For years, the Steelers have had no problem finding value in pass-rushing outside linebackers. It wasn’t long ago that they were one of the few teams running a 3-4 defense, and were able to find defensive ends that were considered undersized and transition them to a new position, writes Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Those times are gone however, as many other teams have transitioned to either a 3-4 or a multiple defense and have learned to value the athletic pass rushers who have questions about putting their hand in the dirt and playing like a traditional pass rusher. It is much harder to find those classic Steelers’ linebackers late in the draft, and that used to be a huge advantage for the team’s defense on draft day.
Here are a few more notes from around the AFC North:
- The Ravens have shown interest in 6’2″, 205-pound cornerback Julian Wilson out of Oklahoma, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I met with them and it was really good,” said the versatile cornerback. “We went over board work, going over coverages my team was doing and some Ravens stuff. They wanted to see if I had a good understanding of the game.“
- With the NFL Draft less than a week away, the Ravens are looking at the success of last year’s first-round pick for what they expect to add to the team. C.J. Mosley is following an excellent rookie season by doing all the right things, writes Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun. “Learning the little things about the defense, definitely,” Mosley said. “Definitely getting back stronger after I get this cast off [he had left wrist surgery this offseason] and still learning from my vets, because there are still a lot of things to learn as far as [being a] defensive player, being a young player. Getting in touch with Daryl Smith more and seeing the things that helped him progress each year in his long career, that can help me out.“
- The Browns have been quiet about their plans for the NFL Draft despite having two top-20 picks, but that hasn’t stopped other teams from dreaming about them. Tucker Bagley of PhillyMag.com has rounded up a few Eagles’ stories, two of which has Philadelphia using Cleveland as a jumping board in a three-team trade to get Marcus Mariota. Cleveland would likely settle for some combination of Sam Bradford and draft picks in those situations.