Alabama S Landon Collins Headlines Steelers Wednesday Pre-Draft Visitor List

The Pittsburgh Steelers are continuing to hold pre-draft visits with several players with just over a week to go before the 2015 NFL Draft and on Wednesday they hosted two defensive backs and two edge-rushers.

Alabama safety Landon Collins, Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald, Tennessee-Chattanooga outside linebacker Davis Tull and Mississippi State outside linebacker Preston Smith are the four players visiting Wednesday.

Collins has long been regarded by many as being the best safety in this year’s draft class. Last season Collins registered 98 total tackles, three interceptions and six passes defensed.

McDonald, who measures in at 6006, 203-pounds, registered 35 total tackles last season to go along with two interceptions and 13 pass breakups.

Tull recorded 58 total tackles and 10.5 sacks in 14 games last season. 18 of his tackles resulted in loses and he was credited with nine hurries and two forced fumbles. He was the Defensive Player of the Year for the Southern Conference the last three seasons. He measures in at 6-2, 246-pounds.

As for the 6-5, 271-pound Smith, who many believe will be drafted in either the second or third round, he led his team last season with 15 tackles for loss and 9 sacks. He was selected first-team All-SEC in 2014 for his play.

  • Caesar

    Anyone know how many possible visits they have left?

  • Thom

    Preston Smith? I guess he could be a Pernell McPhee type.

  • Would love Collins.. Big time hitter, great playmaker

  • PittsburghSports

    I believe 1(hoping it’s for Byron Jones lol).

  • PittsburghSports

    Wow, thought Landon Collins was an afterthought, but definitely going to put him in the running now. I really like Preston Smith. He’s a borderline 1st rd pick though, so can the Steelers reach for him in the 1st rd? I don’t think he drops to our 2nd pick. Never heard of Dexter McDonald before.

  • Ike Evans

    Drxter? Is that a typo?

  • T R

    that are at 29 now. so they only have 1 left.

  • Yea for sure…you wouldn’t think it but he performed better in every category than N. Orchard….faster 40, higher vert, quicker shuttle and 3 cone, jumped further, and 1 bench rep more….kind of impressive for a guy who is 6’5″ 270+. I think their thought process might be if they pass on an OLB in the 1st rd maybe Orchard, Smith, or Harold will fall to them in the 2nd….maybe none of them are there but you never know how the draft shapes out and it is possible that one of these prospects are there for them in round 2 and they just want to be prepared for it.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    The only CB from Kansas that I had heard about was Jacorey Shepherd, so I don’t know anything about this CB from Kansas. I like the other three visitors. Hard to believe draft is one week from tomorrow. Looking forward to a few more draft profiles, hopefully, and then final mock drafts from all Steelers Depot contributors.

  • Mike Frantz

    The thing is, once Fowler, Beasley and Dupree are gone (I am not high on Ray or Gregory for Steelers) who’s next as an edge player? For me, it’s a group of Harold, Owa and P. Smith (my personal ranking goes Owa, Smith, Harold). After those three you have another tier of Hunter, Orchard, Kikaha, Golden, Flowers, Mauldin (and I rank them in roughly that order).

    If the Steelers are like me, they see a TON of depth at CB in this draft, but I see a pretty big drop off from the second tier to third tier on edge guys. Given that, I’m ok “reaching” a bit for Owa or P. Smith at 22 because like you said, they won’t be there at our 2nd pick.

  • steeltown

    Preston Smith alright! I like him, could be that hybrid elephant player we need.

  • superfan

    So what happens if the Steelers draft Landon Collins in the 1st, Preston Smith in the 2nd, and Laken Tomlinson in the 3rd? Will there be riots if a CB isn’t one of the first three picks?

  • steeltown

    If we then got Steven Nelson in the 4th Rd, I’d be very happy. That would in theory shore up multiple positions of need.

    2.Preston Smith

    Not sexy, but I’ll take it.

  • Mike Frantz

    Not from me. That would be a hell of first 3 rounds. Potential cornerstone players at 3 positions of need over next couple of years. And like Steeltown says, in 4th we could still get Nelson, Gholston, Grant, etc.

  • gth

    We could use him , but we dont need him as bad as CB and OLB.

  • superfan

    I agree with you guys. I have to believe that a CB will be taken in the first three rounds, but if a BPA strategy leads to something like I posted above, I’d be pretty happy.

  • gth

    They might make a play for Gregory if he falls to the mid teens, but otherwise Im think CB 1st. Peters or KJ.

    Love Harold, Smith or Hunter for the 2nd and they are definitely taking a CB in the 3rd. Im thinking Carter.

    Im not big on Orchard either. I think Emmanuel or valles for the 4th.

  • cp72

    Tomlinson the TE from UTEP?

