Steelers Kick Off Monday By Hosting 8 More Pre-Draft Visitors

As expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers are entertaining several more pre-draft visitors on Monday and today’s group of players includes five defensive backs, one edge-rusher, one defensive lineman and a wide receiver.

Visiting Monday are Colorado cornerback Ken Crawley, Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones, Virginia Tech edge-rusher Dadi Nicholas, Boston College safety Justin Simmons, Maryland safety Sean Davis, Mississippi defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, West Virginia safety Karl Joseph, and South Carolina wide receiver Pharoh Cooper.

Joseph, who missed most of the 2015 season because of a knee injury, is a borderline first-round selection who recorded 9 interceptions and 284 total tackles during his college career. The Steelers were present at his pro day even though he was still unable to do anything because of his ongoing rehab.

Nkemdiche is an interesting prospect as it relates to his character. The 6035, 307-pound defensive lineman recorded  98 total tackles and 7 sacks during his college career. He was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana in December after injuring himself via a fall after crawling out a fourth-floor window.

Crawley, 6003, 187-pounds, is a late round prospect who recorded 201 total tackles and 3 interceptions during his college career. Jones is an undersized cornerback who is expected to be drafted in the middle rounds this year after registering 7 interceptions while at Alabama.

Nicholas is a late-round prospect who is a bit light at 235 pounds. He did, however, register 17.5 sacks during his college career.

Simmons, who we have already profiled, is a mid-round safety prospect who possesses good measurables along with a solid athletic ability. Davis is also a safety mid-round safety prospect who registered 318 total tackles and 5 interceptions during his college career.

As for the 5111, 203-pound Cooper, he is considered a mid-round prospect in this year’s draft class. he caught 138 passes for 2,163 yards and 18 touchdowns during his three years at South Carolina.

  • kev4heels

    Want a great WR who would be an ideal fit in the Burgh – Pharoah Cooper. Tough as nails with great hands. Thick and ridiculous after the catch. if he could be had in rd 3, we should seriously consider it.

  • falconsaftey43

    Interesting group.

  • William Weaver

    Found it funny Nkemdiche was creepy crawling out the window but the very next guy you talk about was Crawley.. Thought you were still talking about Nkemdiche. Lol

  • Spencer Krick

    I’d think Nkemdiche’s effort would take him off the board.

    Don’t count out Karl Joseph as the pick at 25.

  • Michael James

    I think Karl Joseph is really in play for our first round pick. They checked him at his pro day (Tomlin was talking to him and his coach for a long time) and even brought him in for a visit.

  • D.j. Hoy

    What’s fascinating in my opinion is the pure volume of CBs and Safeties they have brought in. Mostly because of their trend to draft about 80% of the people they bring in.

  • Donte Williams

    i think if billings and WJ3 is off the board they may indeed go joseph at 1 then pick an edge or corner at 2

  • Zach

    let’s hope not, and they are doing due diligence in case he falls to our 2nd round pick. I’m not sure he’s worth at 25.

  • Zach

    I think you pick a safety in the 1st if he’s potential for being special. I don’t see that in K Joseph. draft so deep in the position that we can pick a starter in the 3rd round.

  • Michael James

    Based on his tape alone I would say he is a top 15 pick. The only real concern is his knee injury, but he is running again (posted it on his instagram).

  • PittsburghSports

    I do too. Him and Bell I think are the top Safeties, and if we want any chance at them it’s got to be rd 1. There might be a couple more that go in rd 2 before our pick as well.

  • Brian Miller

    interesting…are you a South Carolina fan? I need to check him out closer…

  • PittsburghSports

    Really that high? Just 1 WR so far makes me think late rd possibility. I haven’t looked into the WR class much though.

  • Brian Miller

    so here is an interesting question that I would love to see what the reaction from Steeler Nation is: Would you rather take Joseph in the 1st, or Dillon in the 4th?

