The Pittsburgh Steelers need to address the offensive side of the ball in 2020, but these five defenders should be on their radar after great NFL Combine performances.
The Steelers have plenty of needs to address this offseason, and it’s still impossible to tell which position they will ultimately narrow in on early in the 2020 NFL Draft. On Saturday, defensive lineman and linebackers took the field at the NFL Combine.
While a few high-profile prospects like A.J. Epenesa Derrick Brown underperformed, there were dozens of eye-popping performances from these groups.
Javon Hargrave is going to be leaving Pittsburgh this offseason, and it still remains to be seen if the Steelers can get a deal done with Bud Dupree. Though offense will no doubt be a priority, it could be hard for Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert to ignore some of the standout defensive prospects at the 2020 NFL Combine. Here are five players who could be on Pittsburgh’s radar after their performances:
DT Neville Gallimore
I wrote off Neville Gallimore a while back for the Steelers because of his age. The redshirt senior is already 23 years old and would be the oldest player drafted by Pittsburgh since busting on Jarvis Jones back in 2013. However, Gallimore shares a lot of similarities with Hargrave, and running a 4.79 40-yard dash at 304 pounds only helped his case.
Gallimore is quick off the ball with fast, violent hands. His age and modest production could detur the Steelers from giving him a serious look, but his speed and fit on their defense may be something they can’t ignore.
EDGE Curtis Weaver
Many were questioning Curtis Weaver’s athleticism entering the 2020 NFL Combine. While he still tested below average in most drills, his numbers weren’t as concerning as many thought they would be, and he hits the thresholds most teams look for.
Weaver was a very productive edge rusher at Boise State who some had slated in the first round early in the draft process. He possesses similar size metrics to Lamarr Woodley and he could be a starter on the edge when Bud Dupree is gone.
ILB Malik Harrison
The Steelers haven’t met with any of the inside linebackers personally at the Combine, so there may not be much interest here. However, that could change after a terrific day from the linebacker group.
Malik Harrison has terrific size and athleticism to eventually take over for Vince Williams at Buck linebacker. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a productive player from Ohio State.
DT Raekwon Davis
Here’s a player who didn’t exactly wow at the Combine, but could drop as a result. Raekwon Davis has a rare long and powerful body type for a defensive lineman. Standing at 6’6” and weighing 311 pounds, he presents a similar profile to Stephon Tuitt coming out of Notre Dame in 2014.
Davis wasn’t productive in college, but the Alabama product could be a solid addition to their defensive line. He’s a player who projects to be better at the next level.
OLB/ILB Zack Baun
I have been saying all along that this would be one of my favorite selections the Steelers could make. I still don’t believe Zack Baun will be available to Pittsburgh in the second round, however, the possibility still exists.
Baun is a tweener size (6’2” and 238 pounds) and his profile could scare some teams away. For the Steelers, however, Baun would be an amazing fit who could play 3 of the 4 linebacker positions. He tested as a good, but not great, athlete. However, his tape and production are both fantastic and he could really give this team a boost on defense.
Even with so many impressive performances by linebackers and defensive linemen on Saturday, there is no guarantee that the Steelers will have a legitimate interest in any of them. We know their needs on offense, and I’d imagine Pittsburgh wants to give Ben Roethlisberger more help. However, these are five players they need to take a hard look at this offseason.