levon Kirkland, who roamed the middle of the Steelers D from 1992-2000, and showed great speed for a big man.  The second is LaMarr Woodley, who, at 6’2”, 266#, 4.74, was nearly the same size and speed as Hightower coming out of Michigan.  I like Woodley a lot, but an inside backer he is not.  I see Hightower as more Captain Kirk than Woodley, and believe he’s still coming back to speed from the knee injuries, but he will always be a liability against WRs and speedy TEs.  A 1.24 value, with some caveats.

Both those players have shown great productivity, leadership, and football smarts.  They are the most worry-free ILB prospects.  But there are some players who, though they may not be natural on-field captains or physical specimens, are worthy of serious note.  

North Carolina OLB Zach Brown, [/u] 6’1”, 244#, 4.50 (4.47 pro day), 22 reps (pro day), 35” VJ, 9’8” BJ, 45th overall, has some measurables that suggest he could be a solid ILB candidate, but the questions are many: questionable work ethic, bad football instincts, limited between the ears.  Brown is a fabulous athlete who is still developing as a player, and the concern is how long that development will take.  Brown will go much, much earlier, but I have to give him a R4 grade, swimming against popular opinion.  He will be a work in progress for a long time.

Boise State’s Shea McClellin[/u] is an OLB getting lots of buzz lately, and at 6’3”, 260#, 4.63 his numbers could fit the high end of the ILB spectrum near Hightower, but he doesn’t have the quick-twitch muscles for the inside.  He’s an OLB only, or possibly a DE in the right system.  McClellin is the prototype big OLB simply not cut out for the inside.  Hereafter, if an OLB doesn’t get listed in these rankings even with borderline frame possibilities, he’s been McClellined.

Nebraska’s David Lavonte,[/u] 6’0”, 233#, 4.65, 19 reps, 36 ½” VJ, 9’11” BJ, ranked 48th, has only borderline size and strength.  Lavonte has some nice production, instincts, and flow, but appears to be better suited to a 40 front or even possibly being a SS.  Pass.

Utah State’s Bobby Wagner[/u], 6’0”, 241#, 4.46 (pro day), 24 reps (pro day), 39.5” VJ (pro day), 11’0” BJ, ranked 57th, has gotten a lot of buzz after missing the combine but sizzling at his pro day.  He was also the North’s Most Outstanding Player at the Senior Bowl, with 7 tackles and an INT.  Wagner, sometimes listed as an OLB, has all the traits you want to see in an ILB, showing good football instincts, notching over 11 tackles per game his last 2 seasons, a good combination of speed and strength.  Lack of height doesn’t bother me; he’s about James Farrior’s height.  Utah State’s not a big time program, but their LOC isn’t bad, and Wagner is the big fish in the small pond.  He’s easily a guy I’d look at if the Steelers traded back into R2(b), and at our regular pick 2.56 he’s way up on my list.  Giddyup.

Height is also not a concern with Cal’s Mychal Kendricks, [/u]5’11”, 240#, 4.47, 24 reps, 39 ½” VJ, 10’7” BJ, ranked 76th.  Slightly less productive than Wagner but another player with extraordinary measurables, Kendricks is visiting the Steelers this week, and was able to transition from OLB to ILB in 2011 without batting an eye.  He’d receive almost an identical score to Wagner, except that he’s apparently scored badly on the Wonderlic and had difficulty explaining schemes at the chalkboard.  Not what you want from a LB in the LeBeau D.  Still, hard to ignore the football play and the physical traits.  A top target at the end of R2.

WVU’s OLB Bruce Irvin[/u], 6’2”, 245#, 4.50 (4.43 unofficial), 23 reps, 33 ½” VJ, 10’3” BJ, ranked 64th, is something of an enigma to me.  He notched 22.5 sacks the last 2 years in WVU’s psycho 3-3-5 defensive scheme, and has a real burst off the edge.  He looks like he could play OLB in either a 30 or 40 front, could bulk up and find a place as a 4-3 DE, or possibly slide inside in a 3-4.  He could do a lot, or nothing.  It’s difficult to project where he fits best, but my guess is he’s going to be most productive on the edge.  Per one NFL evaluator:  “Irvin is a one-trick pony. He’s a speed-edge rusher or nothing. I don’t see any instincts or football smarts. He could be drafted to bring speed on third downs, but I saw him as a developmental backup — and I don’t know how much he’ll be able to develop. I have concerns.”  He’s getting plenty of interest off measurables, but schematically he doesn’t fit.  Pass, as an ILB.  R5 as an OLB.