  • Donte Williams

    joseph is a beast and if he didnt hurt his knee he would have been top 10-15 pick this year so it all depends on how that knee is looking remember miller was drafted by us in the first round and he had a nasty injury as well think it was a hernia

  • Brian Tollini

    Crawley and Cooper are two guys I have been watching, I really like both. This is a good list. Wonder if Nkemdiche is answering the off the field questions being throw at him.

  • PittsburghSports

    Awesome! Love hearing Joseph is visiting, and news of Sean Davis and Nkemdiche is exciting as well. I’m high on all 3 players.

  • Brian Tollini

    Exactly how I have top 3. 1. Billings. 2. WJIII 3. Joseph

  • kev4heels

    No, not really. Grew up in Chucktown and watch both SC and Clemson games regularly. Can speak on both teams players. Cooper reminds me of a Hines Ward type guy.

  • kev4heels

    Guy is really good and would be a great compliment to AB and Coates in 17′. I can certainly understand those that say to wait on a WR. Shoot, I might be one of them. However, if we plan on taking one in the first 4 rounds and he is there, pull the trigger.

  • PittsburghSports

    Here’s my count so far, although I have Bronson Kaufusi listed with the DL, but not confirmed if he was brought in or worked out privately.

    2016 pre-draft invites and pro day dinner player totals, so far:

    S – 11
    CB – 7
    DL – 7
    OT – 2
    Edge – 1
    WR – 2 (1 local)
    TE – 1 (local)

  • falconsaftey43

    Ooo that’s a good question. Assuming Joseph’s knee will be 100%, I’ll take him, but I also really love Dillon. Why choose, let’s take both!

  • PittsburghSports

    So how many do we have left to invite, 2? Here’s some guys I’m disappointed we’ve shown little interest in so far or at least take up the last 2 invites.

    Leonard Floyd OLB/Edge, Georgia
    Shilique Calhoun DE/Edge, Mich St.
    Chris Jones DE/DT, Mississipi St.
    Reggie Ragland MLB, Alabama
    Joshua Perry MLB/OLB, Ohio St.
    Jihad Ward DE/DT, Illinois
    Carl Nassib DE/Edge, Penn St.
    Jordan Jenkins OLB, Georgia
    Will Redmond CB, Mississippi St.
    KeiVarae Russell CB/S, Notre Dame
    Mo Canady CB, Virginia
    Eric Murray CB, Minnesota
    Jalen Mills S/CB, LSU
    Victor Ochi OLB/Edge, Stony Brook
    Joel Heath DE/DT, Michigan St.

  • Brian Miller

    Ha ha! I like it falcon…take em both!!

  • Brian Miller

    That’s high praise, thanks for the info, I will check him out.

  • Brian Miller

    I agree with most of you list PS…I am alos disappointed in a few names we have not brought in…Perry, Nassib, Jenkins, and Ochi especially. I do not know much about Russell, and I have seen him listed as both CB and S, what do you see from him?

  • Dave McGarry

    kev, Cooper also reminded me of Hines Ward but maybe an even better athlete and better YAC. I think he may go in Rd.2 or early 3. He’d be very tempting at 89 if he slides despite bigger immediate needs. What do you think of Charone Peake? I was thinking of him as a later round sleeper.

  • Daniel

    Well they also checked billings at his pro day also spoke to his parents and billings dined with mean Joe Greene a day before his pro day

  • Michael James

    Great question! If Joseph’s knee is 100% I’ll take him. Dillon could be the better value overall in the 4th, because I think he will develop into a really good starter, but even then I take a chance on Joseph, because he could become a really special player and difference maker (which are so rare to find).

