Steelers Host Four More Prospects For Pre-Draft Visits On Wednesday

As expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers are entertaining several more pre-draft visitors on Wednesday and the list includes three defensive backs and an offensive lineman.

According to Bob Labriola, UCLU offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch, Florida safety Keanu Neal, Boise State safety Darian Thompson, and Temple cornerback Tavon Young are all in Pittsburgh visiting with the team.

Benenoch, as we previously reported, is an athletic offensive lineman who played both tackle and guard at UCLA. Many analysts have him pegged as a later-round selection.

Neal and Thompson are both highly-rated safety prospects in this year’s class who the Steelers have reportedly showed some interest in already during the pre-draft process. Both are expected to be drafted somewhere in the first three rounds of this month’s draft and several have speculated that Neal might ultimately be a late first-round selection.

After a poor showing at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, Thompson had a better showing at his March pro day in front of several members of the Steelers organization.

As for Young, an undersized cornerback, he’s likely to hear his name called somewhere during the later rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft after registering 7 interceptions during his four seasons at Temple.

  • Lost Loves

    I’d take Thompson over Neal 20/20 times. I like Young better than Jonathan Jones and Cyrus Jones.

  • MP34

    Do these visits consist of any workouts, or are they simple “what’s on your mind?” sessions?

  • falconsaftey43

    I agree with both statements. Thompson’s tape is so much better than Neal’s. I don’t see how people are putting Neal in the 1st round. I like Young a little more than J. Jones, but it is close. I’d take either in the 3rd.

  • steelburg

    That’s a pretty bold couple of statements but I agree. Young reminds me of William Gay. Thompson reminds me of Eric Weddle. I really like both players they could always make Thompson play about 10 pounds lighter if they are concerned with his speed. But it was reported that he ran in the 4.5 range at his pro day much better than 4.7 range at the combine.

  • Lost Loves

    I think Neal plays at one speed. To me he compares favorably to Jordan Dangerfield. I see Neal as a 4th rounder. Yes he’s physical but he lacks something. Its hard to describe when watching him.

  • John

    The Steelers seem to have their unique views of what they want in a safety. It apparently is focused on run support and tackling with an eye toward not being a complete sieve in the passing game. They do not look as much for an all-around pass defender. They want a Shamarko-type that hopefully can figure out the positioning and instincts as to the passing game. Of course the problem often is that they cannot. We had Shamarko and Anthony Smith both from the same mold. Neither could play. Now we are looking at two others that are similar. Take Joseph or the guy from BC. They both have instincts. The BC guy may have more.

  • Lost Loves

    I think Mitchell played lighter with us also. I think he weighed around 220 or so with the Raiders. Who is the OL? I don’t know of him.

  • Lost Loves

    Well said.

  • PittsburghSports

    That’s a good group.

  • Biggie

    Thompson is worth a look though he drop from being the top Safety prospect early on to maybe a 3rd-4th rounder, knocks on his coverage ability, alot of blown coverages and lack of awareness. Neal is solid, was slowed due to hammy problem early last year but he is likely one of the first Safeties to go in draft, bottom first to mid second. Neal covers well in or outside the box and hits hard. I like Benenoch later in the draft, can play T or G, quick for his size but needs to get stronger. Young has solid ball skills but is a small slot corner period. He’s ok late in draft.

  • Michael James

    It seems that way, but we have to consider that the tape on draftbreakdown doesn’t always show the whole backfield and there are only a few games up there. The scouts have access to so much more (and better) film, that I they certainly see way more than we do.

  • I wonder how it works when they bring in multiple players for the same position at the same time. Do you think Neal looks at Thomson or visa versa and wonder whether the team is ‘really’ interested in him specifically, or if they’re doing some kind of side-by-side comparison to see which stands out better re character or responses to questions? Would a prospect be taken aback to find he’s being assessed/courted simultaneously with other top prospects as a prospective solution for a particular position [in this case safety]? One would think their egos might not be as pumped as otherwise might be the case if they alone were being interviewed for their specific position.

  • PaeperCup

    Exactly why I’d take THomnpson over Neal. I like neal, he is a beast….but really really reminds me of how much I liked Shmarko coming out of Syracuse. Thompson is a great all around safety imo, not a thumper but has proven to be a solid tackler and good in run support. Add that to his impressive ball skills. Problem with Thompson, now no one knows what to expect after his combine performance. I like the evidence on tape though.

  • I’d Take Joseph or Thomson [in that order] at #25 if the team thinks they’re clearly the best and won’t be there at #58. I think Bell and Neal [in that order] would be more of reaches and should be available at #58. However, it all comes down to what Tomlin and Colbert think.