Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke to the media on Saturday and while Tomlin would not discuss his current contract status after Ken Wisenhunt just landed a deal that will pay him $6 million per season in the final two years of his deal, Tomlin did say the Steelers have not ruled out wide receiver or running back in the first round of the draft, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
However, there is a zero chance that the Steelers will go running back in the first two rounds, despite what Tomlin may indicate.
Tomlin indicated quarterback and tight end is the only position off limits in the first round and both positions are not an area the Steelers are focusing on at the combine.
Wide receiver is not a need position but going wide receiver is somewhat of a possibility in the second round, if Pittsburgh’s top target Golden Tate is on the board.
Tate who the Steelers met with on Friday evening, is regarded by the organization as a Hines Ward clone and Tate’s stock may be on the rise after running impressive 40 times this afternoon at the combine(4.40, 4.38).
Sunday’s Combine Buzz
There may not be an organization that values linebackers as high as the Pittsburgh Steelers. The linebacker position is an area of focus for the Steelers at the combine.
With James Farrior aging and on the downside of his career, the front office will look closely at taking an inside linebacker in the first couple rounds and adding depth at outside linebacker is also a priority.
The teams top first round target is Alabama’s Rolando McClain. The premier inside linebacker on the board, McClain is a top 10 talent but will likely be available in the range of picks 10-15. The opportunity to move up will be there but it will be surprising if he gets past the Giants at No. 15.
1st round talent Brandon Spikes of Florida, is another player of interest for the Steelers at the combine.
Meanwhile, the Steelers met with several linebackers this weekend who fall into the category of second-4th round prospects.
Sources confirm to me that the Steelers held interviews on Friday and Saturday with Penn State’s Sean Lee ( 6-2, 240 lbs), Iowa’s A.J. Edds (6-3, 245 lbs), Florida’s Jermaine Cunningham (6-3, 252 lbs), Texas Sergio Kindle (6-4, 250 lbs) and Missouri’s LB Sean Weatherspoon (6-1, 240 lbs)
Lee, Edds and Weatherspoon are inside linebackers in a 3-4 scheme. Weatherspoon has great sideline to sideline range and is a very intriguing prospect who is regarded as a second round talent. The Steelers are believed to be very high on him.
Florida’s Jermaine Cunningham and Sergei Kindle are two draft prospects who are getting looks by 3-4 teams like Pittsburgh to play outside linebacker.
The Steelers are expected to hold a formal interview with Penn State’s Navorro Bowman today, according to a Penn State source.