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Retro Podcast: Steelers shred “paper champs’ on an “Immaculate” anniversary

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 04/11/2021 - 5:30am

Bryan Anthony Davis and Tony Defeo take a look back into Steelers lore in the BTSC family of podcasts. Check out the newest offering of the “Steelers Retro Show“.

Our journey in the BTSC Delorean to Steeler yesterday begins in a time when Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was at the top of the movie box office, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was lighting up the airwaves and the Steel City was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.

Meanwhile in Tampa, the Pittsburgh Steelers were underdogs to a team that they called “paper champions” a season before after the Bucs disrupted their pregame warmups on ABC’s Monday Night Football.

Welcome to December 23, 2002.

Flash back to that awesome classic on the Steelers Retro Show and join BTSC’s Tony Defeo and Bryan Anthony Davis as they go back in time and relive this memorable matchup.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • What was happenin’ in 2002
  • The Steelers travel to Tampa trying to clinch a division
  • and MUCH MORE!

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You can listen to the show in the player below.

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Saturday Night Open Thread: Troy, Teases, and Townshend

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 6:00pm
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Come and join this merry band of Steelers’ faithful for some lively debate about our Steelers, good food and the merits of the odd cold beverage.

It is absolutely gorgeous outside right now, so I am not going to spend much time with a preamble. Off to get the deck furniture out from storage and maybe enjoy a cup of coffee in the sun before the rain sets in this afternoon...

  1. Sadly, an era came to an end 6 years ago on this date, when Troy Polamalu retired. What is your favorite Troy memory?
  2. With the usual ‘underwhelming’ activity in Free Agency, what position would you fill prior to the 2021 NFL Draft? Additionally, what position do you think Kevin Colbert will fill (if he is able to get someone to agree to terms of course)?
  3. This week I read an article claiming that the average American put on a whopping 29 lbs during COVID! Are you average, above average, or an underachiever? Either way, what has been the recipe for disaster or (hopefully) success?
  4. To add another layer to the question above, let’s revisit the most important meal of the day. Saturday is a day of ‘rest’ for most of us, and that should give us some extra time for breakfast. Give us your best weekend breakfast.
  5. Clearly, many of us share a love of all things Steelers. But we also love to talk about food, beverage, movies and music. I can only imagine some of you and your air guitar solos. So, give us your favorite tune to bring out the air guitar and channel your inner Hendrix, Pete Townshend or Eddie Van Halen.

With the 2021 NFL Draft weeks away, Steelers team needs come into shape

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 1:30pm
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to start rebuilding their roster through the 2021 NFL Draft, but what positions they target is still up in the air.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have several needs on their 2021 roster, and they are looking to rebuild their roster, especially on offense, through the 2021 NFL Draft. With the salary cap dipping from $198.2 million dollars in 2020 to $183 million dollars in 2021, teams like the Steelers were forced to be more spectators than buyers when NFL Free Agency started in March.

Teams with little to no cap space were forced to look ahead to the draft and hope to start the rebuilding process the old fashioned way — through the draft.

But this isn’t anything new with the Steelers, they have always tended to build from within, focusing on drafting players rather than going out and spending big money on free agents.

With that said, and the NFL Draft just weeks away, it is fair to say the Steelers’ team needs are starting to come into shape. Pro Days are all but over, and the Steelers’ scouts, coaches and front office personnel are starting to construct their draft boards.

What are the team’s biggest needs heading into the draft process? NFL.com’s Dan Parr ranked the team needs for all 32 teams. See what he says about the Steelers:

Biggest needs: OL, RB, EDGE, CB, LB

With time likely running low on the remainder of Ben Roethlisberger’s career, the Steelers’ main focus in the draft should be bolstering an offensive line that will be replacing at least two starters (Maurkice Pouncey and Matt Feiler) and injecting life into a running game that ranked dead last a season ago.

In my opinion, putting OL (offensive line) as a team need is a cop-out. Of course the Steelers need to add along the offensive line, but what position takes precedence? Would a tackle be a top need over a center or guard? Those are truly the difficult questions the Steelers face, but outside of that there is no arguing Parr’s team needs. The Steelers absolutely need to add to their offensive line depth, running back, pass rusher, linebacker alongside Devin Bush and with Steven Nelson released the cornerback position also becomes a need.

What do you think? Is there a position you would rank ahead of another? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft and the remaining time in Free Agency.

Podcast: The Steelers were never going to trade for Sam Darnold

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 11:00am

There is plenty to discuss on the latest episode of the popular podcast Steelers Six Pack w/ Tony.

The more anybody thinks about it, the more it should be realized that the Steelers were never going to trade for Sam Darnold. All that plus your questions on this episode of Steelers Friday Night Six Pack! Join Tony Defeo on those those subjects, engaging in draft talk and taking your questions on this edition of Steelers Friday Night Six Pack.

Check out the rundown of the show below, and be sure to comment what you think in the comment section.

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • Steelers Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out the YouTube clip here, and be sure to subscribe to our channel by clicking HERE:

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

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If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Top 5 things the Steelers should NOT do in the 2021 NFL Draft

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 10:00am
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2021 NFL Draft on the horizon, it is worth going over what the Steelers organization should avoid during the three day event.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, and many in the fan base are enamored with what the organization should do when it is their turn to pick during the three day event.

But what about what the Steelers shouldn’t do? What about the aspects of the draft the Steelers should avoid at all costs?

Thursday night during the Steelers Preview podcast, myself, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis answered this very question with a list of five things the Steelers should not do during the draft. Some of the lists are the same, while some are completely different.

Check out our lists of what the Steelers should avoid during the draft process, and be sure to let us know what you think the Steelers should avoid in the comment section below:

Jeff Hartman
  • Don’t draft by position

This is one you’ll see in all of our lists, and it can be exemplified by players like Artie Burns and Terrell Edmunds. Don’t be fixated on a position, it never ends well.

  • Don’t trade out of the first round for a mid round pick

If you are going to trade out of the first round, you better be improving your situation in the early rounds. In fact, if I were to go a step further I would suggest not losing a first round pick, but simply swapping a first round pick and then getting another pick later in the draft.

  • Don’t take a quarterback out of Round 1.

If you do take a quarterback, it should be because one of the top tier quarterbacks who fell to No. 24, or if you trade up, not because you are reaching at a prospect.

  • Don’t select a defender in the 1st round who is labeled as a project

If the Steelers need anything in Round 1, it is a player who can provide an immediate impact. Not a project. Think about some of the other projects they have taken on the defensive side of the ball in Round 1. Players like Cam Heyward and Bud Dupree. If the Steelers are going to go defense in Round 1, make it be a proven commodity, not a project.

  • Don’t pick a player solely based on where they went to school/conference

While the Steelers love their Power Five conferences in the first round, Alex Highsmith of Charlotte is the perfect example of ignoring where a player went to school. Rather, focus on the potential and film. Don’t let someone going to an SEC or BIG 10 school cast a shadow on a smaller school player who is brimming with potential.

Extra: Be aware of off field issues, and don’t risk a high pick on a player who could be a detriment to the organization. Examples of this would be Mike Adams and Martavis Bryant.

Dave Schofield
  • Don’t lock in on a position in Round 1

Two words: Artie Burns. It’s fine to eliminate positions the Steelers don’t need in the first round, but don’t narrow it down to only one position they have to take.

  • Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and make the call

If the Steelers really want someone and they think they can move up to get him, go for it.

  • Don’t ignore the phone when it rings

If pick 24 rolls around and somebody else really wants to move up, listen to what they have to say. The Steelers don’t even have to add more picks, they can simply improve their position in other rounds.

  • Don’t feel like a WR is an option in Round 1

The room is full right now, and even though two wide receivers are set to be free agent next year, it’s not the most pressing need to take as the Steelers top selection.

  • Don’t draft a TE in Round 1 unless Pitts is in his last name

No one else is worthy. Although it would be a dream scenario where Pitts falls to a point where the Steelers could get him via trade or their natural pick, it’s not going to happen. He’s the only one worth going with in round one.

Bryan Anthony Davis
  • Don’t draft for a particular position
  • Don’t ignore the injury report. Be cognizant of it.
  • Don’t pick a quarterback later than the first round of the draft.
  • Don’t panic. Have different scenarios ready to go. You can mix or match needs and players to each round
  • Don’t put way too much stock in late risers.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as the team prepares for the rest of NFL Free Agency and the NFL Draft.

Predicting the positions the Steelers will select in the 2021 draft

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 8:30am
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

It’s not about which exact player or in which round, but what positions will the Steelers draft.

On Tuesday’s episode of the Scho Bro Show podcast, the question was posed as to what positions the Steelers would select in the upcoming 2021 NFL draft. The discussion was not about which players, or determining which round each position would go, it was simply looking at what positions for Steelers would take.

Of course, it is merely speculation and basically an exercise in seeing how many each one of us could get correct. Additionally, it assumes the Steelers make eight draft selections and not either gain more capital by trading back or give up picks in order to trade up.