  • superfan

    It’s the OG from Duke

  • steeltown

    OG… probably wont be available in the 3rd, but…

  • PittsburghSports

    I know it doesn’t mean much now, but I’d be very surprised to see Tomlinson make it to the 3rd rd.

  • PittsburghSports

    I think all 5 of the edge rushers are gone, but I did mock Shane Ray 26th to the Ravens. I realize it’s a deep CB class, but they just might be the best value available in the 1st rd for us. Not sure Diggy is in the Steelers plans either.

  • Jollyrob68

    Love this list.

  • PittsburghSports

    Exactly what I’m thinking.

  • King Litt

    I really like Collins…. Best fit in my opinion. Move Mitchell to SS… Let Collins play FS

  • Vinhuddle

    I’d take it as well steeltown.

  • Louis Goetz

    I don’t watch a lot of SEC football, but others who do have said in other posts that Collins isn’t as good as he’s being hyped. Having nothing to go off of other than highlight reels, I see why people are so existed about him. Don’t take my word for it; just go watch it yourself. I’ll bet you think you’re watching Polamalu when he was back at USC minus the hair. He’s got great range, ridiculous ball skills, he’s had some insane plays covering kicks, and drops the hammer like an angry linebacker. 103 tackles, 3 INTs, 7 PD and a forced fumble as a Jr. at Alabama last year. 6′ 228lbs. and ran a 4.53 at the combine. I know we need OLB and CB, but this kid looks like a man amongst boys. Mike Mitchell’s contract balloons to $5M ($6.7M against the cap) a year next season. I don’t know if Shamarko can play FS (or SS for that matter). I’d love for the Steelers to draft this kid. He looks like the real deal and then some.

  • Vinhuddle

    And does anyone know if visits from Penn state players count? I read where nearby players( Pitt for example) don’t count towards the 30.

  • steelburg

    That is correct. If a player is in a teams “Metropolitan area” and the team doesn’t provide transportation the player doesn’t count against the 30.

  • superfan

    I agree, I was just throwing out a hypothetical situation where CB could be ignored in rounds 1-3.

  • steeltown

    I agree. I think people are thinking he’s overrated due to the lack of TOP end talent at the position this year. Some say he lacks coverage skills. But, me personally, I think Collins is going to be a very productive player in the League for a long time.

    People better be prepared for L.Collins to possibly be the pick at #22, if Dupree and Peters are gone it could be anyone…

  • Alex B

    Anyone who thinks we should draft Landon Collins should go back and watch his actual game tape (not just highlight packages). He’s strictly a box safety who was repeatedly toasted whenever they rolled him into single high coverage. He’s got stiff hips and couldn’t run with the better receivers in the SEC. We already have Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas; we don’t need another safety who is a thumper in run support but a liability in coverage.

  • steelster

    I would hate the Collins pick. The guy can’t cover. He was burned by ole miss for 2 tds. Should have been 3 but the receiver dropped the ball.

  • Heather Danis

    Agreed. He’s a liability in coverage against faster, more savvy NFL level receivers. His game tape says so and his evaluations say so. But the Steelers may be looking as something specific or just being diligent. Time will tell

  • snags em

    Please let him stay under the radar.

  • snags em

    I know that he is the “best SS” But we have a safety that should be moved there in Mitchell where he carved out a great season with Carolina. We need a center fielder free safety that can make up distance in a short time. If this was still a run first type league, I’d say great. Like to get a guy that snags em.

  • James Kling

    Too late.

  • snags em

    In the final, I think you’re right and it could have our heads exploding with an o-lineman or even a d-lineman. I know what I would like to see, but that never happens.

  • snags em

    Yes. I am charging Steelers headquarters on a horse.

  • snags em

    Thank you, Alex. Please write a couple notes to Colbert. Sign different names and drop them in Mail bins in different towns. I’ll do it, too.

  • snags em

    This could be another “spite the fans” draft. I’m starting to get paranoid.

  • puCrepeaP

    lol. Byron Jones hasn’t been under the radar for months.

  • steelburg

    I just looked up the WVU vs Kansas game and Dexter McDonald isn’t much of a tackler but he handled Kevin White. He pretty much shut him down.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Thom –

    That is the big question. At 6’5″, 270 pounds, Preston Smith fits many teams’ mold as a 4-3 LDE. Excellent against the run, good bull rush, and adequate pass rush moves. Can he be a 3-4 LOLB for us? That’s the question?

    If he dropped 10 pounds he would be quicker, but he’s never going to have that quick twitch change of direction to be dominant in short coverage. However, neither did Harrison or Woodley.

    My opinion is, you draft Preston Smith in the 2nd round, and play him at LDE when we go nickel or dime package in a 4-3 alignment. And in a worst case scenario (if it turns out he can get pressure on the QB) you have him gain 20 pounds and rotate in at DE.

    He’s a no lose candidate. Very versatile. Like McPhee.

