Thursday, April 8, 2010

Prospect Visits: Day 7

Every year, each team gets to bring in 30 draft prospects for individual meetings and workouts with the team. For an insider's look at what goes on during these Player Visits, check out this podcast from former Ravens & Browns scout Daniel Jeremiah at Move The Sticks. (Here's a full list of his podcasts -- you can also find them on iTunes under "Move The Sticks"). To try to give you all the most information possible about the prospects the Steelers are bringing in for workouts, we compiled rankings from four different scouting websites: Draft Breakdown,Mocking the Draft, NFL House, and Scar Draft. We highly recommend all of them as a go-to sources for draft information. You can find quick-links to all of our recommended draft sites under the "Draft Resources" tab at the far right of the menu bar at the top of the page. You can also find a log of all the draft prospects the Steelers have brought in under the "NFL Draft Preview" tab.

Mike Iupati (G-Idaho)
6'5" 330 lbs
Draft Breakdown: #33 overall, #1 G
Mocking the Draft: #18 overall, #1 G
NFL House: #38 overall, #1 G
Scar Draft: #27 overall, #1 G

Projected Round: 1st

We absolutely love Iupati. If we had it our way, the Steelers would draft him at #18 and he would start right away at RG. Iupati is an absolute mauler that just destroys people in the run game. He tops our list of "Guys we hope the Steelers draft."

Maurkice Pouncey (C-Florida)
6'5" 304 lbs
Draft Breakdown: #25 overall, #1 C, Red Star Prospect
Mocking the Draft: #20 overall, #1 C
NFL House: #29 overall, #1 C
Scar Draft: #28 overall, #1 C

Projected Round: Late 1st-Early 2nd

There are a lot of teams out there that are high on Iupati. If someone trades up ahead of the Steelers to take him, we firmly believe the Steelers should take either Pouncey or Kyle Wilson (CB-Boise St). We'll get into more detail about or draft wish list in a few days, but we are very high on Pouncey. Besides being "the guy that snapped the ball to Tebow," Pouncey could come in and play right away at guard, then move over to center when Justin Hartwig retires.

Rob Gronkowski (TE-Arizona)
6'6" 264 lbs
Draft Breakdown: #43 overall, #2 TE
Mocking the Draft: #31 overall, #2 TE
NFL House: #68 overall, #4 TE
Scar Draft: #53 overall, #2 TE

Projected Round: 2nd-4th

Gronkowski is considered by many scouts to be the most talented tight end in the draft. However, he has a history of injuries (including a season-ending injury last year), which have caused his stock to fall. WPIAL fans may remember Gronkowski playing for Woodland Hills High School. The Steelers probably won't be picking a tight end at the top of the draft, and most likely brought Gronkowski in to have their doctors evaluate him.

Clifton Geathers (DE-South Carolina)
6'7" 299 lbs
Draft Breakdown: #16 DE
Mocking the Draft: #134 overall, #11 DE
NFL House: unranked
Scar Draft: #193 overall, #15 3-4 DE

Projected Round: 5th-7th

Geathers is another massive dude that would provide youth along the defensive front. It's good to see the Steelers doing their research with these mid-to-late round draft picks. It's on these team visits where the team gets a sense of where they might find someone who would be a great fit in their system and might be a late round steal. Could Geathers be that type of player that the Steelers target late in the draft? We'll see in two weeks.

Linval Joseph (NT-East Carolina)
6'4" 328 lbs
Draft Breakdown: #18 DT
Mocking the Draft: #106 overall, #13 DT
NFL House: #37 DT
Scar Draft: #91 overall, #4 3-4 NT

Projected Round: 3rd-5th round

Our buddy Scott at actually predicted the Steelers taking Linval Joseph in the 3rd round in his first mock draft. He reasoned that Joseph fits the Steelers 3-4 scheme perfectly as a plug in the middle. You really can't argue with the dude's frame. 6'4" and 328? Wow. The D-line is aging fast, and we really aren't opposed to the Steelers drafting guys that can add youth and depth at any of the positions. Since we re-signed Hampton to a 3-year deal, drafting a guy like Joseph now would give us the opportunity to groom him for a few years before asking him to step into the starting role.

Carlton Mitchell (WR-South Florida)
6'4" 212 lbs
Draft Breakdown: #26 WR
Mocking the Draft: #122 overall, #13 WR
NFL House: #19 WR
Scar Draft: #188 overall, #19 WR

Projected Round: 5th-undrafted

Mitchell has two things that you can't teach: size and speed. He's 6'4" and ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at the combine. However, some have questioned his toughness to go over the middle and make the hard catches. Mitchell is a bit raw as far as receiving talent is concerned, but his combination of size and speed could be a huge asset if he learns how to harness it.

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