Here were the selections each of us made. Note that they are listed in no particular order.

Big Bro Scho:

Center
Tackle/guard
Running back
Quarterback
Outside linebacker
Inside linebacker
Cornerback
Safety

Dave Schofield:

Center
Tackle
Running back
Tight end
Outside linebacker
Outside linebacker
Inside linebacker
Cornerback

To clarify a few of these selections, Big Bro Scho specifically said he wanted a lineman that could play either guard or tackle coming out of the draft, as this was simply not trying to say it would be one or the other selected. I specifically thought the Steelers would double up on one position in this draft and I thought it would be outside linebacker since they are currently very thin at the position.

It was interesting that both of us went with four offensive players and four defensive players. This doesn’t have to be the case, but it’s simply how it worked out.

So now it’s your turn! There’s no need for names or assigning a position to a round. The question is simply predicting the positions of the Steelers scheduled eight draft picks for the 2021 NFL draft. The comments are open, you should know what to do.

If you are interested in listening to The Scho Bro Show podcast where were discussed our selections, it can be heard in the player below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Black n’ Gold Best: The Steelers Top 10 Round 4 Draft Picks since 1969

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 7:30am
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

With the NFL Draft on the horizon, BTSC takes a look at the best of the Steelers’ No. 4 picks since 1969.

The NFL draft is coming up and the Steelers will, once again, rely building heavily through the draft instead of free agency. There are some rounds that the Steelers excel in. Of course, the first round the Steelers have brought in a plethora of Hall of Famers like Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Rod Woodson, Alan Faneca and Troy Polamalu. Teams are expected to find their best talent at the top of the draft. But the other rounds are where it becomes tougher. BTSC will go back to 1969 (when the Chuck Noll era began) and rank the best Round 4 picks in team lore. Rankings were aided somewhat by the Career Average Value stat from Pro Football Reference.

Notable No. Fours: Kevin Dotson (2020), Benny Snell Jr. (2019), Martavis Bryant - Clemson (2014), Joshua Dobbs (2017), Cortez Allen - The Citadel (2011), Daniel Sepulveda - Baylor (2007), Willie Colon - Hofstra (2006), Oliver Gibson - Notre Dame (1995), Kevin Henry - Mississippi State (1993), Adrian Cooper - Oklahoma (1991). Chris Calloway - Michigan (1990), Jerrol Williams - Purdue (1989), Dan Turk - Wisconsin (1985), Weegie Thompson - Florida State (1984), Rick Woods - Boise State (1982), Calvin Sweeney - USC (1979), Larry Anderson - Louisiana Tech (1978), Ted Petersen - Eastern Illinois (1977), Theo Bell - Arizona (1976), Jimmy Allen - UCLA (1974), Ed Bradley - Wake Forest (1972), Ed George - Wake Forest (1970)

10. Deshea Townsend - University of Alabama (1998 - 117th overall) Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Deshea Townsend is one of those blue-collar Steelers that will never be recognized as a team legend, but he was a prominent piece of the puzzle for two Pittsburgh Super Bowl winners. Drafted in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL Draft, the Alabama Crimson Tide corner began to make a name for himself as a special teams standout as a rookie. The first player to be issued No. 26 since Rod Woodson’s departure, Townsend was a valuable reserve for the Steelers secondary corps before finally becoming a starter in Year 7 opposite Ike Taylor.

Townsend held down his post as the team’s primary right corner for four straight seasons before accepting the responsibilities as the teams slot corner for his final two seasons. Deshea always had a knack for coming up big when the team needed a big stop on defense. His sack of Matt Hasselbeck (pictured above) helped seal the victory for the Steelers in Super Bowl XL, while his 25-yard pick-six of Tony Romo was the winning score in a key December 2008 game during the Super Bowl XLIII season. After a 12-year career in Pittsburgh, Deshea left the Steelers in 2010 for half of a season with the Colts. His final tallies as a Steeler were 183 games, 15.5 sacks and 21 interceptions. Since retiring, Deshea has been a defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals, Mississippi State, Tennesse Titans, New York Giants and the Chicago Bears.

Steelers Players drafted ahead of Townsend in 1998: 1) Alan Faneca - LSU, 2) Jeremy Staat - Arizona State, 3) Chris Conrad - Fresno State, 3) Hines Ward - Georgia

Player drafted one spot ahead of Townsend in 1998: Clarence Love - Philadelphia Eagles (Toledo)

Player drafted one spot behind Townsend in 1998: Harry Deligianis - Jacksonville Jaguars (Youngstown State)

9. Terry Long - University of Florida (1984 - 111th overall)

After playing football at Fort Bragg while in the United States Army, Terry Long ended up at East Carolina after first enrolling at a junior college. As an ECU Pirate, Long was a consensus All-American offensive lineman. Chuck Noll then came calling and drafted Terry in the fourth round of the 1984 Draft. As a rookie, No. 74 started seven games for the team that would end up falling in the AFC Championship Game in Miami. In his eight seasons at Three Rivers, the right guard was a very dependable lineman who started 89 games from 1984 to 1991. A day after his testing positive for steroids in ‘91, Long attempted to take his own life by ingesting rat poisoning. The Steelers lineman endured bouts of depression due to CTE and went through legal troubles as well. Tragically, Terry Long committed suicide by ingesting antifreeze at the age of 45.

Steelers Players drafted ahead of Long in 1984: 1) Louis Lipps - Southern Mississippi, 2) Chris Kolodziejski - Wyoming, 4) Weegie Thompson - Florida State

Player drafted one spot ahead of Long in 1984: Steve DeOssie - Dallas Cowboys (Boston College)

Player drafted one spot behind Long in 1984: Ron Heller - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Penn State)

8. Thomas Everett - Baylor University (1987 - 94th overall) Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Thomas Everett arrived in Pittsburgh via the fourth round from Baylor in Donnie Shell’s final season and continued “The Torpedo’s” legacy of hard hitting. The consensus All-American and Jim Thorpe Award winner may have dropped in the draft due to being only 5’9”, but No. 27 played big for the Steelers and was named to the NFL’s All-Rookie Team in 1987. Everett sat out the first two games of his 1992 campaign and the Steelers dealt the safety to the Dallas Cowboys for a fifth-round pick, where he won two Super Bowls and was elected to his only Pro Bowl. In his five seasons as a Steeler, Everett collected 16 interceptions, forced four fumbles and recovered 7.

Steelers Players drafted ahead of Everett in 1987: 1) Rod Woodson - Purdue, 2) Delton Hall - Clemson, 3) Charles Lockett - Long Beach State

Player drafted one spot ahead of Everett in 1987: Byron Evans - Philadelphia Eagles (Arizona)

Player drafted one spot behind Everett in 1987: Kelvin Martin - Dallas Cowboys (Boston College)

7. Earl Holmes - Florida A&M University (1996 - 126th overall) Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

When Earl Holmes was selected in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL Draft out of Florida A&M, the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year reportedly congratulated Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher for selecting “the best linebacker in the draft”. Holmes mouth didn’t write checks his talent couldn’t cash. He was a leader on defense for six seasons in a Steelers uniform. The inside linebacker had 546 tackles (35 for loss), nine sacks and four fumble recoveries for the Steelers before moving onto Cleveland via free agency. After one remarkable season as a Brown, Holmes spent three seasons as a Lion before retiring. After serving on his alma mater’s coaching staff, Holmes became the head coach for the Rattlers in 2012, but was fired after a 6-16 record. A lawsuit for not honoring the contract was filed by Holmes and is still pending. Known as “Hitman” in Pittsburgh, Holmes allegedly voiced regret for leaving Pittsburgh via free agency all those years ago.

Steelers Players Drafted ahead of Holmes in 1996: 1) Jamain Stephens - North Carolina A&T, 3) Steve Conley - Arkansas, 3) Jon Witman - Penn State

Player drafted one spot ahead of Holmes in 1996: LaCurtis Jones - Miami Dolphins (Baylor)

Player drafted one spot behind Holmes in 1996: Juran Bolden - Atlanta Falcons (Mississippi Delta Community College)

6. Ike Taylor - Louisiana-Lafayette University (2003 - 125th overall) Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

At Louisiana-Lafayette, Ike Taylor was a running back that asked to switch to corner before his senior season and the move payed off. The man from ‘Swaggin’ was drafted as an athlete and a project in the fourth round of a draft in which the Steelers only made five picks in 2003. In fact he was a tremendous athletic specimen at 6’1’ with blazing speed. But still the pick was deemed to be the worst in team history by critic Mark Madden. By his third season, Ike was named a starter by defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau. From 2003 to 2014, the shutdown corner had 134 pass defenses, but only 14 interceptions. Had Taylor possessed better hands, he would have been a perennial Pro Bowler. However, No. 24 came up huge in Super Bowl XL with a key pick late. Nonetheless, Ike was the best corner on his two Lombardi-winning clubs and a major team force. He was also a locker room leader on a dominating defense during his twelve seasons at Heinz Field and was a pall bearer for beloved Steelers chairman Dan Rooney in 2017.

