Good Friday to you Steelers fans.
If you’re into watching large men in shorts and shirts that are way too small running around then the NFL Combine is for you! that’s right, it’s time to go Combine-ing once again. From strictly a Steelers’ perspective, you have to assume that defensive line is very high on their priority list and that was evident yesterday. Karl Dunbar, the team’s D-Line Coach, put the prospects through the on-field drills yesterday while assistant Denzel Martin ‘assisted.’ Let’s go back a year to the Senior Bowl. The Steelers were not shy at all about being around the quarterbacks and spending significant time with them. The Combine wasn’t much different. At this year’s Senior Bowl, the staff and most notably Mike Tomlin, spent the bulk of their time with the offensive and defensive lines. I’m not going to make any prognostications here but I would suggest as of March 3rd, that is EXACTLY the direction they are heading early in this Draft.
So Let’s Talk Some Names
While not technically a D-Lineman and more of an EDGE guy, Georgia’s Nolan Smith was electric last night. He posted a 4.44 forty and a vertical jump of 41.5″. He was a menace to opposing offenses through the first eight games and then suffered a season-ending pectoral injury. Northwestern DL Adetomiwa Adebawore, who weighs over 280lbs by the way, ran a forty time of 4.54. That’s insane. PITT DL Calijah Kancey lived up to the hype with a blistering forty time himself at 4.67. He’s on the smallish side for a DT but based on his college work he’s going to be a great pick for someone. Clemson DT Brian Bresee had a very good day pulling off great numbers and showing how agile he was. EDGE guys Lukas Van Ness of Iowa and Will McDonald IV of Iowa State both had solid performances that should solidify their first round status.
Episode 309 of the SCB Steelers Podcast presented by DEK Roofing Inc is now available for your listening and/or viewing pleasure. We started our in depth discussions of how the Steelers approach the first round each year… Will they be willing to take any risks from a ‘player-character issue’ standpoint… We also talked about several potential target targets and positions we may or may no be thrilled with and of course, Casey Kasem made his weekly appearance from the grave!
Tweet of the Day… This young man has become everything we love in a Steeler.
— Sam Highsmith (@HighsmithHigh5) March 3, 2023
Out of the Equation
One thing about the Steelers and the Draft is that there are always a handful of positions you know they aren’t going to take in round one. This year I’d say it’s more than fair to cross quarterback and running back off the list. Even if Bijan Robinson, an extremely talented back fell to 17, I just can’t see the Steelers taking him. QB in the first is pretty self-explanatory. What about wide receiver? It seems a very “Steeler-like” thing to do especially with former PITT star Jordan Addison likely available. Is EDGE a possibility? A week or two ago I would have said no way but with Alex Highsmith entering the final year of his deal (they hope to do an extension) and knowing what life without T.J. Watt looks like, I can actually see it happening. Safety? Why not? Terrell Edmunds and Damonte Kazee are both free agents. If Brian Branch is there? He’s an uber-talented guy who can do everything. I’d take him in a heartbeat. So while DL, OL, CB and ILB seem like obvious targets, don’t be too sure.
We’ve started our NFL Draft Coverage here at SCB and the first of our Position Profiles is out. We’ve made the decision that rather than make extensive profiles of each player, we are doing smaller ones and grouping them by position. This allows us to easier update information as Pro Days and the Combine provide more info.
Our Online Store
Please visit our online store! We have been so fortunate to work with DC4L Custom Tees! They are wonderful to work with and are willing to work with you on just about any design you can come up with!