Things I’m hearing
-*On Monday I mentioned Joe Haden, Mike Iupati, Earl Thomas and Maurkice Pouncey as the Steelers top targets. While Thomas is believed to be still somewhat on their radar, there are strong indications that Thomas is not a top target of the Steelers and that the teams scouting staff is torn on his abilities to play cornerback at the next level.
The consensus among league people I spoke to today is that they fully expect the Steelers to go in another direction if Thomas is available at No. 18.
Look for Philadelphia or Dallas to trade up to the No. 12 spot and land Thomas.
-*In the media, two names you don’t hear about much on the Steelers radar is Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis and Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson.
I’m told the Steelers are very high on Jackson and value him as a top-20 prospect. There is some talk that the Steelers are among the handful of teams who have Jackson rated as the No. 2 cornerback in the draft.
However, Jackson’s draft value is all over the board. Some teams have him rated as a 1st round pick while others see him as a second round prospect.
Davis out of Rutgers, is a tackle who could go into the top 10 but could very well fall into the teens. He’s a name to keep an eye on tomorrow night.
-*Top cornerback Joe Haden has seen his stock slip in recent weeks but he has not been ruled out by the Cleveland Browns with the No. 7 pick. The general consensus is that Haden won’t get past Tennessee (No. 16) or San Francisco (No. 13, No. 17)
-*The Steelers at No. 18 have been considered the most likely landing spot for Florida center Maurkice Pouncey but from my understanding Pouncey is the Denver Broncos No. 1 target. The Broncos have the No. 11 selection and that would be extremely high to select him. One trade option for the Broncos will be moving back to the No. 15 spot, if Rolondo McClain is available as the Giants and Broncos have already discussed a potential swap.
Moving back to 15, will still likely put the Broncos in position to draft Pouncey.
Philadelphia and Dallas are actively trying to move into the 10-12 spot but moving back past Pittsburgh, weakens the chances for Denver to draft Pouncey.
If Denver goes in another direction, barring Joe Haden or Mike Iupati fallen, Pouncey will in all likelyhood be the Steelers selection.
-*Idaho guard Mike Iupati and Alabama linebacker Rolondo McClain are very much on the Oakland Raiders radar with the No. 8 selection. A selection of either player could lead to a top offensive tackle fallen.
In the top 20, Iupati is also on the radar of the 49ers No. 13, 17, the New York Giants No. 15 and of course the Steelers at No. 18.
-*Talk coming out of the Steelers organization is that team will not draft Dez Bryant if he falls to them at No. 18. The team is not high on Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
-*There continues to be strong indications that the Steelers would give running back C.J. Spiller and Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams a very strong look if either player surprisingly fell to the Steelers.
-*A scary thought: —
is that Penn State’s Jared Odrick remains somewhat of a consideration for Pittsburgh, if a number of their top targets are off the board.
A solid prospect but a fringe 1st rounder.