Steelers Players Drafted ahead of Taylor in 2003: 1) Troy Polamalu - USC, 2) Alonzo Jackson - Florida State

Player drafted one spot ahead of Taylor in 2003: Brandon Lloyd - San Francisco 49ers (Illinois)

Player drafted one spot behind Taylor in 2003: Rien Long - Tennessee Titans (Washington State)

5. Gerry Mullins - University of Southern California (1971 - 86th overall)

The man that they called ”Moon” because of a comic strip called Moon Mullins spent his entire NFL career in Pittsburgh. A fourth-round pick in 1971 out of USC where he blocked for O.J. Simpson, Mullins helped protect Terry Bradshaw and open holes for Franco Harris in all four Super Bowls of the 1970s. Mullins’ pull on a sweep helped Harris score in Super Bowl IX and the versatile lineman also recovered an onside kick in Super Bowl X. The first veteran with four rings to get his release, Mullins was offered opportunities with Cleveland and Washington, but opted to retire and stay in Pittsburgh. Gerry Mullins was named to theSteelers 50th Anniversary team in 1982.

Steelers Players drafted ahead of Mullins in 1971: 1) Frank Lewis - Grambling, 2) Jack Ham - Penn State, 3) Steve Davis - Delaware State

Player drafted one spot ahead of Mullins in 1971: Mike Potchad - Atlanta Falcons (Pittsburg-KS)

Player drafted one spot behind Mullins in 1971: Cleo Johnson - Denver Broncos (Alcorn A&M)

4. Larry Foote - University of Michigan (2002 - 128th overall) Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Larry Foote, a fourth-round selection out of Michigan in 2002, was a solid performer for the Steelers in two stints with the team, three Super Bowl appearances, and two championship rings. Foote’s breakout year came in his fourth season, the one that culminated in Super Bowl XL and the hoisting of the Lombardi. His interception in the AFC Championship in Denver thwarted a tide-turning drive and helped get the Steelers and Foote back home to Detroit for the big one. After a second championship in 2008 but a reduced role behind Lawrence Timmons, the Michigan native was released and signed on for one season with his hometown Lions. Returning after a year away, Foote resigned with the Steelers for four more years and was released in 2013. He then spent a season with the Cardinals before a transition into coaching. After a four-year stint as the linebackers coach in Arizona, Foote performs that same role currently in Tampa Bay. All in all, Larry Foote was a productive player for eleven total seasons in Pittsburgh.

Steelers Players Drafted ahead of Foote in 2002: 1) Kendall Simmons - Auburn, 2) Antwaan Randle El - Indiana, 3) Chris Hope - Florida State

Player drafted one spot ahead of Foote in 2002: Kevin Curtis - San Francisco 49ers (Texas Tech)

Player drafted one spot behind Foote in 2002: Jamar Martin - Dallas Cowboys (Ohio State)

3. Aaron Smith - Northern Colorado University (1999 - 109th overall) Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Aaron Smith, named to the Sports Illustrated 2000s All-Decade Team, spent 13 seasons in the trenches for the Steelers. The Pro Bowler had 453 tackles and 44 quarterback sacks during his career, ranking him 11th on the all-time ledger. Drafted out of Northern Colorado in the fourth round of the 1999 draft, the blue-collar Smith is remembered by Steelers fans as a tough defensive end who personified the true grit of playing in the Steel City. Smith did suffer three major injuries in Pittsburgh, and the neck injury which sidelined Aaron in 2011 after four games led to his retirement in 2012. Aaron Smith is a two-time Super Bowl Champion and had appeared in five AFC Title Games.

Steelers Players drafted ahead of Smith in 1999: 1) Troy Edwards - Louisiana Tech, 2) Scott Shields - Weber State, 2) Warren Bankston - Tulane, 3) Joey Porter - Colorado State, 3) Kris Farris - UCLA, 3) Amos Zeroue - West Virginia

Player drafted one spot ahead of Smith in 1999: Larry Parker - Kansas City Chiefs (USC)

Player drafted one spot behind Smith in 1999: Pierson Prioleau - San Francisco 49ers (Virginia Tech)

2. Dwight White - East Texas State University (1971 - 104th overall) Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

A member of the fabled Steel Curtain, the intense “Mad Dog” was a four-time Super Bowl champ and is the first player to score points for the Steelers in a Super Bowl. Even though he was projected not to play in the game due to being hooked up to an IV in the hospital and losing 20 pounds because of suffering from pneumonia, White recorded a safety by sacking Fran Tarkenton in the end zone in Super Bowl IX. White was also known as the trash talker among the group. L.C. Greenwood once stated that it was hard to hear on the line with Dwight constantly talking. The two-time Pro Bowler spent all of his 10 years in Pittsburgh and recorded 46 sacks. Remembered by Dan Rooney as “one of the greatest players to ever wear a Steelers uniform”, White was named to the Steelers All Time Team in 1982 and again in 2007. He retired after ten seasons after the 1980 season. Dwight White passed away after complications from surgery in 2010.

Steelers Players drafted ahead of White in 1971: 1) Frank Lewis - Grambling, 2) Jack Ham - Penn State, 3) Steve Davis - Delaware State, 4) Gerry Mullins - USC

Player drafted one spot ahead of White in 1971: Adam Mitchell - Dallas Cowboys (Mississippi)

Player drafted one spot behind White in 1971: Tim Kelly - Boston Patriots (Notre Dame)

1. John Stallworth - Alabama A&M University (1974 - 82nd overall)

From the epic Steelers draft class of 1974, John Stallworth was drafted in the fourth round out of Alabama A&M after the Steelers drafted USC’s Lynn Swann in the first round. “Johnny Lee” became Terry Bradshaw’s most reliable go-to-guy in later years. The Hall of Famer was productive later in his career, having his best season with career highs of 80 catches, 1,395 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1984. He ended with 537 receptions, 8,723 yards and 63 scores. Stallworth was also the guy that came up big in the postseason with 57 catches and 12 TDs in 18 career games. His Super Bowl performances were the stuff of legends, but he never won the MVP in four tries. Stallworth was selected to three Pro Bowls, was an All-Pro in 1979 and is a member of the Steelers’ All-Time team.

Steelers Player Drafted ahead of Stallworth in 1974: 1) Lynn Swann - USC, 2) Jack Lambert - Kent State

Player drafted one spot ahead of Stallworth in 1974: Harrison Davis - San Diego Chargers (Virginia)

Player drafted one spot behind Stallworth in 1974: Clint Haselrig - San Francisco 49ers (Michigan)

This is a really solid list of players that the Steelers found in the fourth round. A lot of them weren’t familiar names to Steeler Nation before they were selected.

The Steelers were never going to trade for Sam Darnold with Ben Roethlisberger on the roster

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 04/10/2021 - 6:00am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers may one day acquire a former high draft pick to be their next quarterback. But it’s not going to be this year or any year in which Ben Roethlisberger is still on the roster.

For the second-straight offseason, the Steelers sat idly by and watched an available quarterback with a tremendous pedigree go to another team—and for a bargain of a price.

Almost a full calendar year after former number-one pick Jameis Winston signed a cheap “prove it” one-year contract to be the Saints backup, it was announced on Monday that the Panthers acquired Sam Darnold, the third-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, from the Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and second and fourth-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

That didn’t seem like a lot of draft capital to give up for a Panthers team that was still searching for its next franchise quarterback after Teddy Bridgewater’s underwhelming one-year audition to replace Cam Newton in that role.

So why couldn’t the Steelers make a similar move to acquire Darnold?

On the surface, that might have seemed like a low-risk transaction, but the Steelers’ situation is a bit different than Carolina’s.

For starters, Pittsburgh still has its franchise quarterback for 2021, after working out a reasonable one-year deal with veteran Ben Roethlisberger.

The Panthers have reportedly granted Bridgewater permission to seek a trade. If a suitable deal isn’t worked out between Carolina and another team, Bridgewater will likely be released or asked to take a sizable pay-cut and be the backup just one year after signing a rather-lucrative contract.

Also, as per various reports, the Panthers have decided to pick up Darnold’s fifth-year option, which guarantees the young quarterback nearly $19 million in 2022.

This all makes sense. The Panthers are giving Darnold two more years to reach his full potential as an NFL quarterback. Darnold has been a starter in the NFL since his rookie season. While the results haven’t been what you’d want from the third-overall pick in the draft, it would make no sense to suddenly park Darnold on the bench for his fourth season and have him miss a year of development.

And this is why Darnold to Pittsburgh became a moot point the moment the Steelers and Roethlisberger worked things out for 2021.

Darnold is owed $4.7 million in 2021, which wouldn’t have been a horrible financial pill for even the cap-compromised Steelers to swallow if it meant they got Roethlisberger’s heir apparent. But what about nearly $19 million in 2022? Had the Steelers traded for Darnold, they likely would have picked up his fifth-year option, even if he rode the bench behind Roethlisberger in 2021. After all, it seems inconceivable to pay a young quarterback nearly $5 million to sit on the bench if you don’t have bigger plans for him the next season.