Similarly, Oklahoma OLB/DE Ronnell Lewis,[/u] 6’2”, 253#, 4.68, 36 reps, 31” VJ, 9’4” BJ, ranked 65th overall, may not project inside on most boards.  He’s got proto OLB size and could even bulk up to DE in a 40 front.  Considered by most analysts to be raw, Lewis, like Irvin, was not assigned a conventional role as a Sooner.  NFLDS says of Lewis:  “Oklahoma coaches knew they had a gifted, raw talent but never figured out where to best use his abilities. He played most of the front seven positions like a wild animal chasing his last meal, especially when in pursuit of a quarterback. College coaches say he is a good kid, willing to learn, but he has maturity issues and struggled with class work.”  They also note that the Steelers have expressed interest.  “The Hammer” could be a nice thumper for the Steelers, but he’s got little collegiate experience and would need plenty of coaching up.  Questionable speed to play cover as well.  A project with some big potential upside, I’m not drafting Lewis as an ILB until R4.  Almost a victim of the McClellin rule, I still see some potential inside.
« Last Edit: Apr 12, 2012 at 12:43 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: Apr 12, 2012 at 12:41 »

Texas OLB Keenan Robinson:  see McClellin, Shea.

Nevada’s James-Michael Johnson,[/u]6’1”, 241#, 4.68, 23 reps, 37” VJ, 10’4” BJ, ranked 118th, comes in with a 70 KEI, but I still need to invoke the Chris Carter Rule:  what does Miami Vice offer that our own Carter would not?  Johnson is a proto ILB for either scheme, productive, quick to the hit, might lack some cover speed, but I’m hesitant to use a higher round pick than R4 on him, with Sylvester and Carter already on the roster; see the Carter Rule.  The Carter Rule says that a prospect who has draftable skills but is close to or less than the measurables Chris Carter has shall be dropped one entire round in valuation, which in this case takes Johnson from a R3 to a R4.

Miami OLB Sean Spence[/u], 5’11”, 231#, 4.71, 12 reps, 33 ½” VJ, 9’11” BJ, ranked 82nd, gets flagged for those 12 reps but lifted in Indy with a shoulder bruise and reportedly can lift around 20 reps.  He’s also closer to David Lavonte size than Bobby Wagner or Mychal Kendricks, and sometimes it really is just a matter of 10 or 15#.  But I’m hesitant to disqualify Spence even with all that.  What Spence has is football ability.  His read and react, his nose to sniff out plays and anticipate where the ball is going, plus production and blitzing, all add up to make Spence an intriguing mid-round prospect.  Pittsburgh was well represented at Miami’s pro day, and Spence has to be a guy they were looking at.  Borderline size, speed, but everything else you could want from an ILB has Spence a R3 guy for me.  Spence is exempted from the Carter Rule because his eval is based on football skills, with measurables much less part of the overall grade.

TCU’s Tank Carder[/u], (great name, BTW), 6’2”, 236#, 4.69, 19 reps, 34 ½” VJ, 10’1” BJ, ranked 151st, Carder is two-time Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year from a TCU program that is routinely getting players onto NFL rosters.  Carder’s got good instincts and flows well to the ball, can cover some over the middle despite average 40 time, but lacks take-down strength at the POA, and can sometimes get caught over-running plays.  Some injury concerns with shoulder and back as well.  Would benefit adding strength and bulk in an NFL strength and conditioning program, but looks like a solid R4 prospect who drops to a R5 ranking due to the Carter Rule.

Florida State OLB Nigel Bradham[/u], 6’2”, 241#, 4.64, 24 reps, 37” VJ, 10’1” BJ, ranked 100th, is a bit of an overlooked possibility at ILB, but he’s a relentless hitter with the right frame for ILB in the 3-4.  Described as “tight-hipped,” which means he can’t transition to cover faster receivers, he nevertheless shows decent skills when assigned to TEs.  Prone to play fakes and perhaps needs assignments simplified, which is a big negative.  KEI invokes the Carter rule; his physical play gets a R3 grade, his mental flags drop him to R4, the Carter Rule takes him all the way to R5.

Speaking of overlooked ILB prospects, Arkansas St. OLB Demario Davis[/u], 6’2”, 235#, 4.61 (4.52 pro day), 32 reps, 38 1’2” VJ, 10’4” BJ, ranked 114th, gets special notice for an 81 KEI.  As noted before, the Steelers have the ASU connection with both Tomlin and Fichtner, so Davis isn’t under their radar.  Like Tank Carder, Davis can flow to the action but might lack some sticking power until he gets into NFL condition and size.  Unlike Carder, Davis put up 32 reps, and his KEI of 81 is best among this group of ILBs.  Played well in the Senior Bowl, and based on upside I’m flipping his grade from R4 to R3.

Oregon OLB Josh Kaddu[/u], 6’3”, 239#, (did not run; 4.65 junior pro day), 20 reps, 34” VJ, 9’11” BJ, ranked 109th overall, is an explosive tackler with plenty of energy on-field, but also has questionable bulk at POA, questionable instincts, and questionable positioning.  Pass; looks like a 4-3 OLB who will be mostly special teams player.

