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Adamski: Steelers 2017 pre-draft visits, a running tally

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Mahomes

The Steelers are expected to take a quarterback in this draft. But would they do it as early as they’d need to if they really wanted Patrick Mahomes? (AP photo)

 

 

SOUTH SIDE — Make no mistake, as Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin themselves will repeatedly tell you, predraft visits to a team’s facility are just one part of the equation the Steelers use in the process of deciding who to pick.

 

 

But it can be a valuable part, as their recent drafts show.

 

 

Over the past four years, 18 of the Steelers’ 33 draft picks were predraft visitors, including three last year: S Sean Davis (Maryland, second round), DT Javon Hargrave (South Carolina State, third round) and OT Jerald Hawkins (LSU, fourth round).

 

 

While that better-than-50-percent number of predraft visitors who gets drafts looks nice, keep in mind that means that more than 100 visitors weren’t drafted by the Steelers. That doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t want to (you only get one pick per round!), and the in-person meetings at the combine and on individual school Pro Days can be just as useful when it comes to getting to know a player. Sometimes, the take-me-out-to-dinner meetings after campus workouts are all a team needs (see: last year, when Colbert and Tomlin dined with eventual first-round pick Artie Burns, then as a result saw no need to burn an at-the-facility visit on him).

 

 

But at very least, formally bringing a player in is a signal that there is at least some level of interest from the Steelers – be it their on-field production, Combine measurables or some other attribute that initially caught their eye.

 

 

The NFL permits 30 of these visits per draft cycle, although the final number can surpass that because of exemptions given to players with local ties.

 

 

Although this is being posted a week into the visits (roughly half of them are complete), we’ll update them daily as they happen. Here is a list with position, prospect, school and projected round (courtesy NFL Draft Scout/CBS):

 

 

 

 

April 3 (four visitors)

QB Josh Dobbs (Tennessee), 6th rd

WR Kenny Golloday (Northern Illinois), 4th rd

QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech), 1st-2nd rd

WR Joshua Reynolds (Texas A&M), 5th rd

 

 

April 4 (four)

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State

Chris Godwin has been Penn State’s best receiver the past two seasons. (Barry Reeger/Tribune-Review file)

CB Jourdan Lewis (Michigan), 3rd rd

OLB Takkarist McKinley (UCLA), 1st-2nd rd

S Montae Nicholson (Michigan State), 7th rd/u’d free agent

OLB Derek Rivers (Youngstown State), 2nd-3rd rd

 

 

(April 5: None)

 

 

April 6 (five)

conner

Pittsburgh football fans are familiar with James Conner — and he with the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. (Chaz Palla/Tribune-Review photo)

S Budda Baker (Washington), 2nd rd

RB James Conner (Pitt), 4th-5th rd

WR Chris Godwin (Penn State), 2nd rd

S Joshua Jones (N.C. State),  2nd rd

ILB Jarrad Davis (Florida), 1st-2nd rd

 

 

April 7 (two)

ILB Zach Cunningham (Vanderbilt), 1st rd

OLB Carroll Phillips (Illinois), 4th-5th rd

 

 

Peterman

Nate Peterman has been climbing up draft boards this spring. (Chaz Palla/Tribune-Review photo)

(None over the April 8-9 weekend)

 

 

April 10 (two)

OLB Sam Ebukam (Eastern Washington), 7th rd

QB Nate Peterman (Pitt), 3rd-4th rd

 

 

 April 11 (two)

OLB Tim Williams (Alabama), 2nd rd

DL (DE) Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova), 4th-5th rd

 

 

Rasul Douglas

Rasul Douglas of WVU is a big (6-2, 209) cornerback. (AP photo)

April 12 (four)

OLB Keion Adams (Western Michigan)7th rd-u’d free agent

TE Jason Croom (Tennessee), undrafted free agent

CB Rasul Douglas (West Virginia), 3rd-4th rd

CB Jalen Myrick (Minnesota)3rd-4th rd

 

 

April 13 (five)

WR Shelton Gibson (West Virginia), 5th rd

WR Mack Hollins (North Carolina), 5th rd

CB Marlon Humphrey (Alabama), 1st rd

CB Ryan Lewis (Pitt), undrafted free agent

S Obi Melifonwu (Connecticut), 1st-2nd rd

 

 

Treyvon Hester

Treyvon Hester is a Penn Hills High School alum. (Toledo Athletics photo)

(April 14-16, none)

 

 

April 17 (one)

DT Treyvon Hester (Toledo), 7th rd

 

 

(April 18 none)

 

 

April 19 (four)

DL Patrick Gamble, Georgia Tech, undrafted free agent

DL Francis Kallon, Georgia Tech, undrafted free agent

OLB Pita Taumoepenu, Utah, undrafted free agent

 

 

Running tally of visits by position (updated 4/13/17):

  • 7 outside linebackers
  • 5 wide receivers
  • 5 cornerbacks
  • 4 safeties
  • 4 defensive linemen
  • 3 quarterbacks
  • 2 inside linebackers
  • 1 running back
  • 1 tight end
  • 0 offensive linemen or specialists

 

 

 

Breakdown:

22 defensive players; 10 offensive players

(Last year, for comparison’s sake, it was 26 defensive players, 6 offensive players)

 

 

 

(**Note: players who are local natives or go to a local college can meet with the Steelers and not count toward their allotment limit of 30).

 

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Author: Chris Adamski

Chris Adamski joined Trib Total Media's Steelers coverage team in 2014 after spending two seasons on the Penn State football beat for the Trib. Before that, he had worked in Pittsburgh sports media for more than a decade, extensively covering the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Pitt, Duquesne and the WPIAL.

 
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