So, yes, hypothetically speaking, the Steelers likely would have picked up Darnold’s fifth-year option. And that could have been a risky move. Think about, Darnold would have headed into 2022 with three lukewarm years and a totally cold one under his belt before taking over as Pittsburgh’s starter.

$19 million may be well-below the going rate for franchise quarterbacks, these days, but it sure does seem like a lot to pay one who is largely unproven.

Speaking of the going rate for modern franchise quarterbacks, let’s say, under my hypothetical scenario, Darnold has a decent showing in 2022—say, 24 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. If you’re the Steelers, would you franchise tag Darnold for 2023? Would you fully commit to giving him a new contract?

I’m guessing either transaction would include a $30 million base salary, which may be a bridge too far for a Steelers team that has committed a ton of financial resources to the quarterback position over the past decade-plus.

No, it wouldn’t be a lot if Darnold was the real deal, but would anyone know for sure by 2023?

That would be the dilemma.

Yes, it’s also a risk for the Panthers to commit to Darnold past 2021, but at least they’ll have two years of hard data to make a decision on him when the time comes and not just one.

Finally, one of these years, the Steelers may trade for or sign a former high draft pick to be their next quarterback.

But it’s never going to be a year when Ben Roethlisberger is still on the roster.

Friday Night Steelers Six Pack of questions and open thread: Offseason Vol. 13

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 5:45pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

There is always something to talk about when it comes to the black-and-gold!

It’s Friday again, so it’s time for the six pack of questions. It seems as if Jeff and Dave come to a consensus in cutting to the chase...

This week, I, Dave, will be tasked with the questions up for discussion.

The rules are still the same...

Quick rundown of the ground rules.

  • I’ll ask at least four questions strictly related to the Steelers.
  • The rest of the questions could be about anything.
  • Be respectful.
  • Have fun talking about the Black-and-gold.

Procedural Note: Since the title feature has gone away, please feel free to leave your usual title as the first line of your response and even bold it if you can for the ease of others.

So here we go! With the formalities out of the way, it’s time to jump on in. Hopefully this party is exactly what you’re looking for on a Friday night. Here goes:

1. Player selected at the top of the NFL draft are generally locks for the roster their rookie season while those drafted at the bottom have to fight their way onto the 53. In what round do you believe a player who was just drafted is not a lock to make the roster?

2. What is your favorite Steelers game of all time and why?

3. How would you feel if any Steelers changed their number if the NFL adopts the rule to allow other positions to wear single-digit uniforms?

4. Name one position, other than special teams, you feel the Steelers will NOT draft in 2021.

5. Speaking of the draft, how into the lead up are you? Are you someone that loves to speculate and read the mock drafts, or is it too much of a hypothetical and you just skip over it until the Steelers make their picks?

6. Give me one line from a movie (remembering community guidelines) where you instantly know what movie is being referenced (It doesn’t have to be your favorite line).

Stay safe out there!

And it wouldn’t be a Friday night unless we said...

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

PODCASTS

We added some new shows and a new platform to our podcasts...if you haven’t checked out Jeff’s new morning show Let’s Ride, Bryan and Tony’s Steelers Retro Show or Dave’s Steelers Stat Geek, or even the new evening shows, give them a try by listening below!

Steelers add a defensive lineman to their offseason roster

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 3:19pm
Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Kentucky Wildcat T.J. Carter has signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to build the roster ahead of the 2021 NFL draft later this month. In their latest move, the Steelers have signed defensive end T.J. Carter.

We have signed DE T.J. Carter. @BordasLaw https://t.co/BdZl4dkEBw

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 9, 2021

Carter went undrafted in the 2020 NFL draft and was signed by the Arizona Cardinals. Unfortunately, when teams were forced to cut their rosters down to 80 players due to the COVID-19 pandemic instead of the typical 90 during training camp, Carter was released by Arizona. Carter also spent some time with the New Orleans Saints during training camp, but ultimately did not make the roster or practice squad.

In four years at Kentucky, Carter had 6.0 sacks and five passes defensed along with 71 tackles, 12 of which were for a loss.

Carter recently performed at Kentucky’s Pro Day this spring. Players who were unable to participate in their schools Pro Day in 2020 due to cancellations, and are not currently under contract in the NFL, were allowed to participate this offseason.

Carter enters a very crowded defensive line room for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carrying seven players on the active roster in 2020, which was one more than they typically have on the active roster, the Steelers have returned all of their players from last season‘s roster as well as Calvin Taylor and Demarcus Christmas from the 2020 practice squad.

The exact financials of Carter‘s contract are not known at this time, but will most certainly not land him in the top 51 contracts on the team and therefore will not count against the teams current salary cap.

With the addition of T.J. Carter, the Steelers now have 72 players under contract at this time.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for breaking news, player updates, contract statuses, and all things Pittsburgh Steelers.

Could the Steelers be interested in trading up for Justin Fields?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 2:00pm
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It appears the Steelers have a lot of interest in the Ohio State QB.

As we approach the NFL Draft more stories, clips, and inside analysis comes out and better helps in predicting where prospects will go. A couple of those storylines directly tie the Pittsburgh to Ohio State quarterback, Justin Fields. As well as, suggest he is much lower on the teams draft boards than originally expected. To put it simply, there’s both a will and a way.

Jamin Davis. Most mocks I've seen have him as a day 3 guy which is silly. He's borderline late round 1.

As for guys going lower... there are teams way lower on guys like Sewell and Fields than fans/media think. Not all...both could go top ten. Both could also not. https://t.co/kOsLTRcDMd

— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 8, 2021

Justin Fields was once thought as the second best quarterback of the class behind Trevor Lawrence but slowly fell down the list as the last college season progressed. The fact of the matter is Fields has a cannon arm, crazy athleticism, and will to win (the rumors of a poor work ethic have also been debunked). His traits suggest he is more than worthy of being a Top 10 draft pick. If he does in fact slip down the board, Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers are definitely a team to watch to make a move up. This stems from the ‘bromance’ between Fields and Tomlin at Ohio State’s Pro Day earlier this month.

After the pro day was completed, NFL reporters noted the Steelers head coach had a very long conversation with Fields, the duo was also seen dapping each other up throughout the workout. More love between the two made it to the internet in the form of a video of Mike Tomlin telling the quarterback “you know who we came to see”. You can watch the full interaction in the video below (starting at the 1:25 mark)

Less talk, let the tape speak for itself.

: ' starring @justnfields #GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/3PTwF0fWTh

— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) April 7, 2021

The Pittsburgh Steelers will shortly need to address the quarterback position and find Ben Roethlisberger’s heir apparent. For a team which, from the outside certainly looks like they are trying to win now, trading assets wouldn't make a ton of sense, but perhaps Kevin Colbert and company want to sure up the future of the organization by having the next quarterback marinating in the system. Adding someone like Fields would also be putting the prospect in the perfect situation as he can sit and learn behind Ben Roethlisberger for a year before taking over a fairly complicated offensive system.

Perhaps it won't be long until we see the image below on the Steelers sideline in real life.

Tomlin and Fields having a long convo ? #PipeDream pic.twitter.com/pajNWETd6p

— JuJu’s Bike ❼ (@JuJusBike_) March 30, 2021

But what do you think? Are the Pittsburgh Steelers a team to watch if Justin Fields slips? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.

Do the Steelers need more than 8 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 12:30pm
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Would trading back in the draft to gain additional picks be a good idea for the Steelers, or are they fine with the number of picks they have?

It’s all hypothetical.

Every possible trade. Every mock draft. Every player ranking. All of these things are merely hypotheticals as we inch closer and closer to the 2021 NFL Draft.

Some people don’t like dealing with hypotheticals, and therefore ignore mock drafts and draft talk altogether until new Steelers are selected and then analyze what they bring to the table. I get that. I actually used to be that way before my BTSC days. But now, knowing about the possibilities with the Pittsburgh Steelers and who they could draft is an exciting part of the job which really brings a lot of enjoyment this time of year.

So let’s talk about and even more hypothetical situation: Draft day trades.

With some trades in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft already being completed, there are still plenty which will occur during the draft. Properly predicting them is almost impossible, but it is fun to speculate.

When it comes to trading in the draft, it’s all about a team’s draft capital, and if they are increasing their number of picks, or decreasing them by getting a higher selection.

In years past, the Pittsburgh Steelers have traded up in the first round of the NFL draft to get a player they desired. Sticking with the most recent example, the Steelers moved up 10 spots in the 2019 draft in order to select Devin Bush. By doing so, the Steelers surrendered a draft selection both in 2019 (second round) and in 2020 (third round).

With the Steelers having eight selections in the 2021 draft, they could attempt to trade up and give away some draft capital both from this year and next year. While going to get a player who they feel is highly coveted isn’t something I’m going to ridicule, there are plenty of fans who feel the Steelers need all their draft picks in order to help build the roster for 2021. In fact, a number of fans feel they need even more than eight picks to get the job done.

