NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers host Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey keep piling up CBs, WRs
PITTSBURGH — As the Pittsburgh Steelers hosted their fourth and fifth cornerbacks of the pre-draft season for official visits, they welcomed Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey — one of the top rated corners in the class.
Humphrey was joined by West Virginia wideout Shelton Gibson, North Carolina receiver Mack Hollins, UConn safety Obi Melifonwu and Pitt cornerback Ryan Lewis.
Lewis will not count against the Steelers’ 30-player pre-draft visitor limit because he went to Pitt. He also likely wouldn’t crack the Steelers’ defense and would be an undrafted free agent special teams contender.
But the selection of Humphrey – 30th overall, at the latest – would fiercely elevate the competition for starting cornerback spots in Pittsburgh.
- Projecting all 8 Steelers draft picks
The Steelers drafted Artie Burns 25th overall last season and started him for much of the season. Fellow starter Ross Cockrell is a restricted free agent tender signing away from rejoining the fray, William Gay returns to compete at slot corner, where 2015 and 2016 second-round picks Senquez Golson and Sean Davis, respectively, can both play.
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Pittsburgh also signed former starting Tennessee Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh this offseason.
Humphrey’s visit comes a day after Jalen Myrick, out of Minnesota, and West Virginia corner Rasul Douglas came to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. The Alabama cover man, though, is by far the top prospect the Steelers have hosted this offseason. Only Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore is widely projected above him.
Five of Pittsburgh’s 28 pre-draft visitors have been corners. Cornerback is tied with receiver and outside linebacker as the positions in which the Steelers have hosted the most visitors.
Gibson and Hollins – both projected fifth-round picks – are the latest at the receiver position, where the Steelers have gotten in-person looks at several prospects who fit the mold of a target or “Z” receiver in their offense.
Melifonwu is the highest rated safety to come to the Steelers’ facility, projected as a late first- or second-round pick. At 6-foot-4, 224-pounds, he could conceivably play either safety spot in Pittsburgh’s defense.
Due to local five exemptions to the NFL’s pre-draft visitor limit, including Gibson, the Steelers can still host at least seven more prospects at team headquarters. Visits will be completed next week.
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