Texas’s Emmanuel Acho[/u], 6’2”, 238#, 4.73, 24 reps, 35 ½” VJ, 9’10” BJ, ranked 145th, has some decent instincts and tackling, but he doesn’t have the pop or the coverage ability we’re looking for inside, and would be a major liability in coverage.  Pass; measurables and frame suggest another 4-3 OLB.

Same goes for NC State’s Terrell Manning,[/u] 6’2”, 237#, 4.79, 22 reps, 32 ½” VJ, 9’6” BJ, whose frame and measurables suggest 4-3 OLB as well; pass.

Manning’s NC State teammate, Audie Cole[/u], 6’4”, 246#, 4.81, 15 reps, 35” VJ, 9’6” BJ, has some good traits, but it’s difficult to overlook his stiffness in drills, a slow 40, and poor lifts.  Ability to line up the D mitigated by physical limits, might fit better with a system like the Patriots.  Here, he’s a R5 who drops to R6 due to the Carter Rule.

Arizona State’s Vontaze Burfict[/u] says he models his game on Ray Lewis, which would be fine if Ray-Ray played out of control, was soft and weak, and punched a teammate in the jaw in the locker room.  A more appropriate analog might be the Hindenburg.  You can look up his numbers.  Burfict is a DND, not even as a late round “value.”  He’s a complete turd.

Arkansas’s Jerry Franklin[/u], 6’1”, 242#, 4.63, 15 reps, 37 ½” VJ, 10’3” BJ, is ranked 203rd overall, a solid collegiate player with borderline measurables who looks like a back-up only; a FA consideration.  Same goes for WVU’s Najee Goode,[/u] 6’0”, 244#, 4.64, (did not lift), 35 ½” VJ, 9’9” BJ.  Looks like a backup and STs guy, so, FA.  Another backup is Cincinnati’s highly productive J.K. Shaffer[/u], 6’0”, 237#, 26 reps (pro day), 35 ½” VJ, 10’3” BJ, ranked 503rd.  Like his intensity, which is why he at least gets some FA attention.

After perusing a lot of marginal sleepers, I submit San Diego State’s OLB Miles Burris,[/u] 6’2”, 246#, 4.67 (pro day) 31 reps, 37 ½” VJ, 10’1” BJ, ranked 214th overall, productive and physical, said to be coachable, also has some agility off a 6.85 cone time.  Played ILB in HS and might be better switching back to playing inside the tackles.  KEI of 88.5 and good intangibles make Burris worth a R7.

The list:  
R1 – Luke Kuechly, Boston College (trade up); Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
R2 – Bobby Wagner, Utah St. (trade back from R1 or up from R2); Mychal Kendricks, Cal
R3 – Sean Spence, Miami; Demario Davis, Arkansas State
R4 – James-Michael Johnson, Nevada; Zach Brown, North Carolina; Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma;
R5 – Tank Carder, TCU; Nigel Bradham, Florida State
R6 – Audie Cole, North Carolina State
R7 – Miles Burris, San Diego State
« Last Edit: Apr 13, 2012 at 10:29 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: Apr 12, 2012 at 17:18 »

CB and ILB coming up.  May not hit all the positions, but hope to do SS/FS, OT, RB, and QB.

About 25 CBs done so far.  A pile of yecccch.

OT should be a quick swing.
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« Reply #23 on: Apr 13, 2012 at 10:28 »

Finny’s 2012 Thumbnail Guide to the Draft:  Cornerbacks

The last decade-plus of CB starters for the Steelers can be effectively, if not completely, summarized by three eras.  First, the flailing misery of the Chad Scott-DeWayne Washington Era.  Second, the solid, aggressive performance of the Ike Taylor-Deshea Townshend Era.  Third, the forehead-smacking descent into mediocrity of the Ike Taylor-Bryant McFadden/William Gay Era.  It seems like the Steelers haven’t been able to add effective depth to the CB roster, and any time SS Troy Polamalu is out, the CBs’ deficiencies are exposed even further.

With William Gay and Bryant McFadden now off the roster, we’re going to find out very quickly about the talent on the roster at CB.  And it ain’t all bad.  The young CBs (Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen, and Curtis Brown) showed great strides under DB coach and former player great Carnell Lake.  Lewis was finally able to make an impact on games, taking away the outside in packages when William Gay covered the inside, and Cortez Allen matched up well against TE Rob Gronkowski as a rookie who had received little draft buzz.  Curtis Brown struggled with injuries, but has the physical skills to compete with top talent.

