Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert At Michigan State Pro Day Scouting Darqueze Dennard

While the league currently sits and waits for the 4 PM dinner bell that is the opening of the free agency period, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert are reportedly up north, attending the Michigan State pro day.

Translation: Tomlin and Colbert are taking a good, hard look at likely first-round draftee cornerback Darqueze Dennard.

The Steelers have already met with the other top cornerback, Justin Gilbert, while attending the Combine last month. And they are already known to have inquired about three free agent cornerbacks.

The level of activity certainly suggests that the Steelers may very well use both free agency and the draft to address the cornerback position, which becomes perilously thin once you get past Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen, and William Gay.

Behind those three players, following the release of Curtis Brown, are Antwon Blake, Devin Smith, and Isaiah Green. The three combined have accounted for nine defensive snaps in their professional careers, all owned by Blake, with only five of them coming last season while with the Steelers.

Many have knocked Dennard, the Michigan State corner, over the past few months, questioning his size and speed, as well as his ability to play in zone coverage, which is something that Keenan Lewis struggled with his first two seasons before working with new defensive backs coach Carnell Lake.

Dave Bryan wrote a few weeks back, however, “when all else fails, just turn on Dennard’s tape”, believing that the Steelers won’t even have a chance to draft him before he is drafted higher by another team.

Since that article, however, some mocks have had him falling, some even having Dennard go to the Steelers with their 15th overall selection.

It wasn’t long ago that Maurkice Pouncey helped advise the Steelers to draft Marcus Gilbert, also a former teammate and close friend, who has been the team’s primary starting right tackle since his rookie season, despite missing most of the 2012 season.

You can rest assured that former teammate and Michigan State alum Le’Veon Bell, whom the Steelers drafted just last season, is advising Tomlin and Colbert on what he thinks of Dennard, both as a player and as a person.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Brian Tollini

    Love Dennard, watch the tape, it doesn’t lie.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I have a feeling that we will take him out to dinner, we always seem to do that with Michigan St. players anymore. You are also correct Bell and Dennard are friends, and if i recall correctly bell was asking for him on twitter awhile ago

  • steeltown

    It read he had a 36inch vertical and 11’2 broad jump today at the pro day.. both better than Gilberts combine numbers

  • srdan

    I would love to get htis guy. Granted I only saw the stanford game, and didn’t notice him, but everything I read is that he is tough as nails. We need tenacity on D. We are getting some from Hayward, Williams and hopefully shark. Dennard would be a welcome addition to that young core. IMO.

  • dgh57

    Those are good reasons to draft him but he’s still a press corner guy. That’s not so bad if your intentions are to install some more of that into your defense. I sometimes get tired of seeing our DBs playing 10 yards back and would welcome a press corner guy like Dennard that could give our defense a different look.

  • WilliamSekinger

    +1

  • Biggie

    I find Gilbert to be by far the top corner in the draft, however he is unlikely to be there at our pick. I will not be unhappy to take Dennard with our pick but have serious doubts he will be BPA for us at our pick.

  • Superdriller316

    I’m sure they will be at all top DB’s pro days. They might turn up at Lindenwood to look at Desir too. Last week Kevin was at Auburn’s pro day, who was he looking at? All the pictures I saw, he was looking at Dee Ford. Let’s not look to much into who goes to what pro day.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Forget the combine numbers I like to see the game film. That’s the true story.

  • cp72

    I am a Notre Dame fan and he was near dominant that game. He seems really aggressive and I wonder how he fits in the off man we play.

  • cp72

    They may have to Google Linwood to figure out where in the hell it is.

  • Paddy

    Dennard faced how many pro style QBs at Michigan?

  • Matt Manzo

    Do we know what type of coverage Butler wants to run? Any chance he wants to either shift towards man or incorporate it more? Dennard would make sense then, but I don’t really want a top pick that has to learn something new. I want our top DB to be able to come in and play.

  • sean mcmartin

    and away from the helm ,as Cleveland is stocking up on defensive guys that can help them this season. And I don’t need any reminders they never go after top free agents..and never players in the top rated talent world..

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Hopefully Bell has better insight to Dennard then Poucey had insight to Gilbert

  • steelster

    yes, well put

  • steelster

    what is your point?

  • sean mcmartin

    point is I get frustrated hearing the browns got donte whitner and karlos dansby and The team I like does not have the money to get a top rated guy..thats it.

  • sean mcmartin

    So the Steelers just got safety Mike Mitchell..now I have no point..Mitchell sucked in oakland but had a resurgence in carolina last year..Ryan Clark is on the chopping block..

  • LucasY59

    Whitner and Dansby are both older and not any better than the players the Clowns lost. (Ward and Jackson)

  • Jazz

    Keith Butler? I think you meant LeBeau; Butler hasn’t been given the reigns to the defense yet.

  • Jazz

    Thank You! Gilbert is a Joke! Pouncey is overrated himself.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I am good for 1 decent comment a month. :)

  • Shannon Stephenson

    He wasn’t worth his 2nd round pick.

  • WIINGY

    The Steelers have played press and would play more if they had the personnel. That’s why they drafted Hawthorne. No team wants to be one dimensional. Google Seattle Cover 3 and see how they mix up press on one side with off man and zone all out of the same scheme. They are not just a cover 1 press team.

  • WIINGY

    He’s a Free Agent and unemployed at the moment

  • WIINGY

    doesn’t matter, the Steelers defense has always prided themselves on beating up on rookie quarterbacks and the Jason Cambell’s of the NFL. They always suck against top notch QBs

  • dgh57

    Did you miss the part where I said, “some more of that”?

    In other words read between the lines!

  • Matt Manzo

    I have a feeling Butler is more involved in the D this year when it comes to future players. Maybe not, but as a business owner I’m always thinking and preparing ahead. It’s gotta be time for Butler to take over soon? Assuming he’s the one being handed the reigns?

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m hoping Butler as D coordinator can change that!

  • WIINGY

    Yeah, i was pretty much agreeing with you.

    Don’t be so damn sensitive.