Wednesday, April 03, 2013

What we've seen thus far

By the end of Thursday, the Steelers this week will have had at least 12 of their rookie visitors in for meetings. UCLA running back Jonathan Franklin and Nevada safety Duke Williams will be in on Thursday.

That will mean that the Steelers will have had seven linebackers - John Simon, Vince Williams, Jarvis Jones, Jamie Collins, Khaseem Greene, Michael Mauti and Malliciah Goodman

- three safeties - Williams, Jonathan Meeks and Phillip Thomas - and two running backs - Franklin and Christine Michael - in for visits.


What can we read into that?


Judging from who and the number of linebackers they have brought in, the Steelers aren't going to be looking linebacker in the first round.


Sure, Jones is considered a first-round prospect, but it's likely the Steelers were kicking his tires and having team doctors check out his spinal stenosis issue. The other six guys are all expected to be second round picks or lower.


Michael and Franklin are both considered second or third-round prospects at running back, a position at which there might not be a first-round selection this season unless somebody falls in love with Eddy Lacy.


And the three safeties are all mid-round guys.


What's missing from the players the Steelers have brought in thus far? Wide receivers.


The Steelers have a need at that position and there is a good crop available this year. But none have walked through the doors at the Steelers' offices at this point.


The team can have as many as 30 visitors, and for all we know, their next 20 visitors could all be wideouts. But at this point, if I were a betting man, I'd guess they're looking at taking a wideout in the first round.


Then again, it could all be subterfuge. This is why you have to love this time of year.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dale, since tonight you are a betting man, let me ask you this. If both are available at 17 who's your pick Patterson or Austin? Patterson has all the qualities to be the WR we need so desperately but I'm not passing on Austin with everything he brings to the table.

Anonymous said...

Patterson has been referred to as "a 6'3" toddler", is raw as hell, and is a body catcher. This is a first rounder?

Love Austin....but he's going to get broken at the NFL level.

WR is hellah deep too. I can't see taking one of those in the first either, really, unless it's Hopkins. And he isn't worth the 17.

They're going to have to take SOMETHING in round one, and have still over half their alloted visits left(not counting the free local guys). I'm sure they'll have more guys in at multiple positions that are first round rated. Doesn't matter anyway. They could bring in 18 Ks and draft a QB. They don't always bring in the guy they take 1st for a visit.

Slab said...

Since it's acknowledged that anything can either be an indicator of interest or a smokescreen, there really isn't any way to actually productively analyse this. How does Jarvis coming in indicate WR? Couldn't it just as easily mean they are going to scoop him up if he is there, but he is the only guy they had questions on that they would consider in the first at that position? Last year they only brought in a couple guys that actually went in the first. They took a guard they didn't bring in even though they brought in 6 other Olinemen... While 4 of the players they drafted were brought in, that means 5 weren't.

Steve-O said...

Dale,

I tend to agree with your assessment, and I also believe I"m in the minority of those who want to see the Steelers draft either Tavon Austin or Cordarelle Patterson (I prefer Patterson). I believe his raw ability alone is enough to change a defense's gameplan.

For the last few years they've invested heavily in the trenches and it's about time to start putting some top draft choices in the skill positions. But if not WR then I'm all for Kenny Vaccaro.

Pistol said...

If they are taking a Wr in the first i want Austin or Hopkins. They need guys that are leaders and can run the full route tree. Patterson is a dummy and would be years away from being able to be counted on consistently.
Sanders still does still has that problem and he's in what his 4th year??? Austin or Hopkins could play immmediately and at a VERY high level.

Mark R said...

DeAndre Hopkins or Keenan Allen, please. I'd rather not have us spend a first on a glorified slot receiver or a project.

Mark R said...

Hopkins or Allen, please. I'd rather not have us spend our top pick on a project or a glorified slot receiver.

Dale Lolley said...

I like Austin way better as a playmaker. Much more polished. And they could do all kinds of stuff with him - line him up in the backfield, etc. He's Percy Harvin with more speed.

I believe Jones was brought in, quite frankly, to look at his neck. I don't think the Steelers will take a chance with that. It ended Marvel Smith's career with them.

I like Hopkins and Allen

DD said...

As much as Austin would be able to provide in forcing D's to account for him, I do not think he's the ideal WR for Ben. Fact is, Ben is not very good trying to throw the low, accurate pass. Most of his passes are very high forcing the WR to go get it. He'd get Austin killed over the middle for sure. I'd like safety round 1

Slab said...

You may be right about the Steelers removing Jones from their board over neck issues, but Marvel Smith played 9 seasons with the Steelers and played in the pro-bowl....

Slab said...

I would hope they are eyeing a pass rusher. If Worilds is great, he's probably gone after this year (Ala Keenan Lewis), and if he isn't the D won't be improved.

Dale Lolley said...

Marvel bucked the trend with that and played a far different position than linebacker, who tend to get in more high-speed collisions than left tackles.