That, by my count, makes four CBs with real potential solid starting ability.  And while there’s all the possibility that this group has turned a dearth of talent into a wealth of talent almost overnight, they are still largely untested, and there’s no reason to think the FO wouldn’t add more talent to this group, especially in Goodell’s pinball-offense version of the game.  That could mean that, even at 1.24, if the FO had a CB as its highest rated player, the Steelers could easily draft one.  I think it’s more likely that the FO will look to add one more CB as a value round player, and that could work out to the Steelers’ advantage as I see a cluster of late-round talent worth mining.

Once more, from Finny’s 2011 CB Draft Guide (maliciously deleted by that fucker Penso-Cromartie-Douchenozzle):

Quote
The most difficult position to assess in the draft is cornerback.  The failure rate may be higher than any other position, and teams consistently draft CBs higher than their projected value, with many players seeing late upsurge in interest based on combine speed.  In the pass-happy NFL, CBs are tested mercilessly, and they are reliant on their front seven for much of their individual success.  Slow and small CBs don’t make shutdown corners, but tall and fast does not necessarily mean a player will be successful.  Vertical jump, shuttle, and cone drills all offer some view at explosiveness and change of direction skills, but seem to have little correlation to NFL success.  The best evaluation tool seems to be how players performed on tape.

…LeBeau’s 3-4 relies on turbulence up front, and a secondary that can play Cover 3, with some variations (including zone).  The Cover 3 sees its FS play deep to ensure the defense is not burned by the long pass*, and to allow the deep thirds to be covered by the FS in tandem with the CBs.  The underneath and flats are patrolled by the LBs and the SS, and when the SS is Troy Polamalu, it’s a gift and a curse.  A gift, because he can be anywhere and everywhere on the field.  A curse, because if he’s injured, the CB zones and deep thirds all look suspect.

The Steelers’ CBs don’t play press because that’s the way their scheme is run.  Fans don’t like that, and precision passing teams exploit the holes in the zones with timing routes.  The CBs need to be able to play man along the sidelines, and zone underneath**, but because they are often lined up farther off the LOS than in other defenses, I tend to value three things in potential CBs: pure speed, zone skills, and 5’10” minimum height.  It’s certainly worth noting how they play man, especially if they’re contesting one-on-one away from the safeties, but zone awareness is key to the LeBeau 3-4.  Analysts tend to put too much stock into the difference between a 4.42 40 and a 4.49 40, but there are limits that I feel worth noting.  A CB absolutely must run a sub-4.60 40, and 4.55-4.60 is a flag.  Sub-4.50 is preferable.

Over the past 5 years, the rolling average is 30 CBs taken in each draft, or about 4-5 per round.  If R1-2 sees over-inflation of value off measurables, there also seems to be a precipitous dropoff in talent after R2, and especially after R3.  At that point, players are being taken on a developmental basis (Ike was a R4 guy whose only notable asset was speed) or on instincts and smarts.
*See the Wild Card Round game against the 2011 Tebows.
**Cortez Allen appears to be tailor-made for this.


Quick measurables comparison of 2011 and 2012 CB draft classes:
*2011 class had 7 sub-4.4 players; the 2012 class has 3.
*2011 class had 28 sub-4.5 players; the 2012 class has 21.
*2011 class had 7 players jump 38” or higher; 2012 class has 2.
*2011 class had 14 players whose combined shuttle and cone time was under 11.0 seconds; 2012 class has 9.

Onward.

LSU’s Morris Claiborne, 5’11”, 188#, 4.50, scored a 4 on the Wonderlic, placing him somewhere on the intelligence continuum between my dog and what comes out of my dog.  Matters not; he’s ranked 5th overall by NFLDS (4/12/12) and is a lock to be gone in the top 10.

Second-best fiddler has varied depending on what your source is and when you checked.  Been in flux, which is par for draft season, but most likely you will find Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick[/u], 6’1”, 186#, 4.51, 16th overall, listed as next best.  Kirkpatrick’s dropped marijuana charges (some other guy just happened to leave his pot in the car, don’t you hate when that happens?) haven’t damaged Kirkpatrick’s draft stock.  A physical man CB who can also thrive in zone schemes, Kirkpatrick has only three career INTs, but otherwise looks like a natural fit to the LeBeau defense.  He’s a big hitter who will separate a guy from his shoes; think of Ike Taylor’s former Louisiana-Lafayette teammate, Charles Tillman.  Still, unlikely that the Steelers move up for him, and unlikely he’s there at 1.24.  Character flag may have him off our board.

A month ago, I thought I was smart for including South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore[/u], then a mid-R2 CB, in my inaugural R1 targets.  Gilmore, 6’0”, 190#, 4.40, is ranked 19th and seems to be moving up on draft boards.  In addition to nice measurables, Gilmore has 8 INTs against SEC talent and is an on-field leader.  Still needs some tightening up in terms of footwork, but seems like a good fit in the LeBeau scheme, and like Kirkpatrick isn’t afraid to lay the wood.  May be getting over-hyped right about now, but IMO still a peripheral R1 target who would be a nice addition to our CB group as a R1 pick.

