2011 NFL Draft: Is Cameron Heyward an Option for the Steelers?

Ivan BliminseCorrespondent IApril 7, 2011

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes sacks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli #8 of the Oregon Ducks during the 96th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The 2011 NFL Draft is quickly approaching and teams need to start finalizing their short list of prospects to consider for their first-round picks. It seems that the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting busy with their final evaluations and a new name has been added to their list of potential draft picks—Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward

Heyward, who has been compared to former New England Patriot and current Oakland Raider Richard Seymour, held a workout today and two key figures of the Steelers organization were in attendance. Both head coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau traveled to Ohio State to see the Buckeye player's workout first hand.

It is hard to not connect the dots and draw a connection between a player and team when two prominent figures in the organization such as Tomlin and LeBeau travel to see the talent in person.

Heyward weighed 295 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.95-4.96 range and had a 35-inch vertical jump. He did not participate in the bench press. 

If selected by the Steelers, Heyward would be a perfect fit at the five-technique for their 3-4 defensive front. Injury has been a concern surrounding Heyward, who had Tommy John surgery in January, but he has since been cleared medically for physical activity. 

The former Buckeye would bring some much needed youth to the Steelers defensive front. Brett Keisel, 32, and Aaron Smith, 34, are underrated talents who have done an incredible job at the position, however, they are both getting up there in the years and it is time to start grooming young talent.

Would selecting Heyward pay off for the Steelers in the long term or would there be a better option at the end of the first round?