  • Lost Loves

    Nkemdiche is someone I would love as a Steeler. No he isn’t a two gapper and double teams can move him. He could handle them better by not trying to spin away from it. People question his motor but I saw it as a conditioning issue. Remember Javon Kearse? No human can possibly go that hard all game long. Rotation is important. I also hated how Ole Miss had him running so many stunts. Line him up and let him go. As for the drug charge, weed was in the room at the hotel party. No one owned up to it so it was charged to Nkemdiche due to it being his room.
    Love me some Dadi Nicolas.
    Haven’t watched Crawley.
    Simmons can grow on me. I need to watch more on him.
    Haven’t watched Davis.
    Love me some Joseph. I wanted to draft him when he was a Sophomore. Insane hitter and intimidator. I worry about if he can play Cover 2 & 3 well. There was a great breakdown on him that showed his warts in the open field.
    Cooper does remind of Hines Ward. Of course I mean the prospect Ward. I think he returns kicks also but is third too rich for him? I trust the FO when it comes to receivers.

  • Sam Clonch

    Wow, offense/defense split is STARK. 5 vs 24.

  • Brian Miller

    Thanks, I am really interested to see the responses to this, especially since the FO seems to be very interested in both…

  • Michael James

    He is definitely another prospect who is in play 😉

  • Brandon Campbell

    I can dig it!

  • Biggie

    Like some, don’t like others from the list.
    Joseph would be great but not likely to fall to 2nd round to us and there are a number of very good Safeties that we’ll have a shot at in Rds 2-3 and don’t want to reach in Rd 1. Rather look at DL, CB in Rd 1.
    Dadi Nicholas is a solid later rounder. Cooper is very intriguing if there in maybe Rd 4 but I want first 3 rounds to be straight defense.
    No way on C. Jones, he is the one main CB I don’t want. He is less than pedestrian in coverage.
    Nkemdiche has alot of ability but was way to inconsistent, disappeared alot in games and with the depth in Rds 1 and 2 at DL see no sense in spending a pick on a questionable character guy when you can take a shot at Billings, Reed, Robinson, Butler and a few others.

  • Ask Questions Later

    If one is going by raw talent, Nkemdiche is the same as Martavis was in 2014; the best in his class. His issues however are much like his. Can he control himself off the field? If so, one of the best steals in the draft.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    CBSSports makes the NFL comparison to Randall Cobb. I’d take one of those on our team if he’s there in round 3 potentially.

  • Ask Questions Later

    Effort wise, Nkemdiche sucks.

    Talent wise, Nkemdiche and Martavis Bryant were/are the best in their class.

  • Ask Questions Later

    Safety really is not that deep though. If anything, the safety class is good… but not great.

    Then again, while I do think Karl Joseph will be great, it will take time. Pittsburgh needs an impact defensive player now.

  • Ask Questions Later

    I stated talent wise Nkemdiche is the best in the draft for interior defensive lineman. It is just his motor that really is the issue. His other issues (on field) do not concern me as much as others.

  • Ask Questions Later

    I agree on Chris Jones. Outside of Andrew Billings, Chris Jones talent is ridiculous and potential is unreal. Personally, I believe that, with the right scheme and team, Jones has the potential to surpass even Buckner.

  • T3xassteelers

    They pretty much have brought in all the guys I really wanted them too. Surprised no top round corners have been brought in.. WJIII, Apple, Mac. Looks like they’re targeting S in 1.. DL 2.. Then CB in 3. I’m perfectly fine with this. I’d love 1.) Joseph 2.) kaufusi or Hargrove 3.) Burns or J jones and maybe double dip CB and get 4.) Cyrus jones. I like it.

  • The Notorious TOM

    Nkemdiche’s a paper warrior.

    What he is now isn’t worth putting up with for what he could end up being. I’ll personally go to Kev’s house if he takes that bum, he’s the most overrated player in the process this year.

  • Ask Questions Later

    Hence why taking him round really should not be in the cards for Pittsburgh. Now, someone like Arians could take him since Tryann Matheiu worked out well, but Diche I will pass.

  • LucasY59

    and when they already have two Talented DEs that give good effort, what will Nkemdiche do when he is a rotation guy behind those two?