Janoris Jenkins[/u] is a natural-born Bengal; Steelers won’t draft him with the pot issue and I won’t waste the ink.

Central Florida’s Josh Robinson[/u], 5’9”, 199#, 4.33, ranked 50th, earned himself some money in Indy with his 40, best of this class.  Will get over-drafted, and as I’ve noted before, it’s not worth it to take a CB under 5’10” too early.  Has some playmaking ability with 10 INTs and 36 PBUs, but looks like he’d be someone who’d see playing time in nickel or dime packages.  Has a lot of ballhawking skills and nice speed, but figures to be a R4 guy who gets over-drafted due to his Indy performance.

Virginia Tech’s Jayron Hosely,[/u] 5’10” (well, 5096), 178#, 4.47, ranked 53rd, is another smallish CB whose size relegate him to nickel or dime in our system, and whose lack of tackling and physicality push him way down.  Earned some cash at the combine, and will get taken much earlier, he’s no better than a R5 here.

Completing a triptych of package corners who are getting much higher ratings than I care to confer is Nebraska’s Alphonso Dennard,[/u] 5’10”, 204#, 4.55, rated 56th.  Got some pop to his game, but is coming off a recent hip injury and looks stiff.  Another R5 prospect for a Steelers team with 4 CBs who are 6’0” – 6’1”.

Montana’s Trumaine Johnson[/u], 6’2”, 204#, 4.50 (?) – 4.61 (?), ranked 59th, is a bit of a CB/FS tweener prospect.  A plus-sized DB with 36 career PBUs and 15 INTs, there is some question as to what Johnson’s true linear speed is, but it appears he will have difficulty transitioning downfield with faster NFL receivers, so FS is floated as a possible pro position.  Does not appear to have much of a taste for tackling or run support though, so at best he appears to be yet another package corner who can match size, R5.

Oklahoma’s Jamell Fleming[/u], 5’11”, 206#, 4.53, ranked 70th, has 28 PBUs and 11 INTs, and has closing speed for nickel or dime action.  Inconsistent, some academic issues at OU, looks a bit sloppy, so R6.

CB/KR Brandon Boykin[/u] of Georgia, 5’9”, 182#, 4.45 (est.), has enough going against him – height, a small fracture in his right leg suffered in the Senior Bowl – that he should appear as a late round pick.  But he does have plus ability in the short area, with great closing burst and leaping skill.  He’s also not afraid to tackle, and he ranked 2nd all-time in SEC KR yardage with 2,663. I like him better than the other smalls so far, and better than fellow R4 player Robinson, but R4 is the best I can do for a package CB.

Vanderbilt’s Casey Hayward,[/u] 5’11”, 192#, 4.57, ranked 78th, has 46 PBUs and 15 INTs, and despite decent playmaking ability looks like JAG in short-area speed, transition, and run defense.  Not a LeBeau corner; R5 off lack of toughness.

Thus far, rather undistinguished and uninspiring group.  This comports with the dropoff in measurables, and there appears to be something of a vacuum effect at work: without actual talent deserving of R2-R3 grades, the huge number of lesser lights with lower grades get pulled up into the void.  The Steelers, with 4 CBs of size and no small potential, can afford to sidestep this Hoover Syndrome and focus on BPA R1-R3, at the very least.

Moving onward through the slop.

Arizona’s Trevin Wade,[/u] 5’10”, 192#, 4.59, ranked 83rd, 28 PBUs and 12 INTs… I’ll give you a shiny nickel if you can guess where I’m going to say Wade belongs in the LeBeau defense.  R5.

LSU’s Ron Brooks,[/u] 5’10”, 190#, 4.37, ranked 88th, is one of just a handful of speed guys in the 2012 class.  Unfortunately, Brooks has borderline size, and only three starts in 2011 for LSU.  Played mostly nickel and dime, but both INTs this season went for TDs.  Love the speed, not the inexperience or size, R6.

Virginia’s Chase Minnifield[/u], 5’10”, 183#, 4.63, ranked 98th, has had a nice collegiate career but has ankle and knee issues that relegate him to DND.  Maybe he’s healthy in camp, maybe not; I have no patience to find out.

Dwight Bentley[/u], of Ike’s alma mater Louisiana-Lafayette, measures in at 5’10”, 182, 4.43, and is ranked 107th.  He’s a fluid athlete with 20 PBUs, but despite decent speed and good performance the Senior Bowl week, he’s a bit scattershot against the run and in the physical aspect of the game.  Ike he is not.  You know the drill.  R6.

Arizona State’s Omar Bolden[/u], 5’10”, 202#, 4.51 (pro day), ranked 127th, fits the annoyingly familiar mold of nickel CBs, but he does have some KR value.  Unfortunately, he missed nearly 2 seasons to injury and appears to be injury-prone.  DND.

