Steelers List Of Thursday Pre-Draft Visitors Includes Top-Rated DBs Melifonwu, Humphrey

The Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting five more pre-draft visitors on Thursday and that list of players includes two wide receivers and three defensive backs.

According to Bob Labriola of, Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu, Pittsburgh cornerback Ryan Lewis, Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey, West Virginia wide receiver Shelton Gibson, and North Carolina wide receiver Mack Hollins are all visiting with the team on Thursday.

Melifonwu, who measured in at this year’s scouting combine at 6037, 224-pounds, ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.40 seconds while in Indianapolis. He recorded 351 total tackles, 8 interceptions and 24 total pass breakups in the 48 games he played at Connecticut and is expected to be selected somewhere within the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Humphrey, who measured in at the combine at 6002, 197-pounds, ran his 40-yard-dash in 4.41 seconds and is currently expected to be selected in the first round. He recorded 81 tackles, 5 interceptions and 18 pass breakups in the 29 career games he played in at Alabama.

Lewis, a 5-11, 191-pound cornerback out of Pittsburgh, had two interceptions and 9 defensed passes last season. He’s currently expected to go undrafted this year. He will not count against the Steelers 30 allotted visitors being as he is considered a local product.

Hollins, who measured in at the combine at 6040, 221-pounds, caught 81 passes for 1,667 yards and 20 touchdowns in the 47 games that he played in at North Carolina that included 18 starts.

Gibson, who measured in at 5106, 191-pounds, caught 84 passes for 1,898 yards and 17 touchdowns in the 38 career games he played in at West Virginia that included 26 starts. He’s expected to be selected during day-two of the draft.

2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: UConn S Obi Melifonwu

2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey

2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: North Carolina WR Mack Hollins

  • Matt Correll

    Dave, I heard Daniel Jeremiah the other day talking up WR Hollins. Have you watched any tape on him? If so, where would we be looking at him? Would he be like a 5-6 round guy?

  • Matt Correll

    Sorry- I didn’t see the draft profile when I first read this. Thanks

  • Sam Clonch

    So many ways they could go in the first few rounds. If one of the top OLBs falls, I still think they show go that route. If their top guys are gone though, I’m starting to warm to the Obi talk. Can’t wait to watch this draft. I like that we draft so late, I’ll have plenty to watch, and will definitely be “well lubricated” come the time the Steelers are on the clock, lol!

  • Bob Francis

    Alex is happy! Me too!

  • capehouse

    So much for TE and RB being the bigger needs. If past invites are indication of what positions we’re drafting early, then it’s WR instead.

    Not counting local visits that’s:
    6 OLB
    5 WR
    4 CB
    3 S
    2 QB
    2 ILB
    1 DE
    1 TE

  • WreckIess

    I really hope they stay away from Melifonwu if they don’t know for certain that they can get him a good amount of snaps. He really have no foreseeable starting position for at least the next two seasons and if he’s only playing 35% of the snaps that’s a waste of a first rounder. If they’re planning on trying to play him as a $LB or slot in all formations I’m all for it, but Butler has yet to show that level of creativity so I doubt it.

    Gotta like Humphrey though. Big outside corner who can slide inside to the slot in the nickel package.

  • Gizmosteel

    Please no DBs from Pitt! Did you see that D? Lol…

  • Biggie

    Like both Obi and Humphrey, glad we’re looking at both closely as they will both be options at 30. I am hoping for a Edge/Secondary Rd 1/2 or Secondary/Edge, whichever has the better value when picking at 30. No need to reach for one over the other.

  • Spencer Krick

    I think I like all of these guys, especially Obi and Humphrey. If we draft either one of those guys at 30, I will be ecstatic.

  • Smitty 6788

    Obi is who I want. There are plenty of snaps for him. He can Be a weapon against big TE’s and a plug and play in dime. This could be a game changer ..

  • Steelers12

    OBI in town, kidnap him and don’t let him leave

  • Steelers12

    RB class is so deep you could find decent backup in 6th or 7th round, they wont touch field much anyway since Bell is world class back

  • Steelers12


  • Jollyrob68

    Obi can match up against tight ends and allow steelers to play the Dime package they really want to play. Seeing that covering TE is Pittsburgh’s downfall Obi would be a no brainer.
    I’d love to get Obi and I like Budda Baker & Humphreys.

