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Pittsburgh Steelers May Scouting Report
Rick Moses
5/28/2017

Here is a quick look at the Pittsburgh Steelers' draft...

 

30. OLB TJ Watt - Wisconsin

62. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster - USC

94. CB Cameron Sutton - Tennessee

105. RB James Conner - Pitt

135. QB Josh Dobbs - Tennessee

173. CB Brian Allen - Utah

213. LS Colin Holba - Louisville

248. O/ILB Keion Adams - Western Michigan

 

The first four picks all made sense positionally. The first three all filled needs and provided value. Watt came on in his final season as an edge rusher after starting his career in Madison at tight end. He was the last of the top edge defenders remaining. Obviously he is not his brother, but he has a high motor and tested well at the combine. Smith-Schuster's size provides a different dimension in the passing game. QB Ben Roethlisberger has been lobbying for a big receiver for years. Last year none of the options after WR Antonio Brown were anything special. Despite WR Martavis Bryant being re-instated from suspension, counting on him remains a dubious proposition. Sutton could have gone higher except for an ankle injury that cost him time last season. He is a good scheme fit and seemed to clearly be the best corner remaining when picked. Conner's story is well known, hometown star and cancer survivor. He may have been a slight reach at the end of the third round which is OK. Dobbs and Allen have interesting upside. Allen ending up on the practice squad for a year of development might be the best case on what has suddenly become a deep depth chart. Holba appears to have the long snapper job barring disaster. Drafting a long snapper still seems dubious at best. The biggest surprises from this draft were that a safety, tight end and true inside linebacker were not selected. Three of the first five picks being used on offensive players also was unexpected.

 

Undrafted Free Agents Signed include:

 

NT Nelson Adams - Mississippi St

NT Christian Brown - West Virginia

OG Ethan Cooper - Indiana PA<br/>

DE Francis Kallon - Georgia Tech

ILB Keith Kelsey - Louisville

TE Scott Orndoff - Pitt

QB Nick Schuessler - Clemson

RB Rushel Shell - West Virginia

CB Terrish Webb - Pitt

 

Cooper and Orndoff were borderline draftable. Poor academics and questions about work ethic coming out of HS cost Cooper a chance to play major college football. Improved work habits both in the classroom and on the field turned him into a legitimate prospect. He could benefit from development time on the practice squad. Orndoff tested poorly at the combine and has limited physical upside. That doesn't mean that he couldn't eventually be a useful third tight end with the ability to block and catch a pass if necessary. Adams, Brown and Kallon are likely competing for a single practice squad spot. Kallon has the most physical talent testing incredibly well at the combine. Kelsey was a reliable collegian that mainly because of a 4.92 40 at the combine does not seem to have much of a chance to contribute at the next level. Shell was a five star recruit by Todd Graham at Pitt that played a year for Paul Chryst before transferring. Blocked from following Graham to Arizona St, he originally seemed headed to UCLA before ending up closer to home in Morgantown. Schuessler originally committed to Mississippi State, never starting a game for Clemson behind QB Deshaun Watson. Webb was awful for the Panthers, have no idea why he will be given a look.

 

Post-Draft Releases

 

RB Brandon Brown-Dukes

TE Ladarius Green

RB Gus Johnson

QB Zach Mettenberger

WR Canaan Severin

CB Al-Hajj Shabazz

LS Greg Warren

 

Green and Warren were both released with a failed physical designation. Green was a major bust as a big money free agent signing last season due to an incredibly slow recovery from an ankle injury followed by a concussion. Mettenberger's fate was sealed the second Dobbs was selected with QB Landry Jones for some reason locked in as the backup. Letting Mettenberger look for another job as quickly as possible was actually a nice gesture by the Steelers' front office. The only slight surprise among the other releases is Shabazz just because he ended last season on the 53 man roster.

End.

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