Iowa State’s Leonard Johnson, [/u] 5’10” (or 5097), 196#, 4.71 (4.52 pro day), ranked 136th, Johnson has 26 PBUs and 6 INTs.  More of the same.  R6.

Warning:  If I have to type that a CB is 5’10” one more fucking time, my head may just explode.  But soldier on, gentle reader:  there are hopeful signs ahead.

Coastal Carolina’s Josh Norman,[/u] 6’0” (yay!), 197#, 4.66 (4.52 pro day), ranked 141st, has 48 PBUs and 13 INTs, and showed well at both the East-West and Senior Bowls.  Will need to work on tackling, but has some excellent ball skills, and appears under-rated compared to most of the other prospects past Gilmore.  Could be a guy who can start in this league.  Under-rated R3 prospect, would be higher except for LOC and tackling.

Alabama’s DeQuan Menzie, [/u] 5’10”, 202#, 4.74 (4.59 pro day), ranked 142nd, is something of a CB/FS tweener.  Teams threw away from Dre Kirkpatrick and Menzie, a physical CB who’s not afraid of laying down the hit, responded with 11 PBUs and 1 INT his senior year, his only as a starter.  I agree his future is at FS, as a poor man’s Ryan Clark:  R4 as FS, R7 as CB.

Iowa’s Shaun Prater, [/u]5’10”, 190, 4.53 (pro day), ranked 150th, looks like a backup to me.  Don’t see anything special in his game, not sure why he’s rated this high.  Pass.  Ditto Furman’s Ryan Steed,[/u] 5’10”, 4.68 (4.55 pro day), despite 14 career picks.  Has some willingness to tackle, but looks like he’s overmatched against pro talent.  Pass, again.  

Texas A&M’s Coryell Judie[/u], 5’11”, 194#, 4.48, ranked 160th, has some good and some bad to his game.  A solid tackler with good ball skills, he’s still raw as a DB, and he’s missed significant time with hamstring and shoulder injuries.  He’d be a project, but perhaps worth a R7 pick.

Cal Poly’s Asa Jackson[/u] 5’10” (5097), 191#, 4.49, ranked 169th, has 32 PBUs and 8 INTs.  The usual litany of complaints, plus LOC, drop Asa to someone to consider in FA only.  Same could be said of Florida State’s Mike Adams[/u], 5’10”, 188#, 4.68 (4.54 pro day).  Harris was a JUCO transfer who became part of a CB rotation at FSU, notching 14 PBUs and 5 INTs.  Likewise, appears to be a backup and FA prospect only.

Chris Greenwood[/u], from Albion (Michigan… had to look that one up!), measures in at 6’1”, 193#, 4.34 (pro day), and also posted a 43” VJ, better than the rest of the CB VJs I could dig up, is ranked 192nd.  The Steelers are interested, and it’s not hard to see why: Greenwood is a physical specimen.  What little can be gleaned from the Interwebs is that the kid is a humble team player, and is getting interest from other NFL teams as well.  He’s all upside, but so was some kid named Ike Taylor, and the Steelers took him in R4.  I’d spend a R4 on Greenwood, too.  This is based off scant evidence only and a gut feeling; of course, I had this same gut feeling about Ike and was right not only about us drafting him but the round in which he’d be drafted as well.  Greenwood, unlike Ike, has hands; unfortunately, the best evidence of such was shitty YouTube footage against the likes of Alma.  Yes, Alma.  Still, I’m entitled to a gut call.  I think some other team (Cowboys) may eventually take Greenwood, but he’ll go earlier than most suspect.
« Last Edit: Apr 13, 2012 at 10:30 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: Apr 13, 2012 at 10:28 »

That’s 25 CBs so far, with the rolling average of drafted CBs being 33 per.  I think I can squeeze in another 10.  One note about my seeming harshness towards NCBs:  It’s not the Carter Rule, where the guy on our roster has better measurables, but rather the hard fact that a 5’10” CB is going to have a difficult time against today’s bigger, faster wideouts unless he’s playing NCB and not on the edges.  That alone limits where I’d take a player to R4 or after, so you’ll find my value is 2-3 rounds lower than the NFLDS’s of the world.  So be it.  Deshea Townsend was the last Steeler CB to thrive at only 5’10”, but he survived by smarts, and he was a R4 pick out of Bama in 1998, almost another era.

Let’s keep this rolling.

Brandon Hardin[/u] of Oregon State is listed as a FS/CB, but I will consider him as FS.

Boston College’s Donnie Fletcher[/u], 6’0”, 199#, 4.51 (pro day), is ranked 200th overall.  Fletcher is strictly a guy who’s played zone, and shown some good instincts, but lack of any man cover experience and purported lazy work ethic drive down his stock.  Good size, if he can put it together mentally he could have a spot on a team.  Seems a bit lackluster, only worth a R7.