  • falconsaftey43

    I disagree. If they are critical snaps, 35% is good contribution (i.e. 3rd down situations helping to get the team off the field). Honestly, will an OLB taken in the 1st see that many more snaps? Best case maybe a 50-50 split with Harrison? Obi would then be the starting safety next year (or possibly sooner if he shows good enough).


    I’ve warmed up to Obi as well…24th in the league getting off the field on 3rd down has to improve….VW is not a 3 dwn talent…the question is the round, 30 might be a reach but 62 is too late. I like the kid Josh Jones from NCST…has similar skills, but clearly not as ready to play as Obi. IMO both have to be coached up to get those snaps anyway….Jones should be on the board in the 2nd round, maybe not at 94.

  • WreckIess

    Unless he’s splitting snaps with Vinny in the Nickel then I can’t see him getting over 35 to 40% of the snaps. If he’s not playing some Moneybacker then he’s only a dime defense and some Big nickel works

  • Smitty 6788

    That’s what his role can be you want Vince on the Field on passing situations as little as possible. At 6’4 220 he’s perfect for Nickel.

  • Ace

    Humphrey is a little bit of a curveball. I thought he was cemented as a top 15 guy. Wonder if the PS are hearing whispers of a round 1 slide from other orgs. I would be over the moon if he was the guy at 30. In related news, thought I read Awuzie got a draft day invite. Looks like that CB group is being pushed and pulled a bit.

  • WreckIess

    The last two OLBs we took in the first played over 50% of the snaps and Dupree even did it while splitting series with Moats. There’s a clear lane to PT there. Even a corner has a clear lane. Cockrell’s job could be up for grabs or they could work strictly in the slot. A lot of snaps there.

    A back up safety? Not so much. He’s not going to take Davis’s job as he’s a young up and comer and Melifonwu would have to play at a DROTY level to take over for Mitchell.

    His lane is strictly through sub packages and like I said, if they play him at $LB to take over for V Dub I’m with it, but if he’s just a dime defender and situational nickel defender then we’re not getting enough out of the 1st rounder.

  • WreckIess

    It’s really not. The down fall of Pittsburgh is inconsistent pressure and bad tackling on defense.

  • falconsaftey43

    Will Allen Played 35% of the snaps as the 3rd safety when Vince was a rookie and starting at ILB. Obi would at least see that many I’d think. As far as OLB rotation, Dupree isn’t coming off the field for anyone, and Harrison will likely play about 50% of the snaps. It’s not like previous OLB picks where they were rotating with Moats or an underwhelming Worilds. I’d be surprised if an OLB played more than 50% of the snaps. I don’t think you pass on a guy you really like and think is a starter in a couple years just so you can get an extra 150 snaps or so in year 1. Obviously I’d be ok with taking a OLB in round 1, but I don’t think you should right off Obi because he’d “only” see 35% of the snaps.

  • Mark G Hunter

    Well, in any event, He would help as far as giving the pass rush more time. The Steelers secondary doesn’t do that too often. His ability to cover the TE is a bonus.

  • Mark G Hunter

    Indeed. I carry the same sentiment’s. Hope these a run on QB’s or OL ahead of them, so some gems can fall through the cracks.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Donta Foreman in the 4th would be perfect.

  • WreckIess

    If Harrison is playing 50 then where is the other 50 going? To the rookie OLB lol. He’d split snaps with Harrison and come in whenever Dupree needed a breather. We also have to prepare for the inevitable day when Harrison’s body can’t do it anymore because pretending this 40 year old man is going to continue to kick Father Time in the ass is foolish. So there’s an opportunity for the rookie to start over Harrison also.

    Obviously drafting him is going to come down to the board, but if it’s him, Humphrey, and Lawson or Watt, I’d take any of those guys over him. Like I said, if he can actually play $LB it’s fine. If not then it’s not worth it for a couple formations. He’s also pretty raw so how long is it going to take him to grow into the role? Especially with a limited snap count?