Looking at the Steelers current roster, they have 71 players under contract at this time. With a 90-man offseason roster, the Steelers have 19 spots available where they would not have to release a player. Obviously, the Steelers aren’t going to have 19 draft picks. But with the Steelers usually signing anywhere from 10 to 15 undrafted free agents, they are in pretty good shape with the number of draft picks they have simply from a numbers standpoint.

When looking at the Steelers roster, there are a few position groups where the Steelers definitely need to add bodies ahead of training camp. Additionally, there are some positions where the Steelers could really use an upgrade on their current depth chart. Are there enough picks in the 2021 NFL draft to do this? More than likely there are. So the Steelers could gain extra picks, but don’t have to gain extra picks.

With that being said, would there be any value in the Pittsburgh Steelers trading down in the 2021 NFL draft?

First of all, it should be noted that trading back in the first round is not something the Steelers do very often. In fact, the last time was in the 2001 draft where the Steelers traded back three positions with the New York Jets and still drafted Casey Hampton while picking up an additional fourth-round and sixth-round pick.

For me, when it comes to trading back, I would much rather see the Steelers use that capital to then increase their position in a different round. In fact, that’s exactly what the Steelers did in 2001.

By picking up an additional fourth round pick, the Steelers would have had back-to-back selections at the 111th and 112th position. Instead, the Steelers used their own fourth-round pick (the 112th selection) in order to trade up 11 spots in the second round with the New England Patriots in order to draft Kendrell Bell.

In summary, the 2001 Steelers moved back three selections in the first round and moved up 11 selections in the second round while gaining a sixth-round pick, along with technically gaining one spot in the fourth round.

Personally, if the Steelers were to trade back in the first round, I would love to see them use that move in order to gain a higher pick in the second or third round. While they could do it like 2001 and make two separate trades with two different franchises, how about this for a possible trade scenario for the Steelers?

How about the Steelers trade back eight picks in the first round with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then select at the 32nd spot. In return, Tampa sends Pittsburgh their second-round pick at number 64 in exchange for the Steelers 87th pick in round three. So by the Steelers losing eight spots in round one, they then gain 23 spots to move up into the end of round two. This would give the Steelers the 55th and the 64th pick in the second round. In order to make the trade a little more even, the Bucs might even have the throw in their fifth-round pick at selection 176.

Of course, the biggest wild card would be Tampa being interested in doing this deal. But I would much rather see the Steelers gain positions in the second and third round if they are going to lose positions in the first.

My ultimate point is while some Steelers fans feel the team would be better served trading back in order to take potential players at positions of need who may not be worthy of the 24th pick, I would be in favor of this if the Steelers used their added draft capital to then move up in the second day of the draft. The last time the Steelers traded down in 2001, they gave us a great outline of doing so. And while gaining capital and making the selections is great, moving up in the second round, or gaining an additional second-round pick, could possibly be better served for this season, and beyond.

What do you think? Were the Steelers to trade back, would you be happy with simply gaining additional picks to what they already have, or would you much rather see the Steelers improve their drafting position in the second or third rounds? Make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Steelers 2020 Review: Week 11, Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick rule the field

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 11:30am
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Steelers safeties are the backbone of the Steelers defense.

This is a Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick film room. But mostly we are going to be watching Terrell Edmunds. During those plays feel free to look at Minkah Fitzpatrick being left alone and intentionally avoided. It’s how he spends most of his time on the football field, so we’ll spend more effort showing what Terrell Edmunds adds to the pair, and how the two of them combined make like so much easier for the rest of the defense.

Week 11, 1st quarter, 14:18. Terrell Edmunds slides in from the right side of the screen as the clip starts.

That’s Terrell Edmunds taking on a double team, including an offensive lineman in run support. He driven back a few yards, but ends up making the tackle.

3rd quarter, 0:37. Terrell Edmunds (#34) is to the right of the screen.

And here he covers the backside of the play and makes a solid tackle on a tough running back. Edmunds isn’t a linebacker, but he can fill that role when the situation calls for it. As a run stopping strong safety, he’s very good.

That “extra linebacker” is a big benefit when the Steelers go to their nickel and dime packages, Edmunds and Hilton both were able to make plays in the run game like linebackers, while playing defensive back.

1st quarter, 6:47. Terrell Edmunds is the safety to the bottom of the screen, stepping up as the play starts.

Edmunds steps up as Mike Hilton shows his blitz is coming and he picks up Hiltons’ receiver when Hilton blitzes. On this play you also get to see him switch with Minkah Fitzpatrick when that receiver runs a deep route to the middle of the field. The Steelers safeties cover for blitzing players, and for each other. The Steelers run a lot of switches, and both safeties do well on them.

1st quarter, 0:25. Terrell Edmunds is the slot defender to the top of the screen.

The first two plays of this film room were in nickel defense. This is the Steelers 3-4 defense. When the Jaguars line up 4 of their players as receivers, Terrell Edmunds switches roles to play man cover like he’s the nickelback. When Minkah Fitzpatrick commits to helping Robert Spillane it puts Edmunds on an island on a deep route. His speed shows up here, and it would take a deep throw into a small window to beat Edmunds here.

On this play Edmunds is an extra cornerback, letting the Steelers adjust with ease to a heavier set turned 4 wide.

Edmunds is a jack of all trades, he may not have any of them mastered, but his ability to handle all of them at an above-the-bar level allows the Steelers a lot of freedom in play calling and personnel usage, because Edmunds can change roles to counter how the offense looks to attack the Steelers defense.

The true value of the Steelers safeties goes beyond their individual talents.

2nd quarter, 7:00. Terrell Edmunds is the safety to the top of the screen, Minkah Fitzpatrick to the bottom.

Watch how Edmunds and Fitzpatrick adjust their roles as the formation changes, and then as the play develops. The strong side safety is going to play up closer to the line, the weak side back farther as the deepest defender. They change roles with the motion, but as the screen play starts to develop they switch back. There’s no talking here, they see the play and move, and they move together, seeing the play and reacting in unison. Edmunds and Fitzpatrick showed a lot of growth as a duo in 2020, their second season together. Year three should be even better.

2nd quarter, 3:09. Minkah Fitzpatrick is the deep safety (in the end zone to start the play), Terrell Edmunds is on the line of scrimmage, farthest to the top of the screen.

Edmunds is a free blitzer, Keith Butler always does a great job designing the Steelers blitzes, and this time it is Edmunds who goes unblocked. Tyson Alualu gets a hand on the ball and Minkah Fitzpatrick corrals it for the interception. With Mike Hilton no longer in Pittsburgh, Terrell Edmunds is the best blitzing defensive back on the roster. It will be interesting to see if his blitzing increases in 2021.

2nd quarter, 0:36, Terrell Edmunds is the deep safety toward the top of the screen.

Vince Williams is matched up on a tight end, Terrell Edmunds is lined up really deep so they attack there. The window was there, Jake Luton just overthrew his target and Terrell Edmunds gets a gift to break his 38 game interception drought. This moment mattered because those kind of droughts can get in a players head, and the relief and joy at finally getting another interception was evident after the play. It’s always good to get that monkey off your back.

3rd quarter, 12:00. Minkah Fitzpatrick is the safety to the top of the screen, Terrell Edmunds to the bottom.

The Jaguars come out in 11 personnel, but put end up in empty, with the tight end the receiver farthest to the top of the screen and the running back farthest to the bottom.

Talking heads love to point out plays where Vince Williams and Robert Spillane are matched up on the other team’s top receivers, but you won’t see them show this play, or most of the plays when those “inexcusable” mismatches occur, because they end up like this.

The toughest matchup on the field actually goes to Cameron Sutton, who has to cover a wide receiver by himself. Steven Nelson is covering a running back, Joe Haden a tight end, and the two linebackers are the underneath half of bracket coverage with the Steelers safeties backing them up. Minkah Fitzpatrick cheating under his man’s route forces the throw to be high and long, and it falls incomplete. A ball thrown on target to the wide receiver would end up in Fitzpatrick’s hands.

Especially look at Vince Williams and Terrell Edmunds on the slot receiver to the bottom. Williams has short coverage with inside leverage, Edmunds deep with outside leverage. D.J. Chark shut down by Vince Williams? Yep.

4th quarter, 9:12. Terrell Edmunds is the deep safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick is more shallow.

The Jaguars are trailing 17-3 with 9 minutes left, the game isn’t over and it’s not desperation time. It’s 2nd and 9. The Steelers drop into man defense with Edmunds deep and Fitzpatrick playing a robber role. All the corners have heavy outside leverage, daring the Jaguars to throw anything into the middle of the field. The Jaguars throw against the leverage instead, and Justin Layne gets to look good on film.

4th quarter, 8:41. Terrell Edmunds is the safety to the top of the screen.

The next play the Steelers drop into their cover-3 variant where the safeties play the middle of the field, and you can see why this defense is so incredibly effective. There’s a high and low defender on each sideline, a really deep middle defender, and anything underneath or to the middle has to get through Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds. Edmunds follows a gift pick earlier in the game with a really nice one on this play, and the safeties have three interceptions on the day.

