Deandre Baker

Draft Notes: Steelers, Raiders, Eagles

The Steelers could be eyeing a cornerback with one of their top-two picks. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (via Twitter) that the team will be hosting a pair defensive back prospects this week: Georgia’s Deandre Baker and Washington’s Byron Murphy.

Along with Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin and LSU’s Greedy Williams, both Baker and Murphy are expected to be taken at some point during the first two rounds. Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award for best collegiate cornerback in 2018 after he compiled 31 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defended, and a pair of interceptions in 12 games. Murphy earned a spot on the first-team All-Pac-12 list after putting up 37 tackles, four picks, and 13 interceptions.

As Fowler points out, this isn’t necessarily an ideal scenario for the Steelers. After all, the organization selected five cornerbacks between the 2015 and 2017 draft. Furthermore, their projected starters (Joe Haden and Steven Nelson) were both acquired via free agency.

Let’s check out some more draft notes from around the NFL…

  • Michigan linebacker Devin Bush is set to visit with the Raiders, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com (via Twitter). The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year is a surefire first-rounder after putting up 85 tackles, 10 sacks, and 18.5 tackles for loss over the past two years. It’s unlikely Bush will be selected with the Raiders’ fourth-overall selection, but they could target him with either the 24th or 27th pick.
  • Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary visited with the Bengals today and will visit the Giants later this week, reports NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). Gary is a consensus top-10 pick, and he could fall right into the Giants lap at No. 6. The Bengals currently have the 11th-overall pick, although we heard that the team could be interested in moving up. The lineman earned first-team All-Big 10 honors the past two seasons, and he finished his junior campaign with 3.5 sacks.
  • The Eagles hosted a pair of prospects today, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Ohio State wideout Parris Campbell both visited Denver. Oliver is generally expected to be selected in the first half of the first round, so it’s unlikely he’ll be around for the Eagles’ 25th-overall pick. On the flip side, Campbell should be readily available, although Philly should also have a chance on him with either of their second-rounders.

NFL Draft Rumors: Metcalf, Bills, Bucs

Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Metcalf, who boasts the most impressive physical tools of any wide receiver in this year’s class, could be an option for Buffalo with the No. 9 overall pick.

Some have knocked Metcalf for his lack of natural catching ability, but he had no trouble reeling in the ball in 2017 when he averaged 16.6 yards per catch and scored seven touchdowns for Ole Miss. There’s also some concern about Metcalf’s health, but he was cleared for all football activities in January following his October neck surgery.

Here’s a look at the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will visit the Buccaneers on Monday, a source tells Rapoport (on Twitter). The Bucs could use another wide receiver after losing DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, but it’s not clear whether they’d be willing to use the No. 5 overall pick at that position.
  • Iowa tight end Noah Fant will visit with the Lions on Monday, Rapoport reports. Fant registered 518 receiving yards and a team-high seven touchdowns in his final campaign with the Hawkeyes. The Lions could use a player like Fant after Levine Toilolo, Luke Willson, and Michael Roberts underwhelmed last year. Recently, the Lions strengthened the TE group by adding Jesse James, but there’s still room for improvement.
  • Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker will get together with the Steelers, per RapSheet. Last year, Baker captured the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. But, at 5’11 and 193 pounds, Baker doesn’t offer ideal size for the position.
  • Washington tackle Kaleb McGary will visit with the Patriots on Monday and the Packers on Tuesday, Rapoport hears. There has been some speculation that McGary could be employed as a guard at the pro level.
  • The Giants are hosting Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Rapoport hears. The Giants are armed with picks at No. 6 and 17, though one of those selections may be spent on drafting Eli Manning‘s successor.
  • Charlotte guard Nate Davis will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills, Rapoport hears.