  • WreckIess

    Well if they actually do that it’s fine, but I don’t anticipate them doing that so I’m not big on the pick.

  • TroymanianDevil

    Playing 35% of snaps is pretty good from a rookie. Especially if it’s a an important role. Plus he could potentially take over for Mike Mitchell next year. And Butler probably hasn’t done it before b/c he didn’t have anyone who could.

    But as a bigger point I think it’s pretty dangerous to go down the path of “wasted pick”, if he doesn’t play 35% of snaps as a rookie. Draft the player that will help the team the most in the long run. I don’t think GB thinks those years Aaron Rodgers sat playing 0% was wasted. But to that point, if Humphrey is there, definitely take him over Obi. But I feel like it’s unlikely, hence why most including myself are on board with Obi.

  • capehouse

    I’d be very surprised if a RB of that quality would be left at the end of the 4th round. Kamara, Foreman, Gallman, Mack, Perine, Hunt are all RBs we’ve shown interest in at their Pro Days, but I’d expect them all gone by then.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    Two defensive backs that should pique the interest of Pittsburgh. Glad to see both of those guys are in town for a closer look. Lewis is a local visit. And two more receivers who can only run the 9 route…. not sure what purpose they’d serve on this team. Maybe return men.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I know. But every year hear the same thing. Everyone e will be scratching their heads when some guys are still available in the mid rounds. I am just hoping they draft the more urgent guys and a backup RB is still there. Foremen would be ideal if unlikely.

  • TroymanianDevil

    If Humphrey falls then he’s definitely my pick. Other top 10/15 picks falling are obvious choices as well but no point wasting effort typing those names.

    Outside of that happening .. I’m #teamOBI

  • Jon Crissinger

    Until he gets hurt every season

  • PaeperCup

    Honestly I don’t get it. The only way I can see them having WR towards the top of the needs list is if they have little faith in BOTH Bryant and Coates.

    But I don’t see how you can be concerned about them but not about Green at the same time, which to me would put TE right back in the mix.

    I say they continue the trend and find a mid round WR

  • PaeperCup

    I have a feeling we are going to see A LOT of Dime, especially with our situation at ILB.

  • PaeperCup

    and not covering wide open guys in the endzone.

  • Steelers12

    Still could find valuable one in late rounds

  • WreckIess

    Obviously it’s going to be position specific, but healthy 1st rounders have played over half the snaps recently so 35% to 40% for a rookie 1st rounder isn’t going to do it for me. Not when there will more than likely be guys who can make a more consistent impact at pick 30 and especially when there would be no reason for an increase in year 2 either with Mitchell still being under contract.

    Like I’ve been saying, if he plays $LB then I’m fine with the pick, but if they’re drafting him to play Dime and the occasional Nickel then it’s not worth it to me. They could grab Josh Jones in the 2nd and get 350+ snaps from him instead.

  • Riverstko

    I like Obi, he has the Force! Out with Polamalu, In with Melifonwu!

  • Darth Blount 47

    Okay, now this latest revelation makes me happy!

    I have both Obi and Marlon towards the very top of my wishlist for Pittsburgh, at each of their respective positions. Very cool to see us showing the proper amount of interest in both of these studs. There will always be a candidate or two, that slides down the draft and is just sitting there at the end of the 1st, that you never would have suspected. Marlon seems to have the potential to now be that guy. He fits our scheme perfectly. The big question is: If both guys are still on the board come 30, after we spend the first 9 minutes of our allotted clock, dancing and celebrating, which one do we take?

    Obi is the sexier player, but Marlon helps fill the bigger need. But NEITHER play OLB. Tough choices. Glad I’m not making them and just am along for the ride…

  • VinHuddle

    I’m running up there with Obi’s name on the card..probably misspelled ha..and handing it in. To be fair I haven’t given Marlon much thought so I probably should do some reading up on him before my allotted 10 minutes are up.

  • Riverstko

    I like Foreman but they might have to get him with the 3c pick.

  • Darth Blount 47

    You know what they say… Reading is fundamental!

