Logan, Utah is the stomping grounds for an intriguing prospect the Steelers could consider in this year’s draft. I am very pleased to say that I have been there and watched highly regarded draft prospect Bobby Wagner from Utah State University on multiple occasions this past year. Wagner is ranked 6 out of 225 OLB’s and his draft stock has risen not only because of his great play in college but also at his pro day held this past week. He has been awarded the several honors, including the 2012 Senior Bowl MVP, 2011-10, 09, Honoree. The final college game of his college career that I attended was the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where he made 7 total tackles, 5 solo and 2 assisted and that was a great finishing touch to his outstanding college career. He has a strong fire and desire burning that will unleash on an NFL field soon to be seen on a channel near you!
Utah State had their pro day on March 30th, and Wagner didn’t disappoint all those in attendance. The time for the Steelers to begin rebuilding is paramount on both of sides of the football we are all aware of that by all means. I will admit that offensive line is most likely the number one priority, but it would be worthwhile if they kept OLB Bobby Wagner on the draft radar in the 2nd Round. Some even have him labeled as a late first rounder now. Dick Lebeau and company will make sure that this Steeler defense is going to be strong for years beyond and Wagner is just another piece to that puzzle that can only make it stronger. How much of a need does the team have on the outside this year with both Harrison and Woodley as the starters? Depth never hurts and Wagner could be a future star in Pittsburgh. He appears to be a born leader on defense, with great speed, athleticism, and could make a future impact for the Steeler defense. He is a projected 2nd Round pick and would complement the Steelers already solid linebacking corp.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com had this to say after his workouts: Wagner was supposed to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine but couldn’t due to pneumonia. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds and recorded a 39-1/2-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump. He completed the short shuttle in 4.24 seconds, did the three-cone drill in 7.03 seconds and did 24 strength lifts. Wagner had a fantastic workout, and will probably be selected in the middle of the second round. He’s been very productive in college. Wagner has been playing inside, but I think teams would like to play him as an outside linebacker.
To keep things in perspective, Rob Rang of CBS Sports added this interesting information after watching Wagner work out.
That mark [4.45] would have beaten Cal’s Mychal Kendricks’ 4.45 time at the Combine. Wagner also matched Kendricks’ 39.5″ vertical jump, which led all linebackers at the Combine and posted a jaw-dropping 11’0 broad jump that not only beat all linebackers tested in Indianapolis (beating Kendricks’ position-best effort by five inches), it was just one inch behind the best efforts put forth at the 2012 by any prospect. Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill and Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson recorded broad jumps of 11’1″.
The Draft of 2012 will be the most intriguing of all due to the simple fact there are many areas that need rebuilding as well as maintaining the winning ways all of Steeler Fans are used to having on the field. The masterful GM Kevin Colbert will have a very busy War Room on Draft day. Could the Steelers consider going outside again at linebacker so early? Stranger things have happened but you never know when it comes to keeping fresh, able bodies at such an important position in 3-4 defense.
03/16/12 – NFL Draft Scout Top Edge Players, OLB/DE: Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah State, 6-0, 241, 2…A four-year starter, two-year captain and three-time All-WAC honoree, Wagner can be called short, but he’s not small. He packs the power of a man much larger and uses that effectively to tackle anybody with the audacity to be in his vicinity with a football. His senior year was his best, with 147 total tackles, including 67 solo, four sacks and two interceptions. His muscular build was impressive at the Senior Bowl weigh-ins, and he was hyperactive during the week of practice. But Wagner wasn’t allowed to really tackle until the game, when he put on a clinic, leading everybody with seven tackles, including one for a loss, and an interception. For that he was named Senior Bowl MVP. – Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange/NFLDraftScout.com
Written By : Nick Voron