Latest Steelers Buzz

Combine Buzz: Chargers a front runner for Parker’s services? Steelers meet with WR Golden Tate

NFL Combine Buzz
*At first glance the market for Willie Parker does not appear strong with a number of aging running backs hitting the free agent market, but a source close to Willie Parker told me on Friday their expecting the San Diego Chargers to express significant interest in Parker and there’s word that a meeting could happen on the first day of free agency.
Word around the league is that Parker’s an intriguing option to teams because he might be willing to take a short-term deal with incentives as the veteran back searches for a starting job.
One scout call Parker the most underrated running back hitting the open market.
The Chargers are believed to value Parker highly.
The Steelers have made it known to Parker’s camp that they would like him back at a reduced rate but Parker will explore every opportunity to find a starting job.

Secondary Buzz

*On the defensive side of the ball, NFL draft analysts are calling the 2010 draft the deepest in 8-10 years.
A lot of talk centering around the Steelers has been about the need to get impact players early in this years draft, especially the secondary where the Steelers don’t need depth, they have plenty of that.
The Steelers window of opportunity is now and if there’s a draft to move up and get an impact player, there’s some thought that this is the year for the Steelers to make that Troy Polamau/Santonio Holmes splash
The 2010 draft possesses dynamic players in the secondary including the likes of Joe Haden, Eric Berry and Earl Thomas.

Top 5 Cornerbacks via Scouts Inc

****Analysis and Draft stock provided by TIOPS****
1. Joe Haden CB Florida 5-11⅜ 192 lbs
Draft Stock: 1st round- Top 15 selection
*The most gifted cornerback in the draft. Could go as high as No. 7 to the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers will have to move up to land Haden.
2. Kyle Wilson CB Boise State 5-10 190 lbs
Draft Stock: Mid-late 1st round
*Regarded as the top cover cornerback in the draft. Will be an option for the Steelers at No. 18.
3. Kareem Jackson CB Alabama 5-11 195 lbs
Draft Stock: 1st/2nd round
*A player the Steelers absolutely love. May have the most upside of any cornerback in the draft and Nick Saban prepares players for the NFL better than any coach in the nation.
4. Devin McCourty CB Rutgers 5-10¾ 186 lbs
Draft Stock: 2nd round
*Cover skills are still developing but possess good size and great speed, projected to run a 4.3-40 time at the combine. An asset on special teams.
5. Patrick Robinson CB Florida State 5-11⅛ 190 lbs
Draft Stock: 2nd round
*A physical corner who at times has been dominant at the college level. Very good against the run. However, his draft stock has slipped after an up and down 2009 season.

Top 5 Safeties via Scouts Inc

1. Eric Berry S Tennessee 5-11¼ 204 lbs
Draft stock: 1st round – Top 15 selection
*Regarded by many as the next Ed Reed. Could go as high as No. 3 to Tampa Bay.
2. Earl Thomas S Texas 5-11 198 lbs
Draft Stock: 1st round selection
*Stock is on the rise, high upside player that can play cornerback and safety. Outstanding ball skills in coverage.
3. Taylor Mays S USC 6-3 231 lbs
Draft Stock: Mid-late 1st round
*Regarded as the most physically gifted player in the draft. Projected as a top 5 pick in 2009 but stock has fallen after returning for his senior season. Hard hitting safety, but struggles with his sideline-to-sideline range. There is word that the Steelers are not high on him but the upside, physical skills is clearly there.
4. Nate Allen S South Florida 6-0⅝ 205 lbs
Draft Stock:Late 1st round/2nd round
*Not as flashy as Berry, Thomas and Mays but is highly regarded and could slip into the late first round. However, not a good value at No. 18 for the Steelers.
5. Chad Jones S LSU 6-2½ 225 lbs
Draft Stock: 2nd round/3rd round
*Has linebacker like size, but is fluid and possess good speed.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the linebacker position where there are strong indications that the Steelers will be active in the draft and even free agency to a lesser extent.

Steelers met with wide receiver Golden Tate

The Steelers are meeting with several players this weekend and yesterday evening they met with wide receiver Golden Tate (5’11 – 195 lbs) from the University of Notre Dame. The Steelers going wide receiver in the second round is unlikely but as noted by Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette earlier in the week, the Steelers value Tate as a potential replacement for Hines Ward.

Pitt’s Dorin Dickerson 4th among TE’s in bench press

Pitt’s Dorin Dickerson had 24 bench press repetitions on Thursday, ranking fourth among tight ends. Penn State’s Andrew Quarless was tied for 5th with 23 repetitions.
Top 5
1. Clay Harbor, Missouri St- 30 repetitions
2. Dennis Pitta, BYU – 27 repetitions
3. Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois – 25
4. Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh – 24
5. Andrew Quarless, Penn State – 23 (two others tied with 23)

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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