Another CB the Steelers have shown interest in, besides Greenwood, is WVU’s Keith Tandy[/u], 5’10”, 202#, 4.51 (pro day).  Both Tomlin and Colbert made the backyard trip to see Tandy, and he’s being brought in for a visit (though I don’t believe it will count towards the official visit total).  Tandy, ranked 205th, did well in position drills, and it’s apparent that the Steelers will try to hunt for NCB depth in value rounds, possibly R5.  Tandy was a HS QB, and heading into the NFL he has the smarts and thickness to play either NCB or possibly FS.  He’s got a nice short-area game and aggression in run support that works well for either NCB or FS.  Smart player, did well in pro day drills.  If I were to bet on our R5 pick, it would be Tandy to take over the William Gay spot.  And R5 is about right.

Clemson’s Coty Sensabaugh[/u], 5’11”, 189#, 4.42, has track star speed and a track star build.  He’ll stay with receivers, but can struggle to bring them down because he’s so skinny.  Only 5 PBUs and 3 INTs for his career.  Still, plays a smart game and has had to wait for playing time behind NFL guys like Chargers’ Marcus Gilchrist (2.50, 2011) and Steelers’ Crezdon Butler (5.164, 2010).  No attitude flags, so some time spent in an NFL environment might make Sensabaugh an interesting developmental back.  Worth a look in R6 off potential.

Hampton has sent some quality players to the pros, notably on defense (Kenrick Ellis to the Jets in 2011, Kendall Langford to the Dolphins in 2008, and Justin Durant to the Jaguars in 2007).  CB [/u]Micah Pellerin[/u], 6’0”, 194#, 4.61, ranked 225th, may continue that trend.  I question the official pro day time of 4.61, as I’ve seen other sources that have it at 4.53, and his junior pro day time was 4.50, so that seems a more reasonable estimate for the 40.  Had 29 PBU and 6 INT over the past 2 years, after transferring from Southern Miss.  Not a big hitter, and needs to work on some fundamentals, but shows good back-peddle and instincts.  Another bigger-sized kid worthy of a developmental look, R6.

Notre Dame’s Robert Blanton[/u], 6’0”, 208#, 4.70 (4.53 pro day) redeemed himself with his pro day run.  Blanton had some starts in 2009 but then lost his starter status until the 2011 season.  Smart, high-effort guy whose NFL position might be FS, and whose size is reminiscent of CB Keenan Lewis.  Seems like a possible late-round addition whose position could be determined later.  R6.

Coryell Judie’s Texas A&M teammate Lionel Smith, [/u]5’11”, 192#, 4.41 (pro day), was a collegiate backup and special teamer who opened eyes with his speed and 38” VJ at A&M’s pro day.  Ranked 241st, he’s basically at the bottom of the draft pile, someone to put a waiver in for off a compensatory pick, to see if he can be developed.  A R7 comp would be about the right value, especially if he can play some teams.

North Carolina’s Charles Brown[/u], 5’9”, 202#, 4.63 (4.50 pro day and 4.50 junior pro day), ranked 245th, is a solid tackler and reliable as a NCB in short spaces, as well as a KR/PR.  Possibly slightly undervalued here, I put him in R5 ahead of some of the speed guys, based on fit at NCB within our system, and his willingness to get physical as a tackler.

Like Lionel Smith, Pittsburgh’s Buddy Jackson,[/u] 6’0”, 187#, 4.31, ranked 265th, was only ever a backup at the collegiate level, but his blistering 40 speed, 40” VJ and astounding 11’9” BJ opened some eyes.  Per NFLDS:  “Two-year starter at cornerback for Cypress Bay, a Florida 6A (largest classification) school...was discovered by Pitt's coaching staff at the Panthers' 2006 summer football camps, where Jackson ran a 4.31 40-yard dash.”  Like Lionel Smith, A R7 comp would be about the right value, especially if he can play some teams.

Another workout warrior is Western Kentucky’s Derrius Brooks,[/u] 5’9”, 192#, 4.35, ranked 277th.  Again, per NFLDS:  “Scouts from the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers likely traveled to get a closer look at star running back Bobby Rainey but left buzzing about the raw athleticism of wide receiver-turned cornerback Derrius Brooks. Brooks, who incidentally led the Hilltoppers in interceptions after each of the two seasons in which he played defense (seven total through 2010-2011), was reportedly timed at 4.29 and 4.35 seconds in two attempts at the 40-yard dash. Each would have been ranked as the fastest time recorded at the 2012 Combine.” So, again, worthy of a R7 comp based on speed alone, but worth a jump up to R5 IMO because he’s new to the position yet has already come down with 7 INTs in two seasons, and speed bordering the immaculate.[/b]

TCU’s Greg McCoy,[/u] 5’9”, 181#, 4.41 (pro day), ranked 294th, has some nice speed as a KR, which is where his value would be as FA.