Edmunds and Fitzpatrick create large areas of threat that shrink pass windows and deny the most valuable parts of the field. Making life easier for everyone else on defense.

4th quarter, 6:05. Minkah Fitzpatric is the safety to the top of the screen.

Robert Spillane on a tight end isn’t really a mismatch, and with Minkah Fitzpatrick backing him up, you’d have to be a rookie 6th round pick to throw that ball. Oh hi Jake Luton, thank you for another gift throw and the Steelers first game where multiple players recorded multiple interceptions since 1995.

It took a quarterback willing to make those throws to really show why the Steelers safeties are more valuable than their stats. Most of the time the other team is avoiding them. Jake Luton didn’t.

Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton are no longer on the team, half of the main four cornerbacks are gone. But in 2021 the Steelers safeties will still be back there making life easier for whoever lines up at cornerback, and for the rest of the defense.

Podcast: Diagnosing what the Steelers should NOT do in the NFL Draft

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 11:00am

BTSC’s Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis talk news of the day and everything surrounding the Steelers. All of this while mixing in fun and frivolity like only they do.

The Steelers have plenty of options and could employ a plethora of strategies in the 2021 Draft. But there are a few things that they definitely should not do at the podium this year. This is just one of the subjects that will be discussed and speculated on in the latest edition in the flagship show of the BTSC family of podcasts.

As always, it sure is a good time to get on the airwaves and discuss the Black-and-Gold and there you have the topic for the BTSC podcast The Steelers Preview with Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis. Join the triumphant trio as they combine the down all things Steelers and with shenanigans galore.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News of the week
  • Diagnosing what the Steelers should NOT do in the NFL Draft
  • Trivia

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel.

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Jalen Mayfield is a project, but one the Steelers might be interested in taking on

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 10:00am
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

For teams who are looking for an offensive tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft, Jalen Mayfield might be a prospect to keep an eye on.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of many NFL organizations who could be looking at an offensive tackle in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. However, unlike the other franchises who are looking to add to their current offensive line depth chart, the Steelers possess the 24th overall pick.

Not really conducive to getting a top tier prospect, but after players like Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater, there are a lot of talented tackles who could be available to the Steelers at pick No. 24.

There is the chance the Steelers choose to take a tackle to bolster their offensive line depth in 2021, and if Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield is available when the Steelers pick, is he an option as a first round talent?

I did some digging on Mayfield, and put together a brief synopsis of the kind of player he is, and will be when becoming a professional. Below you’ll see draft profile breakdowns, film room breakdowns and game film for you to enjoy.

Don’t listen to me, or anyone else, form your own opinion on Mayfield. I plan on doing this for other prospects as the draft approaches. If there is a specific player you’d like to see covered, simply let me know and I’ll be glad to put it together!

Let us know your thoughts on Mayfield in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.

Draft Profiles The Draft Network

Jalen Mayfield projects as a high-quality starting offensive lineman at the NFL level. He’s got ample size and athleticism to play in space in pass protection and with just two years of starting experience under his belt, Mayfield is only going to continue to get better with more repetitions. Mayfield showed impressive improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 after facing a murderer’s row of pass rushes in his first season as a starter in 2019, having to block top-50 picks Yetur Gross-Matos and Chase Young while also having to handle other prominent pass rushers such as Anfernee Jennings, Jayson Oweh, Shaka Toney, Terrell Lewis, Khalid Kareem, Julian Okwara, and others. Mayfield endured a baptism by fire as a college starter but the physical tools and raw athleticism were undeniable. Complicating Mayfield’s 2021 projection is an even smaller sample size than the abbreviated 2020 Big Ten season—Mayfield played in just two games this season and will enter the pros with 15 starts under his belt at Michigan. But Mayfield was dominant and looked like a much more refined prospect in 2020; so much so that I’m pushing my chips into the table on this one. I think Mayfield is a high-level right tackle prospect who could be trained to switch sides and play on the left or, alternatively, be left to continue to grow on the right side. His athletic profile and build wouldn’t hinder him from a transition to guard either—in case his small sample size of strong play isn’t sustainable and he struggles at the NFL level on the outside. Given his physical skills and the multiple avenues to get on the field, I’m betting Mayfield ends up a big hit in the pros.

Ideal Role: Starting offensive tackle (could play either side, high-ceiling OG, as well).

Scheme Fit: Scheme transcendent talent.

Walter Football

Strengths:

Reliable pass protector

Has quick enough feet

Can bend at the knee

Agile to wall off speed rushers

Can kick slide to block speed rushers

Good length

Anchors against bull rushes

Shows recoverability against bull rushes

Quality run blocker

Contributes in the ground game

Can manipulate and tie up defenders as a run blocker

Sustains blocks

Strong hands

Physical

Fighter; physical demeanor

Quality technique

Quick out of his stance

Quality feet

Sustains blocks

Awareness

Weaknesses:

Not an elite athlete

Lacks elite speed

Can lunge after defenders

Gets in trouble when his weight gets over his toes

Will give up ground to the bull rush

Not overpowering as a run blocker

Less than ideal speed for a left tackle

Less than ideal feet for a left tackle

Less than ideal athleticism for a left tackle

Might be limited to right tackle or guard in the NFL

Could have problems with elite NFL rushers

Summary: Jalen Mayfield was perhaps the only offensive lineman who could slow down Chase Young in 2019 during his dominant campaign of 16.5 sacks. In plenty of one-on-one matchups, Mayfield got the better of Young, and there were other plays where Young had Mayfield on the ropes but the young Wolverine was able to recover in time to keep Young from making his typical game-changing plays. It was a breakout performance for the Wolverines right tackle to conclude the regular season.

After being a backup as a true freshman, Mayfield showed improvement throughout his sophomore year, as he played better against Young and Ohio State than he did in earlier games, like against Penn State for example. It was an impressive debut for Mayfield, and Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh was bullish about Mayfield being even better in 2020. As a junior, Mayfield played well, but also missed time with injuries, and given the shortened season, he did not have much of an opportunity to build on his 2019 season. After the season, Mayfield showed a lack of judgement, or ignorance, or willingness to do due diligence when he signed with the agency that protected sexual predator Harvey Weinstein.

Mayfield has the skill set to be a starter at the NFL thanks to having quality size, athleticism and quickness. In pass protection, he has enough quickness and athleticism on the edge to neutralize speed rushers. While he is not an elite athlete or especially fast, Mayfield is quick out of his stance and gets in position to wall off defenders. When taking on bull rushes, Mayfield gives up a little ground, but then is able to anchor with enough lower body strength to keep himself from getting pushed into the quarterback. Mayfield uses solid technique to get good depth in his drop and is able to play the typewriter with his feet to mirror speed rushers. Mayfield possesses quality feet, and while they’re not elite, they’re above average.

There are aspects of Mayfield’s game that need improvement, and he should improve his technique for taking on NFL defensive linemen. At times, Mayfield lunges after defenders, and he can get his weight too far over his toes. That leads to him missing some blocks in space especially. There are also times when he gives up up ground in bull rushes. He gets too wide with his hands as well, which allows defenders to get into his chest to rock him back. While Mayfield has some flaws that lead to him giving up ground, he shows nice recoverability and an ability to re-engage defenders before a rush becomes catastrophic.

In the ground game, Mayfield is a solid contributor at the point of attack. He is not an overpowering road grader like Brandon Scherff was coming out of Iowa, and Mayfield is not as good of a run blocker as Andrew Thomas was at Georgia or Jedrick Wills at Alabama, but Mayfield is dependable to execute his assignment. He has the strength to control, turn and manipulate defenders at the point of attack. Mayfield is able to hit blocks on the second level and able to kick out to the perimeter. With his fighting temperament, Mayfield blocks through the whistle and sustains his blocks. He should be a solid run blocker in the NFL.

Mayfield could use refinement for the next level, but has the ability to become a starter. Mayfield has a shot at sneaking into the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, he and looks safe to go on day two if he is not selected on the opening night.

Player Comparison: Taylor Moton. For the NFL, Mayfield reminds me of Moton. Both are athletic right tackles who have enough quickness and athleticism to match up against speed rushers yet possess the strength to anchor. They both are solid run blockers as well. Mayfield was a second-round pick in 2017 out of Western Michigan, and Mayfield could be a second-round or late first-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Fan Nation

Positives:

Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield is a very good athlete at the tackle position and also has the skills and size necessary to move inside to guard if needed. He’s a terrific run blocker who moves well in space, climbs to the second level of the defense with ease and drives defenders out of the equation. Mayfield is comfortable pulling and lead-blocking and has a good understanding of gaps and assignments. His football IQ is high.

Unlike many other prospects, speed rushers aren’t much of an issue for Mayfield. He can handle speed moves due to his quick reaction time and plus lateral agility and overall mobility. He constantly seeks out additional work and puts forth maximum effort on every snap. Mayfield started just 15 games in college and is oozing with potential.