    I think his effort would be even worse if he is getting paid and doesnt have to earn it (bench/rotation instead of Starter work/snaps) plus it would take a lot of work for him to be able to surpass either Heyward or Tuitt, and since that is already his issue I see him being less interested to put in that work (and when his contract is up he will definitely chase $ so not a long term guy anyway)

    Having Heyward and Tuitt push him to be a Pro could help him, but again I dont see him being willing to listen to them or work that hard.

    (he is a guy I really hope the Steelers have off their 1st rd board, and maybe even the 2nd rd)

    adding Bryant as a comparison does not help his case either… (and should make the Steelers be much more wary of drafting another problem player)

  • 1.) S.- K. Joseph
    2.) DT – J. Hargrave
    3.) WR – P. Cooper
    4.) CB – T. Young
    6.) OLB – D. Nicholas
    7.) OT – C. Benenoch
    7.) CB – R. Smith

  • Spencer Krick

    Shouldn’t have to hope your 1st-2nd round pick feels like trying his best that day.

  • T3xassteelers

    I’d be okay with this. Not that I don’t want Cooper, but I’d rather take a CB at 3. Otherwise perfect

  • Ask Questions Later

    John could coach it out of him… but even if he did, Nkemdiche does not fit well anyway. He is an all out attacking 4-3 tackle who can barely hold the POA.

  • Spencer Krick

    That’s a pretty big maybe – I know the Bills tried their hardest to coach it out of Mario Williams to no avail.

  • Ask Questions Later

    It does not, but that did not stop Pittsburgh from taking Bryant either. Now, should Pittsburgh take Nkemdiche? My opinion states no. Heck, if they REALLY want a defensive end badly, nab Chris Jones (Miss. St.) in for a visit.

  • Ask Questions Later

    Mario did not fit due to Rex’s scheme. Mario’s strength is aggression, not maintaining the edge.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    SEAN DAVIS!!! BOOM!!!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Lucas-

    That’s an excellent point on Nkemdiche. I keep going back on forth on him because he’s SO talented. But he would be a back up for us, which may compound his issues if he were on our team (as opposed to other teams where he would be starting).

  • Rotten Sircus

    While you’re at it check out Tajae Sharpe from U-Mass. I like our WR’s but he’d be nice in the 4th because teams are over looking this kid !!!

  • Matt Manzo

    Yeah! Sounds like effort is his only question!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    PittSport-

    Colbert has said (on numerous occasions) that sometimes they bring in guys that they have “questions about”, leading me to believe there are other guys that they DON’T have questions about.

    His point being, the Steelers’ scouts do work all year long, talking to the coaches, family, friends, of a lot of these prospects. They can only bring in 30 for visits, so I’m guessing if they go to a pro day and like what they see and hear and gather, there’s not as much of a need to schedule a visit.

    On a side note, How many of these guys got a Tomlin + Colbert pro day visit AND a trip to Pittsburgh?

  • Matt Manzo

    I can understand not seeing Floyd. But the rest of your list matches mine! I was really hoping we’d see Eric Murray!

  • Matt Manzo

    Good point!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I wish we would’ve brought in Kalan Reed CB. I think he’s gonna be a gem.

  • Brian Tollini

    If Billings/WJIII is not available at 1.25, wouldn’t the ideal situation be to trade back 6-8 spots, still get Karl Joseph and gain an additional 3rd round pick. In my world, it is all unicorns and rainbows.

  • falconsaftey43

    Pretty much how I feel about it. Love Dillon, but I think Joseph is one of those rare talents. Real impact player.

  • Matt Manzo

    I really like Sean Davis! As much as I’d like Joseph or Thompson in 1 or 2, I’d LOVE Davis in 3! I don’t even think round 2 is a reach! He should be able to play every DB position!

  • Matt Manzo

    Haven’t heard of him! Thanks for the new guy to scout!

  • Well, I would double dip at CB and take DJ White, Jonathan Jones, or Cyrus Jones in rd 3 and than take Young or one of those players if still there in rd 4 than grab WR Marquez North or Mike Thomas later but I’m going off of what appears to be their plan combined with the fact that regardless of how much more help we need on Def. it’s unlikely we don’t pick 1 Off. player in the first 4 rds so I threw in Cooper.

