The NFL combine starts this week and Steelers coaches will be heading to Indianapolis with the rest of the teams in the league. It’s an exciting time as these future NFL hopefuls put their best foot forward to impress potential employers. We’ve put together a list of some players to watch that the Steelers may be interested in come draft time in April and thus could be checking out at the combine. The coaches, scouts, and trainers will be looking at every position available though and getting as much information as possible on every prospect. This list though will consist mainly of players where the Steelers figure to potentially look for help on offense based on current need.
Offensive Tackle: A potential spot where the Steelers could go with their first or 2nd round pick. If Marcus Gilbert moves to the left side than they have several options available should they want a Tackle in this draft.
Zebrie Sanders, Florida State, 6’6″ 308 lbs.
Projected as a Right Tackle. should be available in the 2nd round. Needs to work on pass blocking against top pass rushers. Can play both on the left and right side.
Mike Adams, OSU, 6’7″, 323 lbs.
Projected as a Right Tackle that should be available in the late 1st round or early 2nd. Mauler in run blocking, would need to sure up pass protection against quick pass rushers.
Bobby Massie, Ole Miss, 6’6″ 312 lbs.
Projected as a Right Tackle. Very strong, powerful, has raw skills that can be developed into a good lineman. Projected in Rounds 2-3
Offensive Guards: The biggest need on the line for the Steelers, virtually any of the players on the board early on would be a good addition.
Cordy Glenn, Georgia, 6’6″, 346 lbs.
Quick feet, able to pull and block well. Great run blocker with above average pass protection skills. Projected in late round 1 or early to mid round 2.
Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State, 6’5″, 333 lbs.
Played Tackle in college but should move to Guard in the NFL. Great run blocker, versatile enough to play either side of the line. Should be available in Round 2, possibly late round 1.
Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin, 6’4″, 315 lbs.
Great run blocker in college, good speed. Can hit the 2nd level and pave the way in the ground game. Projected as a 2nd round pick.
Lucas Nix, Pittsburgh, 6’6″ 310 lbs
Local prospect out of PITT that played both Tackle & Guard but is better suited at Guard for most teams. Versatile to play either side of the line. Strength is in his run blocking. Value pick in 3rd or 4th round.
Ryan Miller, Colorado, 6’8″ 310 lbs.
Powerful run blocker but also good pass protection skills. Good foot work to be able to slide and pull in pass blocking. 2nd or 3rd round pick.
Running back: Even though they have several young prospects on the roster now, don’t overlook the chance to take a running back later in the draft for insurance.
Robert Turbin, Utah State, 5’9″ 216 lbs.
Elusive runner, able to make defenders miss. Should run a sub 4.5 in the 40. Projected as a 5th or 6th round pick.
Marc Tyler, USC, 5’11″ 230 lbs.
Powerful, tough runner. Had some injuries in 2011 but will be a good value in rounds 5 or 6.
Tauren Poole, Tennessee, 5’11″ 213 lbs.
Hamstring injuries hampered his production last season but in 2010 he carried the load averaging over 5.0 ypc. Short yardage specialist much like Isaac Redman. Projected as a pick in rounds 5 or 6 but could go sooner if he’s healthy enough to put on a good showing at the combine.
Fullbacks: If the Steelers are going to recommit themselves to running the ball, don’t be surprised to see them draft a Fullback with a later pick possibly in round 5 or 6.
Cody Johnson, Texas, 5’11″, 250 lbs.
Considered by many to be the top full back in the draft. A pure blocker who won’t do much in the passing game. Should be available in rounds 5-6.
Bradie Ewing, Wisconsin, 5’11″, 241 lbs. A pure full back, old school, who would need to be used in that role. Also a special teams ace.
Rhett Ellison, USC, 6’4″ 250 lbs.Can play either fullback or tight end. With Weslye Saunders suspended for 4 games the Steelers may consider a player like Ellison. No nonsense type of player, should be available mid to late rounds of draft.
Wide Receiver: Depending on what happens with Mike Wallace, the coaches will be looking at some mid round receivers potentially. Even if they don’t think they can keep Wallace, they have options available on the roster already that wouldn’t necessitate the need to draft a receiver higher than the 3rd round.
Nick Toon, Wisconsin, 6’3″, 217 lbs.
Good blocking receiver, can be very productive if given the chance. Didn’t get a chance to shine in the Badgers run based offense. Should be available in rounds 3-4.
Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech, 6’4″ 206 lbs.
Good speed for a guy his size. Raw but can be a steal in the 3rd round or early 4th. Big play potential downfield receiver.
Brian Quick, Appalachian State, 6’4″, 222 lbs.
Could go as high as round 3 or drop to the 5th. A potential steal from a small school. Doesn’t have blazing speed but very productive as a big target and redzone threat.
Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M, 6’4″, 217 lbs.
Injuries slowed him down but when healthy can be a solid target as a possession receiver. Would have probably been a 2nd round pick but injuries may push him down the 4th or 5th round. Not explosive or a speed burner but could be solid in short passing game.
Quarterback: With all of the backups to Ben Roethlisberger in free agent status and/or coming off injuries the team could grab a QB late in the draft.
Kellen Moore, Boise State, 6’0″ 191 lbs.
Big production at Boise State, 3,734 yds and 43 Touchdowns. Lacks the height and weight to go any higher than the 5th round most likely.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma St. 6’4″, 219 lbs.
Completed 72% of his passes; over 4,700 yds passing and 37 TD’s. If he wasn’t a 29 yr. old rookie he’d probably be at least a 2nd round pick. Should be around in the 4th or 5th round and a backup for as long as he can last in the league.
Brock Osweiler, Arizona State. 6’8″, 240 lbs.
A cannon for an arm and the physical stature to stand tall in the pocket. Has decent mobility for a guy his size. Raw prospect but given time to develop could be a future star. If he has a good combine he could move up the 3rd round.