Watching the Senior Bowl, I couldn't help but think that it was something of a waste of time - at least for me, since I cover the Steelers.
OK, maybe not a complete waste of time, but as we've seen time and again with the Steelers, their first-round pick likely won't be one of the players who was performing in the Senior Bowl.
Time and again in the Kevin Colbert era, the Steelers have tended to take players who were coming out as juniors, whether they be redshirt juniors or true juniors.
The thinking, at least for the Steelers, is that when you take a guy who is 20 or 21 years old, not only do you get more mileage out of him, but his potential upside might be greater as well.
If he grades out as a first-round pick at 20 or 21, he still has room to grow.
Now, once they get into the later rounds, age doesn't become such a factor. But for those guys making the big money - the first rounders - the Steelers like a guy who's just 25 or 26 heading into his second contract.
With that in mind, some guys to look at as potential first rounders include linebacker prospects Barkevious Mingo, Damontre Moore, Alec Ogletree, cornerback Dee Milliner, defensive tackles Jonathan Hankins and Sharrif Floyd, wide receivers Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins and Robert Woods, running back Gio Bernard and safeties Matt Elam and Eric Reid.
The young underclassman mantra isn't a must, but it's a good place to start when looking at potential Steelers first-round draft picks.
Some of those guys probably won't wind up with first-round grades once everything is hashed out, but they are some players to watch at the NFL combine. Of course, there are other factors as well.
With a guy like Ogletree, you have to weigh his four-game suspension at Georgia for a violation of team rules - drugs - against his athleticism and play. Given the issues the Steelers had this season with draft picks, I'm guessing they take Ogletree off their board.
Another thing to consider is that given this team's need of an influx of playmakers, the Steelers might throw the underclassman rule out the window and simply take the best playmakers available.
@ The Steelers aren't wasting any time looking at potential new special teams coordinators. They are interviewing Washington's Danny Smith, a Pittsburgh native, for the open position.