  • VinHuddle

    Lol, yeah it is.

    Side note Darth Blount. Just passing this along..I just read Dan Rooney,84, passed away.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Let’s talk about Marlon Humphrey for a minute…

    You won’t find a prospect that checks off more “Steeler boxes” than Marlon Humphrey.

    6’0+” height, 200 pounds, 32+” arms, 4.41 forty, 6.75 three cone

    20 year old, Sophomore, from a Big Time school, in a Big Time conference, with Big Game experience, 1st team All-American, no significant injuries, no off field concerns, good family, NFL pedigree (father).

    Colbert was at his pro day. And the whole Steelers crew is gonna meet with him one-on-one at a visit to Pittsburgh.

    Like most Alabama prospects his stats are a little less gaudy because there aren’t as many solo opportunities. But he still had respectable numbers in his two years as a full time starter:

    2015 – 15 games, 45 total tackles, 3 INT’s, 8 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles.
    2016 – 14 games, 36 total tackles, 2 INT’s, 5 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble.

    He’s a physical, man press CB, who can jam WR’s at the line, but can also turn and run (track star). He’s a little grabby and not necessarily a true ball hawk, but very similar to Artie Burns (except Humphrey tackles better IMO).

    Most years Humphrey would be gone in the top 15 picks, but due to the extreme depth at CB this year, he might fall to #30. I have no problem whatsoever drafting Humphrey in the 1st round.

  • Sam Clonch

    Sounds like prototypical Steelers to me. Wouldn’t have a problem with it, AT ALL.

    Regardless of who the tram drafts, they’re going to come into one focused team. This year’s for Dan!

  • Darth Blount 47

    You just ruined my freakin’ day…..

    But thanks for the info.

  • VinHuddle

    Sorry man. I was just watching the NFL Network. They mentioned starting at 8 or 8:30 they would be showing their half hr Super Bowl shows with all of the Steelers appearances. “A Steeler night in honor of Mr Rooney” the commentator mentioned. Thought I’d pass that tidbit along as well.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Very cool. Thank you. I’ll be DVR – ing for sure.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I thought you was going to say every yr we think we know who would look good in the black and gold and should be available when we pick then the Steelers select someone that have fans scratching their heads which is the reason why I’m kinda nervous about this draft because we think we know what/who this team needs and have our list of favorites just to be pissed when they go in the opposite direction

  • Darth Blount 47

    Glad to see you on the Humphrey train. Though, I think he’s a better Zone fit overall than Man, myself.

  • Donte Williams

    same goes for an EDGE rusher I dont her plays more snaps than Harrison OBI would fill two needs at once Safety and ILB tweener he is a hybrid that can play in sub packages

  • WreckIess

    The last two edge rushers we picked played over 50% of the snaps. No reason to think an EDGE won’t with only a 39 year old Harrison in his way. They could easily split the snaps 50/50.

  • TroymanianDevil

    Like I said, it’s a dangerous tightrope to think like that. It’s better to spend a 1st rounder and not need to draft again for several years then having to spend another high pick 2-3 years later imo. Examples: 1) OL 2) Bell 3) Heath Miller 4) DL to some degree. The significantly more important thing is to hit on the pick. Thinking about 350 snaps out of a rookie year is too short term imo. Plus snaps don’t equal success, just means you’re the best available. Jarvis played as a rookie before getting hurt. Josh Jones would be fine, but I don’t seeing him providing the same impact as Obi. I’d rather spend a 1st than a 2nd if it increases the chances of the pick panning out and providing long term impact… Bottom line in this case, you said you were fine as long Obi is on when Vince comes off the field. I would expect that to be the case if Obi is drafted. If that’s not the plan, I doubt a 1st rounder would be spend on Obi

  • LucasY59

    Melifonwu is more versatile and that is why I have wanted him from the start, he will help in multiple ways (plus I think the chance of him being available than Humphrey and doubt they will be lucky enough to choose between both)

  • Shane Mitchell

    He gave up practically 20 yards a catch in college, thats very concerning. if we are putting together a track team would be a great pick.