Here is an updated look at the Steelers Draft Visit Tracker that includes scouting reports for all draft prospects who have visited the Steelers that count against the 30-maximum prospects the Steelers can host. The scouting reports are in order of the projected round the draft prospects are expected to be drafted in.
Draft Visits: OT Mike Adams, WR Ty Hilton, DT Derek Wolfe, OG Brandon Brooks, CB Keith Tandy, LB Jerrell Harris, RB Isaiah Pead, RT Bobby Massie
Latest Scouting Reports: Bobby Massie (April 4th visit), Brandon Brooks (March 30th visit), Isaiah Pead (Apri 3 visit), Jerrell Harris (April (3rd visit), Keith Tandy (April 3rd Visit)
***Updated April 4th***
OT Mike Adams – Ohio State
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 323 lbs
Draft Buzz: Projected late 1st round/Early Second Round
Visit: Week of March 19 – 26
Scouting Report: Adams is a big massive tackle who the Steelers might give a look at if he’s around at No. 24. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is always drawn to Ohio State players and during Adams proday Tomlin, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and offensive line coach Sean Kugler all attended. The negatives with Adams is that he doesn’t have great technique, lacks a nasty edge to his game and isn’t a physically powering player but he protects the passer very well and has room to grow. Rarely lets players beat him inside and has the length and with improved technique to be an impact right tackle at the next level. At this point, some scouts aren’t sold on him being a left tackle in the NFL. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Adams rated as the 5th best tackle in the draft and in his latest mock draft has Adams going No. 19 to Chicago.
The Red flags: One big reason the Steelers are doing a lot of home work on Adams: He’s had issues on and off the field at Ohio State. From an injury standpoint, in 2008 he underwent shoulder surgery and then had a season ending left foot injury. Adams also missed five games in 2009 as a junior due to a knee injury he first suffered against Penn State. The good news is that he was healthy in 2010 starting all 13 games and starting all 7 games in 2011.
The red flag with Adams is the off-field issues. He was suspended for two games in 2009 for violating team rules, and was cited in January of 2009 for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after being stopped by police for running a stop sign. Charges were eventually dropped as the cop ruled Adams was smoking a pipe with tobacco, according to the Columbus-Dispatch. In 2011, Adams was one of five players suspended for first five games of 2011 season for receiving benefits from a tattoo parlor owner.
RT Bobby Massie – Mississippi
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 320 lbs
Draft Buzz: Projected 2nd-3rd round pick
Draft Visit: April 4th
Scouting Report: An underrated tackle who could go very early in the second round (or slide into late first round) and is regarded by some evaluators as the No. 4 tackle behind USC’s Matt Kalil, Stanford’s Jonathan Martin and Iowa’s Riley Reiff. Massie has great upper body strength and is extremely athletic, which has some scouts believing he could move inside to guard, like the Steelers felt with Marcus Gilbert when the team drafted him last year in the second round.
Massie is quick, light on his feet for such a big player and due to his strength and athletic ability, has a good combination of quickness and strength. Massie has long arms and plays with a nasty edge which interests the Steelers. Massie is quick off the snap in run blocking situations and finishes his blocks. The biggest knock on Massie is his pass blocking technique, something that should improve at the NFL level.
G Brandon Brooks – Miami Ohio
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 346 lbs
Draft Buzz: 2nd – 3rd round
Draft Visit: March 30th
Scouting Report: A four year starter with 42 career starts, Brooks is a massive guard who was not invited to the combine but has a second to third round grade from many scouting services and should be off the board before the 4th round.
Regarded as having powerful strength and above average athletic ability, Brooks has a mean streak in the running game with a mauler type ability.
Top Concerns among scouts include: Has a thick build and weight concerns and plays “too high” sometimes.
Scouting Report: Pead is a player the Steelers are said to be high on, but would likely have to nab him in the second round, as he’s unlikely to fall into the late third round.
Pead shined in the combine running a 4.47 forty yard dash and was among the best running backs in all drills, solidifying his status with scouts as a likely second or third round pick.
Pead has great change of direction speed, combined with athleticism and explosion through the hole. In the open field he’s a dangerous player and has excellent straight line breakaway speed. With the skill set to be a proto-typical third down change of pace back, Pead can be a factor in the receiving game, which enhances his value. He had 36 receptions in 12 games in 2011, averaging 8.2 yards per catch.