Negatives:

Hand usage and hand placement are concerns for Mayfield. His foundation remains strong, but he fails to use his length to his advantage. When he feels himself getting beat, he tends to lunge at his assignment rather than using an alternative recovery method. There may be some initial growing pains as savvier pass-rushers get the best of Mayfield, but those poor reps shouldn’t last for long.

While Mayfield certainly isn’t weak and does have great size, he doesn’t do particularly well with bull-rush moves and needs to improve his play strength. Getting low, setting a firm anchor and greeting EDGE players with a punch will help. Mayfield is a nasty run defender, so being taught to translate that mean streak to the passing game should be something he can do without much trouble.

Breakdowns Game Film Other Breakdowns

QB

RB

ILB

TE

OT

Chuks Okorafor is still wet behind the ears, as it pertains to playing in the NFL

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 8:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Chukwuma Okorafor has plenty of room for growth because truthfully he is still just a kid.

If this rather eventful off season for the Steelers has taught us anything it is the fact that wonders never cease, and we as Steelers fans should learn to expect the unexpected. Nobody could have predicted JuJu Smith-Schuster choosing loyalty and legacy over money by returning to Pittsburgh in a display of wisdom that belies his youthful age. Or when Tyson Alualu up and agreed to a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars; the place where his NFL career began in rather disappointing fashion, only to change his mind after 10 days of COVID quarantine gave him ample time to come to his senses.

One of the biggest surprises this off season for yours truly was a statement revealed by none other than Steelers T Zach Banner. It was common knowledge all along that the Steelers wanted URFA Banner back, and Banner wanted to come back. The Steelers had a busy couple of weeks to begin free agency so they focused their attention on other priorities as they considered Banner's return a sure thing.

Banner waited patiently, but he decided to do something totally out of character while he waited. Banner is a gregarious young man, never shy about sharing his opinion about social issues according to his personal beliefs. He is both entertaining and ever present on social media platforms as he engages with the fanbase. However, the loquacious Banner decided to shutdown his social media until he signed a new contract with the Steelers. That was a surprise, but not the biggest surprise about Banner I have heard recently.

That distinction would be a statement that Banner says HC Mike Tomlin made to him in his exit interview at the conclusion of last season. According to Banner, Tomlin told him that not only was he in the Steelers plans to rebuild their offensive line in an concerted effort to improve their league worst rushing attack, but that he would be competing for the opportunity to start at left tackle.

The first time I read that statement I immediately thought it was a typo. I was sure that the statement should have been that he was going to have a shot of starting at right tackle. I was so certain of it I didn't give it a second thought. Then he reiterated that statement in another interview not long after officially signing his new contract. Not only was I surprised by the statement, but I am honestly still confused and befuddled today.

Zach Banner has shown me nothing thus far in his professional career that suggest he can play left tackle at the NFL level. He has excellent length, but lacks the balance and mobility of a left tackle. His massive girth makes him an excellent candidate at right tackle, where his strength and power should help bolster the Steelers aforementioned anemic running game. On the right side, he won't be tasked with protecting his aging future HOF QB's blindside from insanely quick pass rushing specialists like Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett. Banner has prototypical size and skills for right tackle, not so much for left tackle.

However, at least on paper, Chukwuma Okorafor is the dictionary definition of a left tackle. Blessed with excellent height and extremely long arms, Okorafor is light on his feet with impressive mobility. At this point of his development, he handles speed better than he does pure power. He slides and shuffles gracefully, but can easily be knocked off balance when trying to absorb an opponent's bull rush. This happened with greater frequency as the season progressed last year.

So why am I so confident that Okorafor will be successful at left tackle this season for the Pittsburgh Steelers? There are multiple reasons why at this point.

As mentioned earlier, I believe that Okorafor was playing out of position last season at right tackle. He was drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft in the third round out of Western Michigan by the Steelers to play left tackle eventually. This was confirmed after the draft by none other than Kevin Colbert. As I pointed out earlier, his skill set and physical dimensions are ideal for left tackle.

Secondly, he was much more effective playing next to powerful rookie G Kevin Dotson early in the season. They seemed to communicate well and formed a strong tandem on the right side. Okorafor never seemed as comfortable playing alongside David Decastro, a far more finesse type player. If Dotson takes over as the starter at LG next season as expected, then the two would be paired up together once again. That bodes well for both young men.

Lastly, I want to point out Okorafor's age at the moment. He won't turn 24 years young until early in training camp, even though he will be entering his fourth year in the league. I remember thinking the first time I saw him in action that he didn't appear ready for NFL level competition. He looked tentative and unsure, like a junior varsity player making the jump to varsity. In his case he was, not only in skill level and experience, but in actual age. This gives me real hope that he still has plenty of room for improvement, not just in maturity but with his functional playing strength also.

My ideal offensive line has strength and stability in the interior positions, with length and athleticism at the tackle positions. Due to advancing age, injuries, and less than ideal personnel decisions by the coaching staff; last season's Steelers line failed to meet those standards and deteriorated rapidly. Outside of Kevin Dotson the offensive line was never able to achieve any semblance of push or surge. The Steelers hierarchy recognized the problem and are in the process of trying to rectify the situation.

All off season Steelers faithful have lamented the biggest areas of need in improving the running game are running back, center, and either tackle spot. I would argue that the first two positions listed are far more needed at the moment.

Who knows what the Steelers plans are at left tackle? Maybe they really are going to give Banner a shot there in training camp. I don't expect that experiment to be successful, but what would it hurt. Training camp is a time for growth and experimentation. Throw ideas at the wall and see what sticks. For what it's worth, there is a recent picture of Banner floating around social media showing him in the best shape of his career. He appears to be taking his rehab and a possible shot at left tackle very seriously.

I still believe that Chukwuma Okorafor will be the Steelers left tackle when the season starts, and that he is more than capable of being successful in that endeavor. All I am asking is give the guy a chance and have a little faith. After all, he is just a kid and could use some support from the Steelers faithful.

Cam Sutton’s versatility is a weapon the Steelers have yet to unleash

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 7:15am
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers elected to pay Cam Sutton this offseason, and he just might be the versatile weapon the defense has yet to unleash.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a bold decision on the first day of the new NFL league year. That decision was to give Cam Sutton a new contract instead of Mike Hilton. Hilton, who tested the free agents waters, ended up signing with the Cincinnati Bengals and will go against the team who gave him a chance twice a year for the foreseeable future.

Throw in the fact the Steelers ultimately let Steven Nelson walk, and the Sutton signing is much bigger than anyone ever imagined it to be when it happened.

Luckily for Sutton, he is capable of playing almost anywhere in the defensive secondary. Last season he played primarily the dime defensive back role, but also filled in for Hilton in the nickel when Hilton was out with a shoulder injury. Sutton can also play on the outside, and it is this type of versatility which should make fans realize just why the Steelers made sure they signed him first.

“What is more special than being versatile. I never want to be a stationary guy.” Sutton told the Steelers official website.

“Why be a stationary target when you can be a moving target,” said Sutton. “Why limit your opportunity when you can maximize your opportunity. It’s not just about wanting it for myself. I am trying to put myself in the best situation to make plays for the team. We have 10 other guys out there hungry and willing and ready to make the same plays. That is why the defense has been successful. No one cares about their numbers. It’s about the excitement we have being out there whipping the guy across from us and coming out with a win. That is our drive. That is what drives me. That drives our organization and defense. We are continuing to build off of that.”

The Steelers have plans of having Sutton compete for the starting job opposite Joe Haden on the outside, but with the 2021 NFL Draft approaching the Steelers know they have a player who can play multiple positions at a high level. Nonetheless, Sutton is just grateful the Steelers believed in him.

“It means everything. It truly means everything,” said Sutton of re-signing. “The organization, it’s not like you come into a new place not knowing. We are talking about an organization that drafted me. Them having the confidence, support and belief in me, my work and the character and type of person I am. To bring me into such a prestigious organization. I am forever indebted and grateful to them for this opportunity.

“It’s nothing that I could have imagined as a young kid living this dream. I can truly say I am able to do that and to continue to do that in Pittsburgh is special. The free agent process wasn’t overwhelming. Everything fell into line like it should. Everything I wanted for my family fell into line. Having that support behind you, to continue to build, compete at a high level and bring more Super Bowls to the organization. We have the guys in the building to achieve that. We’re looking to continue to build and ultimately go get the big success.”

What exactly is Sutton looking to accomplish in his second contract? Simple answer, everything.

“No question. I’m coming for it all. I am definitely coming for it all,” said Sutton. “That is just the competitive edge in me. An opportunity presented itself, and I am embracing that and ready to step into that role and give everything I can and will to help this organization. I just want to keep this thing rolling.

“I am excited for the guys we have in the building that I go to work with every day. We are able to continue that bond that carries the fight on the field. You do all of the work and build relationships and that is what carries the team. We are going to continue to get closer, add new pieces and continue to put ourselves in the best situation to win.”

