Senior Bowl Buzz
Spoke to a source down in Mobile, Alabama this evening whose covering the Senior Bowl. The entire Steelers coaching and scouting staff arrived on Sunday and will conduct a number of interviews this week with draft prospects
*Monday was the first day of practice and Pitt tight end Dorin Dickerson who is playing for the North Team, spent the entire duration of the practice taking reps at wide receiver.
Dickerson showed the ability to separate, making some nice grabs I’m told but he’s a work in progress at wide receiver. Remains to be seen how much work he will get at tight end this week.
*Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick is drawing rave reviews and had an excellent day of work. Odrick is regarded at this point as a late 1st round/ early 2nd round pick. His stock could be on the rise this week.
*There’s a lot of talk going around the Senior Bowl that a top priorty for the Steelers in the middle rounds (4-7), (maybe 3rd, although unlikely) is finding a powerful, straight ahead running back that excels between the tackles to team with rising star Rashard Mendenhall.
The Steelers believe that Mendenhall is their complete back of the future and a potential star but a powerful running back is the type of back they are looking for as a future backup.
The Steelers love Stanford running back Toby Gerhart but he may not last past the 3rd round.
An intriguing running back is Oregon’s LaGarrette Blount. Famous for the Boise State incident, he’s a big powerful running back who fits that straight ahead style the Steelers are seeking.
Reportedly he had a great first day at the Senior Bowl and I’m told Steelers reps are expected to meet with him mid-week.
Blount was a considered a 2nd round prospect prior to the season and right now is regarded as late round pick due to character issues. If the Steelers can look beyond that incident, Blount could be a value pick late in the draft.
*Two players that I know of that the Steelers met with on Monday were Michigan State placed kicker Brett Swenson and Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati. The Steelers absolutely love Iupati (6ft5 – 330lbs) who is regarded as a mid-2nd round pick.
Meanwhile, Swenson is highly regarded for his ability on kickoffs.
Mock Drafts are pointless at this stage, at least for the Steelers who continuously draft outside of the top 15 selections but the early consensus from draft insiders is that the Steelers will go offensive tackle in the first round. Don’t we hear that every year?
The first round prospect that is being actively linked to the Steelers is
Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga (6ft6, 311 lbs). Mel Kiper of ESPN has Bulaga going to Pittsburgh in his latest mock draft as well as other draft insiders.
However, team insiders have their doubts that Pittsburgh will go tackle in the first round as the teams appears to be more focused on beefing up the interior of their offensive line.
Anyways, even the Steelers have no clue which direction they will go in the first round at this stage of the process.
Regarding the possibility of going offensive tackle in the first round, Max Starks is signed long-term and pending restricted free agent Willie Colon is regarded by the staff as the Steelers best offensive lineman.
Early indications are the Steelers plan to make an attempt to sign Colon long-term.