Pass blocking though is a big concern and something that would have to improve for him to be a regular third down back. Does not break a lot of tackles, which could limit his ability as an everydown back.
Scouting Report: Hilton has excellent speed, being clocked at running the 40 in the 4.3 range. On his pro-day on March 9th, Hilton was clocked at 4.38 and 4.28, his father told the Miami Herald.
With excellent speed, Hilton has good footwork and is regarded as having very good hands. He’s a dangerous player in the open field and is regarded by scouts as having potential elite ability in the return game. The Steelers love receivers with speed and could be drawn to Hilton in the middle rounds due to his ability in the return game and potential as a receiver.
The Steelers only plan to use Antonio Brown in the return game in certain situations like they did with Santonio Holmes as Brown has emerged as a No. 1 receiver as they don’t want him getting banged up. Emmanuel Sanders is projected to take over Brown’s role in the return game, but Sanders isn’t a very good returner and has recurring foot injuries. The biggest knock from scouts about Hilton is his slight frame as there’s concerns about him being able to get out of jams.
Hilton averaged 14.4 yards to per catch in 2011 and had long catches of 83, 63, 60, and 58 yards.
DT Derek Wolfe – Cincinnati
Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 300 lbs
2011 Stats: 70 Tackles – 9.5 sacks – 2 FF
Draft Buzz: Projected 4th-5th round
Draft Visit: Week of March 19-25
Scouting Report: Wolfe the Big East defensive player of the year in 2011, is a player who makes big plays. He led the conference with 21.5 tackles for loss and added 9.5 sacks to go with 70 tackles in 2011. He has a high motor, excellent work ethic and is regarded as a hard worker who has a knack for finding the football and making big plays. A big positive from scouts for Wolfe is his length but he lacks the physical makeup where evaluators have doubts about him being a starter at the next level. He’s a tweener due to his lack of physical strength but he’s regarded by some as a fit in a two gap five technique in a 3-4 defense. His ability to make negative plays against the run is intriguing and he projects as a possible fourth round pick.
CB Keith Tandy – West Virginia
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 202 lbs
2011 Stats: 64 tackles – 3 interceptions
Draft Buzz: Projected 6th – 7th round
Draft Visit: April 3rd
Scouting Report: I asked a scout this week about Tandy and the scout said Tandy has the ability to make a career in the NFL as a special teamer. An excellent tackler with a great build, Tandy doesn’t have much promise as a cornerback at the next level, where he struggles in coverage. The scout projected whichever team drafts him or signs him as an UDFA, will most likely be intrigued by his potential as run stopper at the safety position, the likely position for him at the next level.
OLB Jerrell Harris – Alabama
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 242 lbs
2011 Stats: 29 tackles – 0 sacks
Draft Buzz: Projected 7th round pick/undrafted
Draft Visit: April 3rd
Scouting Report: A likely 3-4 linebacker at the next level who has the build to play outside or inside. Biggest strength is ability as a run stopper, has good size and instincts, but does not provide much of anything in rushing the passer. He 0 sacks last season.
MIN Receives: Victor Rask
CAR Receives: Nino Niederreiter
Trade Buzz: Thursday’s 1-for-1 trade of young underperforming players saw the Minnesota Wild acquire center Victor Rask from the Carolina Hurricanes for left winger Nino Niederreiter. Carolina did an excellent job of being able to get out of the Rask contract, who has three years remaining with a $4 million cap hit. Rask has 1 goal, 5 assists on the season, mirrored in a 22-game goal drought. The logic here for Minnesota is taking the chance on a playmaking center who can help fill a top-9 spot longer term if the Wild move on from Eric Staal. Minnesota is also playing the card that a change of scenery will benefit the 24-year old who posted a career-high 21 goals, 48 points in 2015-2016.
Niederreiter’s trade value was stunted because of his contract, where he has three years left on his deal with a $5.25 million cap hit. Niederreiter is a player who is extremely hard to play against, drives possession well, and has three 20 goal seasons over his last four full seasons. Injuries (18 goals in 63 games) kept him from a 4th straight 20-goal season in 17-18. The Niederreiter acquisition also sets up as great insurance for the Hurricanes if they can’t resign Micheal Ferland. In the short-term, Carolina’s center situation is a mess with Jordan Staal sidelined with a concussion, but they’re getting the better player who fits the identity they’re trying to establish upfront, especially on the wings where they’ve identified the need for Patric Hornqvist type players.