With the likelihood that most of my R5 onward NCBs will, in fact, be drafted earlier, these lists should cull down quickly.  The odds of Kirkpatrick or Gilmore surviving till 1.24 are remote, and the odds of the FO drafting Jenkins are nil.  That means we are unlikely to see the FO run a card up with a CB’s name on it until  day 3, and my best bet for that is WVU’s Keith Tandy in R5, although as noted there are a lot of very interesting late round developmental CBs, many of whom were combine snubs or who were collegiate backups.  R5-R7 is the value cluster, to be certain.

The short list:

R1 – Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama; Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
R3 – Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina
R4 – Chris Greenwood, Albion
R5 – Trumaine Johnson, Montana; Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
R6 – Coty Sensabaugh, Clemson; Robert Blanton, Notre Dame (+FS); Micah Pellerin, Hampton; Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma
R7 – Coryell Judie, Texas A&M; Donnie Fletcher, Boston College; Buddy Jackson, Pittsburgh; Lionel Smith, Texas A&M


The “short” list, i.e., NCB only:

R4 –Brandon Boykin, Georgia; Josh Robinson, Central Florida
R5 – Keith Tandy, WVU (+FS); Derrius Brooks, Western Kentucky; Alphonzo Dennard, Nebraska; Charles Brown, North Carolina; Trevin Wade, Arizona; Jayron Hosely, Virginia Tech
R6 – Ron Brooks, LSU; Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette; Leonard Johnson, Iowa St.
R7 – DeQuan Menzie, Alabama (+FS)

« Last Edit: Apr 13, 2012 at 10:31 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: Apr 13, 2012 at 10:38 »

Also, FWIW, Rhodes Scholar and onetime Titan Myron Rolle is no longer listed as SS, but rather as CB on the Steelers roster.  He seems not at all a CB, and every bit a SS.  Speed and frame would indicate so, and it's curious to me how this was arrived at unless in error.
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« Reply #26 on: Apr 13, 2012 at 12:08 »

Quote from: Finny's Guide
BYU’s Hebron Fangupo[/u], 6’1”, 323#, 36 reps, is an interesting prospect.  He transferred from USC to provide his wife a more stable environment, and is an intelligent, well-spoken guy.  He’s got decent size and strength, and played both DE and NT in BYU’s 3-4 front.  That would all lend itself to a possible R3 projection.  But Fangupo also started getting neutralized later in the season, and is already 27, meaning he’d be crossing the Rubicon of age 30 after only playing out his rookie deal.  That slides a very likeable guy down to R5 or later.

Steelers brought Fangupo in for a visit, plus some safety from Wayne St.  One thing about NT that might mitigate Fangupo's age is that many NTs play till mid- or late-30s.  That might push his value back up a round for the FO, though not likely for me.
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« Reply #27 on: Apr 15, 2012 at 17:48 »

Quote from: kwaffle
Steelers | Amini Silatolu could be first round option
Sun, 15 Apr 2012 14:04:38 -0700

The Pittsburgh Steelers could consider taking Midwestern State OG Amini Silatolu in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

I find this sort of report highly dubious.  Source?  Multiple reports that he's a R1 talent, but I stand by my review, and Colbert comments about LOC prospects.
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« Reply #28 on: Apr 15, 2012 at 17:50 »

Quote from: kiffle
Steelers | Stevenson Sylvester thinks he can start at ILB

Sun, 15 Apr 2012 12:03:52 -0700

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Stevenson Sylvester said he believes he can be the long-term answer at inside linebacker and hopes to compete with LB Larry Foote for the starting job during training camp.

Comment (0) | Share:     | Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Scott Brown

Steelers | Ladarius Green to visit

Sun, 15 Apr 2012 11:39:23 -0700

The Pittsburgh Steelers are scheduled to meet with Louisiana-Lafayette TE Ladarius Green Monday, April 16.

Comment (0) | Share:     | Source: Scout.com - Aaron Wilson

Steelers | Two prospects visiting

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 11:07:49 -0700

The Pittsburgh Steelers are meeting with Brigham Young DT Hebron Fangupo and Wayne State S Jeremy Jones Friday, April 13.

1.  We'll see.  2. Mentioned this guy in early drafts of PS prospects, more of a tallish WR but still an interesting prospect.  3.  Have to research Jones.
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« Reply #29 on: Apr 15, 2012 at 18:22 »

Also, FWIW, Rhodes Scholar and onetime Titan Myron Rolle is no longer listed as SS, but rather as CB on the Steelers roster.  He seems not at all a CB, and every bit a SS.  Speed and frame would indicate so, and it's curious to me how this was arrived at unless in error.

Complete error. I've always saw him best set st LB
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