The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the stretch run of conducting their pre-draft visits and it was another busy day at the Steelers South Side complex this afternoon.
Today the Steelers brought in six draft prospects for visits, headlined by top offensive linemen prospects Mike Iupati of Idaho and Maurkice Pouncey of Florida.
Both prospects are believed to be at the top of the Steelers draft board and there is momentum turning towards Florida center Maurkice Pouncey in the Steelers organization.
A team source tells me offensive line coach Sean Kugler conducted a private workout with Pouncey today.
Iupati, a massive guard at 6-5, 331 lbs is regarded as the No. 1 offensive guard on most draft boards. Pouncey a 6-5, 301lbs center is the top rated center in the draft.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay released their updated Mock draft on Wednesday and both have the Steelers selecting Pouncey with the No. 18 selection.
Kiper on Pouncey: “Pittsburgh has to address the interior along the offensive line, and Pouncey has emerged as the best center-guard combo available. The Steelers need an interior force that can help them get back to running the football effectively between the tackles, and Pouncey is the player that can do that.”
Surprisingly Kiper has Iupati falling to No. 23, while McShay has Iupati going to the Giants with the No. 15 selection.
Sources inside the Steelers organization have told me internal mock drafts have Iupati not being on the board when the Steelers are to select at No. 18.
Defensive linemen Clifton Geathers of South Carolina, wide receiver Carlton Mitchel of South Florida, Linval Joseph of East Carolina and Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski were also in for visits today.
The Steelers have now conducted 25 official visits.
Eason returning to Steelers
Defensive end Nick Eason is returning to the Steelers, declining a two year offer from the Arizona Cardinals and agreeing to terms with the Steelers.
Going into the draft, the Steelers have Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood and Chris Hoke as their top-5 on the depth chart.
The Steelers are also looking for Sunny Harris to make strides in year two. Harris is expected to receive significant reps in OTA’s on the 2nd team and possibly the 1st team as the Steelers will limit the likes of Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton.
Eason will be in a battle for a roster spot as the Steelers have not ruled out going defensive line early in the draft.