  • Mike Frantz

    But this concept of a “box safety” is a tired/old way of looking at things. Positions really don’t mean anything anymore. On the spectrum of skills he’s better within 10 yds of the LOS, but has the ability to contribute in a zone scheme against the passing game. It’s the way Bowles used Buchannon in Ariz, somewhat how Seattle uses Chancellor (yes, I know we don’t have E. Thomas, but who does…).

    Imagine a “Big Nickel” package

    Jones Heyward Tuitt Moats across the line
    Shazier Timmons L. Colliins at “LB” or basically your hybrid guys
    Allen Mitchell Thomas Gay as the DB’s.

    Shazier and Collins and can run with TE and RB’s and can cover short zones. Both are excellent Blitzers and can get to scrambling QB’s before they kill us.

    It’s about bringing in smart pieces and using them to their strengths. That’s a lot of versatility on the field and it can attack you from a lot of angles.

  • Lil Smitty

    I’ll bring the catapult.

  • Trey Randle

    Played with Dexter McDonald in high school. Gifted athlete but couldn’t tackle to save his life. I don’t see him as a Steeler.

  • PittsburghSports

    Nice. I’ll take a look.

  • Biggie

    If looking at Collins hopefully it is if he drops to 2nd round. He may be best safety but no safety is worthy of a 1st round pick in this draft.

  • Matt Manzo

    That’s what I keep saying! I think if we get a safety, he’ll be a FS!

  • LucasY59

    Geathers or Eskridge would be fine with me, need some size to compensate for Shark

  • LucasY59

    If they could guarantee the next play would be a pass that lineup on D would work, but could get run over on the ground, any good QB would audible out of a pass against that front

  • LucasY59

    agree on the “could be anyone”, but think there will be a few anyone’s that would be picked before Landon, if Collins is the pick I wont hate it, but think there will be a different BPA, if it were a trade back scenario I would be much more open to him as the 1st rd pick.

  • John Hinton

    I hope so as well (re: FS over SS).

  • LucasY59

    not very sexy at all, but agree solid players, probably no superstars tho (I am hoping for at least one of those this draft)

  • LucasY59

    funny thing about the “P. Smith is a DE only” is that Dupree is 1-3 pounds lighter (it justs looks way bigger when it says 270 instead of 267 or 269) Bud did have a faster 40, but I wouldn’t rule out Smith as a OLB or Hybrid, Woodley (aka Fattly) could play LOLB at 280+

  • Calvin

    Corner back might be deep in this draft but there is only one peters and if he falls to 22 we would be crazy not to grab him, he is a game changer in the backfield, we need that with troy and ike gone and edge rusher might not be as pressing a need with Lemon signing, Shawn Lemon had 13 sacks and forced 8 fumbles helping lead his team to the grey cup championship. If he can produce half of that in the NFL then he will be a great addition, if he produces 3/4 of that he could be the top lineback on the team in 2015-16

  • Conserv_58

    Saying that Collins is the best safety in this draft is like saying Larry Foote was the best ILB in his draft class. The snake oil salesman in the media are hyping him up as though he was the next Troy Polamalu. Just because he’s being hyped as the best of an unimpressive list of safeties in this draft class doesn’t make him worthy of a first round pick. I don’t think the Steelers see him as a first round pick either, especially since the measuring stick for them just retired.

  • Conserv_58

    Just not as a first round pick.

  • steeltown

    I think Collins and Tomlinson could potentially be superstars, Tomlinson will probably go mid-2nd Rd he has the makings of a pro bowl OG

    Trading back would be ideal, sooo many prospects with that 1st-early 2nd Rd grade IMO like Eli Harold, K.Johnson, Jalen Collins, Eddie Goldman and the OTs Humphries and Clemmings

  • steeltown

    Trading back would be ideal, sooo many prospects with that 1st-early 2nd Rd grade IMO like Eli Harold, K.Johnson, Jalen Collins, Eddie Goldman and the OTs Humphries and Clemmings


    Peters would be my pick as well, but if Dupree were on the board it would give me pause…imo he might be as good as Fowler if not better. Athletically he would be better than JJ or Worilds right now.

    Lemon…I’d take 5 sacks to be honest….I do expect that type of DEF though…multiple guys with 5 to 8 sacks.

  • Collins would be used more against the run then in coverage. He’s not awful in coverage he just has some work to do. Absolute beast athlete!

  • I agree, we need CBs badly!

  • As for the Ole Miss game. The first TD looked like he was botched coverage as #2 got blown away (assumed he had over the top coverage).. That was bad but the 2nd TD was a nice catch in the Coner of endzone

  • TurryG

    Steelers have no shot at Landon Collins. He’d never get by Bengals at 21. So what would it cost to trade up, how far?

  • TurryG

    no chance

  • TurryG

    Don’t worry, he won’t be there at 22.