As for Worilds, maybe they've seen enough to offer him something. OR maybe he turns them down and rolls the dice, hoping for a big year. Either way, they're drafting a possible replacement this year.

Slab said...

Just saying- Marvel played 9 seasons and made the pro-bowl. Steelers not likely using him as a reason not to draft Jones.

Dale Lolley said...

His stenosis also might not have been as bad. Jones' was so bad, USC dropped him rather than risk playing him. Tells me it was pretty bad.

I'm also not sold he can play in space with that lack of overall speed.

Anonymous said...

"Lack of overall speed?"

Serious question....have you watched a single UGA game that Jones has played in?

Putting far, far too much stock in the Underwear Olympics if you think Jones can't play in space/has a "lack of overall speed."

Patrick said...

Jones just doesn't "look" like a Steelers OLB to me. He looks lanky. Have the Steelers ever had a guy like that? Lloyd, Porter, Harrison, Woodley, even Worilds. Jones is just not built like those guys. Couple that with his disappointing 40, poor bench numbers, and medicals, and he worries me. This isn't the year to miss on a 1st rounder.

I hope he is not the pick and I really don't want Tavon Austin either. At this point I'd like a trade down to try and nail down two quality picks. But that could be said every year and every team wants that.

At this point, I'm hoping Vacarro in the first and Sio Moore or Patton in the 2nd.

Patrick said...

Jones is similar in size/weight to Porter apparently, but he doesn't look big to me. If I'm wrong, someone correct me.

Anonymous said...

Lloyd played at 225-230, IIRC. He's the exception though, not the rule, obviously.

You can ding Jones for a few things, but size isn't one of them. He's 245+.

Vaccaro/Moore as a 1-2 punch would be less than enthusing. Especially if the worry about Jones is size. Moore is basically the same height/weight.

Anonymous said...

It blows my mind to hear everyone hating on jones. 3 weeks ago he was a top 3 pick and now no one wants him? He was the best player in college football last year and dominated the SEC. C'mon guys. Anyone who actually watched him play last year has to be impressed with what he brings to the table. Besides his medical concerns he is the most complete player in this draft class hands down.

Anonymous Brian said...

What if Eifert is actually the best "receiver" available at 17? Or in a trade down n' he's still around at 20-whatever? What's wrong with two tight ends of that caliber in December in the red zone?

Pistol said...

I REALLY like Eifert personally but they already have a similar version of him w/ Paulson. I still would like a combo of a Austin/Hopkins in the first and then either Swope/Vernon/Harper later.

Patrick said...

I see Moore as an ILB in the Steelers D

Anonymous said...

Same question would remain....if Jones is too small, why isn't Moore? He'd be going up against an even greater wall o' flesh playing inside.

It's generally a rhetorical question though, as Jones isn't small. That was kind of my point.

Patrick said...

Moore looks like what we are used to seeing at ILB, in terms of height/weight.

Jones at 6 foot 3, 240, doesn't have the stature of Woodley/Harrison/Worilds. Thats all. I'm not calling him "small", so much as I don't know if hes a great fit in this D.

kyle said...

Jones weighs the same as Harrison. He is about 13 lbs. lighter than Worilds was when he was drafted. He's a lot lighter than Woodley. I think it's worth pointing out that Woodley and Worilds were DEs while Jones has been a 3-4 OLB mostly.

I'm not a fan of Jones at 17. The medical is a major red flag and while I certainly will not discount his production you have to consider that on tape he doesn't have a top level first step, he doesn't beat blocks, he's a liability when run at, and not only does he get beat one on one he gets beat one on one by TEs.

Warmack, Cooper, Johnson are who I think are good value picks at 1.17. There is a good chance they will all be gone though.

Anonymous said...

Patrick: Harrison is 6' and Woodley 6'2". What exactly is your about Jones again?

Patrick said...

Harrison is 3 inches shorter than Jones and weighs the same.

Woodley is an inch smaller and 25 lbs heavier.

Worilds is an inch smaller and 20 some lbs heavier.

Clearly, they are more compact with greater upper body strength.I really needed to spell that out?

(if you are not yet convinced, Woodley and Worilds had better bench numbers too. I can't find Harrison's)

kyle said...

I don't think Harrison was invited to the combine but I think we can assume his bench numbers would dwarf most linebackers'. In Jones' defense, he looks to have pretty long arms; they are mighty skinny though. If Jones' body type is an issue then Dion Jordan's must be a catastrophe. That's the thing, none of the top pass-rushers seem to fit the Steelers' prototype for OLB, doesn't mean they won't go after one of them but it won't surprise me if one or two of those guys are still on the board and the Steelers pass.

Anonymous said...

This just in....players are allowed to gain weight/muscle once they are drafted once the get into a pro weight program.



Dale Lolley said...

I'm not knocking Jones' production in the SEC. I liked him all season as a player. He has good football speed.
But the lack of speed and strength - coupled with the neck issue - is troubling to me.
I don't know if he fits in this defenses as an OLB.