The Pittsburgh Steelers have put a lot of faith in Sutton, and his ability to not only continue to develop, but also to elevate his game both on and off the field.

“The game is not just played within the lines, run left, run right,” said Sutton. “It’s scheme, knowledge, putting parts where they are supposed to be. Having the knowledge of that, not putting yourself in a box. Having the versatility of knowing what is going on around you. You can’t be locked into only what you are doing. You have to understand and embrace that first. But it makes the game easier, slows it down, when you know what is going on around you, where guys are, use the defense, the scheme, the rotation, a guy’s body presence. You know that from watching film. It’s an offensive game and it’s only getting better on that end with the athletes we are facing. We have to be able to handle that as a defense. We are in the react mode as a defense to begin with. If I know what you are doing on the field, I am going to be in a better situation to make the play.

“I use the knowledge I gain in the film room about players, all the things you take into account to sharpen my tools so I am ready to make a play and then good things happen for you.”

Sutton will have a large role in 2021, much larger than anyone anticipated leading up to the regular season, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.

When will the NFL adopt the rule change most fans want?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 6:00am
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

There are a number of rule changes the NFL is considering, but one that needs changed was not addressed.

It’s once again the time of the NFL offseason when free agency is slowing down, the draft is still several weeks away, and the first round of league meetings have been completed. While the last item on this list may seem to be the least important, one of the bigger things that comes out of when the NFL owners meet in March is the release of proposed rule changes for the following season. Of course, the 2021 meetings also made the 17-game schedule official for this coming year, but there were still some rule changes worth noting.

Some of the proposed rules make sense such as eliminating overtime in preseason games. Another proposal wants to expand which positions are allowed to be issued single-digit jersey numbers. Yet another proposal is to implement an alternative to an onside kick by giving the team a 4th & 15 from their own 25-yard line. I also recently explained the need for one rule change which make sure all penalties on point after attempts are enforced throughout successive tries.

What some fans have also noted are the rule changes that were not presented. Of course there’s always some interesting ideas floating around, but there is one a lot of fans have talked about the need to change for years. And it’s not just Steelers fans. Although there are a few examples of this rule which needs changing which of affected the Steelers in a negative way, every time it comes up in any game it seems like the rule just doesn’t make sense.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, or if the lead picture did not give it away, it’s the rule in the NFL where if a team fumbles the ball into the end zone and it goes out of bounds, it becomes a touchback with the defensive team gaining possession.

Sounds a little harsh, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

I can think of no less than two games in which this rule affected the Steelers. One was years ago when Kordell Stewart lost the ball before crossing the goal line where it hit off of his thigh and out of bounds just past the pylon. Instead of the Steelers being set up to try to finish off the touchdown they should have scored on the previous play, the defense had to come onto the field. More recently, too many Steeler fans would like to forget the play in Denver in 2018 when tight end Xavier Grimble chose to take on the defender rather than simply steer clear of him into the end zone. The hit, pictured above, jarred the ball loose just before he cross the goal line. When the ball went out of bounds along the sideline in the end zone, it cost the Steelers a touchdown in a game which they ultimately lost by seven points.

What makes this rule so frustrating is the difference of 6 inches. If an offensive player fumbles the ball out of bounds 3 inches in front of the pylon, the offense simply retains possession and they move on to the next down. But if the player fumbles the ball and it goes out of bounds three inches beyond the pylon, it’s considered a turnover and a touchback with the defense taking over on the 20 yard line.

So how should the NFL change this rule? I have an idea. In fact, I have several depending on why this rule is still even in place.

First of all, I would differentiate between a fumble in the end zone going out on the sideline versus out the back at the end line. If the NFL wants to keep a fumble out of the back of the end zone as a touchback, I’m okay with that. If a player fumbles the ball forward by more than 10 yards, I see why they would do it, and I don’t think it would happen very often. But if the ball was funneled into the end zone and it goes out along the sideline, which could be just inside the pylon, the ball should go back to the spot of the fumble and the fumbling team retains possession. In other words, it would be like any other fumble out of bounds, except the ball would be returned to the spot of the fumble regardless of the time it is in the game or the down.

If the argument about not changing this rule is that it isn’t enough of a punishment to the fumbling team, then let’s institute a more reasonable punishment. Instead, let’s make it a special situation where if the team fumbled the ball into the end zone and it goes out of bounds, the ball returns to the spot of the fumble, the down is lost, and the team receives a 5-yard penalty. More often than not, this would mean that instead of the team getting the ball back at the 1-yard line, they would have to run the next play from the 6-yard line. This would make the fumble going out of bounds in the end zone a bigger punishment than a fumble going out of bounds on the field of play, but doesn’t make it so ridiculously harsh to where the team loses possession.

If you’re one of those people who thinks that the rule is fine the way it is and that the defense should be rewarded for forcing the fumble out of bounds, then why don’t we give the defense a fumble out of bounds at any time? Or even better, how about the defense actually has to recover the fumble in order to gain possession? That’s what they have to do anywhere else on the field.

It’s sad that the NFL did not address this rule once again this offseason. Is it the end of the world that this rule stays in place? Not really. Do we realize how bad the rule is every time it comes up? Yeah, pretty much. Even when the rule goes in your favor, most people believe it’s still a bad role.

Come on NFL, it’s time to get this one right.

With NCAA Pro Days over, here are prospects who elevated their 2021 NFL Draft stock

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 5:30am
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2021 NFL Draft on the horizon, it is time to take a look at players who performed well at their Pro Days, and those who didn’t.

Ever since the NFL decided to cancel the annual Scouting Combine, it became clear the emphasis would immediately fall on the individual school’s pro days. No longer did prospective players have two opportunities to impress coaches and scouts, they would have one shot at that in-person performance.

With NCAA Pro Days all but in the rear view mirror, it is time to look back at who wowed, and who disappointed. ESPN Senior Writer Jeff Legwold dove into the topic head first. See his lists below for players who helped their draft stock, and those who watched their stock plummet after a bad workout.

Prospects who wowed at pro days

Pro days are just one piece of the puzzle, and when scouts criticize the media for their evaluations of prospects, they will often say too much emphasis was placed on a pro day or combine workout and that one play made in a noncompetitive situation should not get as much love as it does.

Here are a few of the non-quarterbacks who made the most of the showcase in recent weeks:

  • Many people in the league came away from Northwestern’s pro day raving about how offensive tackle Rashawn Slater looked after missing a season. They got the confirmation they needed to make him a top-15 pick.
  • Wisconsin-Whitewater lineman Quinn Meinerz didn’t get to play a game in 2020 because his team’s season was canceled. But he made the most of his Senior Bowl week, especially in the one-on-ones, and he followed that up with a top-shelf pro day on March 9, including a reliably timed sub-4.9 40-yard dash at 320 pounds and top times in shuttle drills.
  • The game video showed Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey didn’t surrender a sack in 2020, and his pro day was stellar for his position, including shuttle drill times similar to those for a skill position player.
  • Penn State edge rusher Jayson Oweh had a pro day one scout called “high-end ridiculous’’ as the 6-foot-5, 257-pounder had double-take numbers such as a 39½-inch vertical and a 40 time in the 4.3s. He is one of the biggest pro day/game tape question marks of this class because he finished last season without a sack.
  • BYU wide receiver Micah Simon, a former prep quarterback, went undrafted in 2020 after COVID-19 forced his pro day to be canceled. He caught passes from Zach Wilson at BYU’s pro day this year and dropped a 4.3 40 on those in attendance. He was signed by the Panthers last week.

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Prospects who still have questions after pro days
  • Pitt safety Paris Ford was a productive player who consistently showed a good understanding of what offenses wanted to do, but his pro day 40s were in the 4.8s, and his times in the agility drills were not nearly what many scouts were hoping to see.
  • Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade has seen his stock fall in recent months — he was viewed as a potential first-round pick last summer — and he did not work out at the Buckeyes’ pro day because of a turf toe injury. He has told teams he will work out April 14, and he’ll need to provide something to counter his shaky play this past season.
  • Scouts had already said that Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson didn’t have the best week at the Senior Bowl and his pro day performance was just OK. Many came away hoping for more from the former five-star prospect.

What do you think of the above list? Would you have had any of these players on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ radar? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.

Podcast: Don’t get hung up on a mock draft

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 04/09/2021 - 4:30am

Jeff Hartman brings an AM studio show to the BTSC family of podcasts with the latest episode of “Let’s Ride“.

The Steelers have some many options in a fairly loaded 2021 NFL Draft and it seems that many a mock draft has the Steelers taking a wide array of players. Some make perfect sense, while others are absolutely inconceivable. In the end, only the Steelers know who fits best, so don’t get hung up on the mocks. This is the main topic that will be discussed on the latest episode of the morning flagship show in the BTSC family of podcasts. Join BTSC co-editor Jeff Hartman for this and more on “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Why Pittsburgh Steelers fans shouldn’t get hung up on mock drafts
  • Hart to Heart
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman of BTSC walks you through everything you need to know regarding the black-and-gold.

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

You can listen to the show in the player below.

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