  • Brian Miller

    Will do…

  • PittsburghSports

    I’m sure, but Dupree, Golson, Coates, Grant, James, and Holliman were all brought in or dined with last year. That’s 6 of 8 draft picks, and all of the top 5 picks. Plus, Tomlin and Colbert were at Miami’s pro day to check out Chickillo, among others, last year. There is no smoke and mirrors with PIT. They don’t play any games with who they’re interested in.

  • jujudoublestuff

    Davis, Joseph and Cooper.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    It’s not a bad idea. I’d say if Billings, WJ3, and Noah Spence are all gone, they may very well trade back. Dallas could be a good trade partner because they’re at the top of rounds 2 and 3 and they may want to trade back into the first round to get someone like Paxton Lynch. Imagine this draft.

    R2 #34 – Karl Joseph
    R2 #58 – Javon Hargrave
    R3 #67 – Jordan Jenkins
    R3 #89 – Jonathan Jones
    R4 #123 – Luxury Pick

  • Daniel

    I’d keep Spence out of the equation too risky we don’t need more excess baggage.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    He’s been clean for a year and insisted that he be put on the most strict drug testing program there is. You see Martavis or Johnny football doing that? I’m convinced he’s been rehabilitated. I’d be thrilled to have arguably the best pure edge rusher in the draft at #25

  • 58Steel

    So, think the Steelers might consider drafting some defensive guys in the 1st few rounds ?;)

  • Daniel

    He hasn’t been trouble free. In 2013 he failed a drug test, in 2014 failed another drug test and in 2015 he got arrested for alcohol intoxication and 2nd degree disorderly conduct. What’s next for 2016?

  • Daniel

    We need to be careful with this fella becus all though he’s not doing drugs he has turned to alcohol. We don’t want another Johnny drinks do we

  • Jeff Papiernik

    The important thing is the failing of a drug test which he hasn’t done since 2014. Almost two years now. I don’t really care about public intoxication when out with some friends. That can happen to anyone.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    If you’re going to rule out everyone that drinks, we might as well eliminate 98% of draft picks. He’s not showing a pattern of alcohol abuse here. He’s not showing up to meetings drunk or out partying 6 nights a week before the draft (we would have heard about it). I expect the Steelers have done their due diligence. If they take him, I’ll assume they are confident in his character going forward. After all, they’ve had more interaction with him than any of us have at this point.

  • SFIC

    A lot of familiar names there.

  • SJDSteeler

    What about Jaylon Smith, all-world LB from ND at 1.25? What if the Steelers think his knee checks out as long as nerve damage is a non-issue? He would have been a top 5 player. He would be the replacements for Jarvis Jones, and the OLB/ILB in 3rd down/sub packages. Can’t pass up a talent like that.

  • Jim

    Agreed! He could be a possible shutdown corner or, at worst, is a very talented FS. Flying under the radar so far but draft day we might need to pull the trigger in the 2nd.

  • Zach

    I respect your opinion but I disagree. we can get a good starter in the 2nd or 3rd round with Neal, Von Bell, a at least 2 other prospects. most have visited the steelers too, although for fairness it is true that Karl Joseph has visited too. I just don’t see his value at 1.25

  • Zach

    I’d be happy to eat my own words, but joseph is all over the board in most places (I’ve seen from 20 to 55 in some big boards out there). who knows what teams think. I just don’t think he offers value at 1.25, and I don’t trust our DB talent evaluation. I mean, when was the last time that we drafted a good DB?

  • Ju

    Mine is more like 1.a WJIII 1.b Billings 3. Joseph.

  • Brian Tollini

    Exactly what I want.

  • Ask Questions Later

    Good starter yes. Impact starter is dependent on the player himself. For me, it is either TJ Green or Keanu Neal.

  • Zach

    I ‘m with you no this one — I love Neal. but his value is in the 2nd, so I’m OK with that.