2011 NFL Pre-Draft Visits: Pittsburgh Steelers Bring in First Wave of Prospects
Like every other team in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the ability to bring in 30 non-local prospects for a pre-draft visit.
The team can also bring in as many local prospects as they want without it counting against that 30 number.
As of right now, the Steelers have or plan to bring in 11 prospects, with only four of those actually counting, leaving them with 26 official visits.
In this article, in no particular order, I show who the Steelers have lined up so far and what kind of chance I really think they have to be drafted by the team.
Do These Visits Even Matter?
If you look back to the last two years, 2010 and 2009, the Steelers have brought in a total of 64 prospects for pre-draft visits and drafted seven of those guys.
Three in 2010
Maurkice Pouncey C
Emmanuel Sanders WR
Four in 2009
Joe Burnett CB
Frank Summers FB
Ra’Shon Harris DE
A.Q. Shipley C
Considering that seven out of the 19 total draft picks the Steelers made from 2009 to 2010, there is a good reason to watch who they bring in for a visit.
Curtis Brown CB Texas
The Steelers obviously need help at the cornerback position, especially with all of the uncertainty surrounding the Ike Taylor situation.
Curtis Brown is a little undersized for what the Steelers like to draft; however, he had a good combine and has good coverage skills.
If the Steelers do not take a corner in the first round, there will be a good possibility of them taking Brown in the second.
Jabaal Sheard DE Pittsburgh
Jabaal Sheard looks like the type of player that the Steelers love to draft on the defensive side of the ball.
He showed great strength and versatility at his pro day to be able to make the transition to a 3-4 linebacker; he also has the ability to put on some bulk to possibly become a 3-4 end.
The Steelers are always looking for more depth at linebacker and could opt to try and develop Sheard as a defensive end for a few years.
Greg Romeus DE Pittsburgh
Greg Romeus was once considered a possible first-round pick at the beginning of the year and then hurt his knee in the middle of the season.
Romeus is in the same mold of Sheard, in that he has the potential to convert to a 3-4 linebacker, and yet could bulk up and become a 3-4 end.
The only difference with Romeus is the fact that he is still injured and was not able to work out at either the combine or the Pittsburgh pro day.
Jonathan Baldwin WR Pittsburgh
Jonathan has seen his stock fall from the first round to somewhere in the second round, and it is mostly because of his attitude.
Baldwin has great size and had an alright showing at the combine; however, looked stiff at his pro day and traps the ball against his body more than you would like.
All this said, Baldwin would probably still be in the first round talks if not for his perceived selfish attitude and critical comments about his former college coach.
Cameron Jordan DE California
I do not think Cameron Jordan is going to fall to the Steelers in the first round; however, I think they would take him if for whatever reason he did.
The Steelers have much more pressing needs, yet Jordan would be too good of a player to pass up if he somehow fell that far.
Whether it has been the Senior Bowl, Combine, or his pro day, Jordan has impressed all and would fit as either a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive end.
Dion Lewis RB Pittsburgh
The Steelers could be losing Mewelde Moore to free agency whenever the CBA is figured out and would need a third-down back.
Lewis wowed scouts at the Pittsburgh pro day, showing great quickness and the ability to catch out of the backfield.
He also went back and fielded both punts and kickoffs; his versatility could persuade the Steelers to pick him up if he’s still there in the sixth or seventh round.
Jason Pinkston OT Pittsburgh
Even with the Steelers need on the offensive line, Jason Pinkston is the only offensive lineman that they are bringing in for a visit at the moment.
Pinkston is projected as a second or third-round pick, and could either play right tackle or guard in the NFL.
He has good quickness and awareness for the position; however, he would need to get in the weight room and improve his strength.
Cortez Allen CB Citadel
The Steelers are going to draft more than one defensive back in my opinion and would grab Allen if he was still on the board in the middle rounds.
Allen has shown good speed, to go along with his size, and could end up being a steal for whatever team takes him in the draft.
Taiwan Jones RB Eastern Washington
Taiwan Jones is considered one of the biggest sleeper picks in the draft and scouts are still waiting to see him perform at his pro day.
At the moment, Jones is recovering from a broken foot; however, he is projected to go as high as the second or third round, pending his workout results.
I don’t really see the Steelers going for Jones, not for lack of talent, just lack of need for a running back that high in the draft.
Henry Hynoski FB and Dominic DeCicco OLB Pittsburgh
Right now, the Steelers use tight end David Johnson as their fullback and could use that true blocking back.
Hynoski is not really a bruising blocker and is currently recovering from an injury sustained at the combine.
DeCicco was a safety in college; however, he is converting to linebacker and would be a good special teams player.
Both of these guys will be long shot to even be drafted, however, I would not rule out the Steelers bringing in either as a free agent.