Player News

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An NFC executive told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein that Pittsburgh CB Avonte Maddox is "shooting up" their draft board.

"He's really shooting up the board in our building," the executive told Zierlein. "Great tester but he shows it on tape with how athletic he is in coverage. I know our position coach thinks he can get a lot better with some work on his technique." Maddox also performed well at the East-West Shrine game in January, so it's been a good "off-season" for the 5-foot-9, 180-pound corner. Zierlein expects him to go early on Day 3, but he could sneak into Day 2 for a team looking for help at defending the slot.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 21 - 1:53 PM

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein compares Pitt WR Quadree Henderson to former Falcons WR Eric Weems.

Zierlein says Henderson (5'8/192) is a "Dangerous return specialist who offers potential value as a gadget slot. Henderson's lack of hesitation and his ability to get to top speed quickly and stay there is what gives him a shot at having early success as both a punt and kick returner." Weems was largely a special-teams player who never fully carved out a role for himself as a wide receiver, a solid comparison for Henderson. Zierlein projects Henderson to be a priority free agent or selected in the 7th round.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 18 - 9:57 PM

NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compares Pittsburgh T Bryan O'Neill to Kansas City Chiefs T Jake Fisher.

Fisher was the first-pick of his draft class, which O'Neill obviously won't be. Fisher has also developed into a solid -- but not spectacular -- starting right tackle, which is what O'Neill also projects to be. He's one of the best athletes at the position, as Zierlein notes, but there are concerns about his core strength and inconsistent footwork. He gives O'Neill a Day 2 grade, but someone who falls in love with O'Neill's projection (6'7/305) and athleticism and snag him near the end of the first round.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 17 - 11:39 PM

Pitt TE Matt Flanagan will meet with the Houston Texans.

Flanagan was not much of a receiver in his time at Pittsburgh, making just 17 catches after transferring from Rutgers. At 6-foot-5, 260-pounds, he has the size you look for in an inline -- or Y -- tight end, and he could help Houston or whatever NFL team that drafts/signs him as a blocker.
Source: Texans Wire
Apr 14 - 2:25 PM

AN AFC team area scout told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein that he thought Pittsburgh WR Jester Weah "disappointed" at times in 2017.

"I thought he disappointed some this year," the scout said, "but then again, his quarterback play went into the dumps this year and that hurt him too." The 6-foot-2, 221-pound ran a 4.43 second 40 yard dash, and with that size, he should be able to be a big-play threat. Zierlein notes that he doesn't have quality quickness, and that he's had issues with drops. He projects him to either go late on Day 3, or potentially sign as an UDFA.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 13 - 8:24 PM

Pittsburgh signed three-star 2018 ATH Shocky Jacques-Louis, who had previously been committed to Tennessee.

Jacques-Louis was the first player to decommit from Tennessee after Butch Jones was fired in November. He chose the Panthers over offers from Kentucky, Michigan State and Missouri, among others. At 6-foot, 170-pounds, he has the size to play both corner and wide receiver, but his ability to high-point the football and make plays over the top means he likely starts out at wide receiver for the Panthers.
Source: 247 Sports
Apr 7 - 1:48 PM

Pitt redshirt junior TE Chris Clark has taken a leave of absence from the team.

Clark (6'5/253) initially signed on with UCLA as a four-star recruit in the 2015 class, but left the program just one game into his career. He was planning on a Syracuse transfer, but after the Orange pulled their scholarship offer, it was onward to the Panthers. This past season, Clark started eight of 12 game while logging a 16-122-1 receiving line. Pitt HC Pat Narduzzi said that the team is not completely ruling out a potential return for Clark, but in the same breath noted that it's not something that's been discussed to any significant degree internally at this early juncture. With Clark's availability in question moving forward, look for Charles Reeves to see a closer look as the spring progresses.
Mar 27 - 4:20 PM

NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compares Pitt S Jordan Whitehead to Eagles safety Jalen Mills.

Zierlein calls Whitehead a "fearless downhill hitter" who can lower the boom. He also mentions that Whitehead is comfortable covering receivers in the slot, with enough speed to close if he gets beaten. Unfortunately, he also notes that his instincts are below-average, and his "linear pursuit" creates poor tackling angles. Right now it appears Whitehead is a Day 3 selection, with Zierlein giving him a fifth-round grade.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 12 - 1:24 PM

Pitt CB Avonte Maddox recorded an athletic composite score in the 90th percentile.

That score included a 10.72 60-yard shuttle, the best ever for a defensive back and second-best all-time regardless of position. Maddox projects as a slot corner in the NFL and has only helped himself during the process with this Combine workout and practice performance during East-West Shrine week.
Mar 6 - 10:22 AM

Pitt CB Avonte Maddox ran the 40 yard dash in 4.39 seconds on Monday in the NFL Scouting Combine.

Maddox (5/9/180) was one of only 12 player to run the 40 yard dash in a time under 4.40 seconds. He also showed impressive hops with a 37 inch vertical and 125 inch broad jump, and his 20 yard shuttle time of 4.0 seconds was among the best at the position. His size limits him to nickel back at the next level, but that's a valuable position now, and he should go on Day 3.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 5 - 11:14 PM

Pitt T Brian O'Neill produced a composite score in the 89th percentile during the NFL Scouting Combine.

O'Neill (6'6/297) had the best 40 yard dash of any offensive lineman on Friday, running it in 4.82 seconds with a 1.70 split in the first 10 yards. There were never many doubts about his athleticism, but it's still nice to see the former Panther show his skills in Indianapolis. He projects as an Early Day 2 pick to most analysts, with NFL.com's Lance Zierlein comparing O'Neill to Jake Fisher.
Mar 5 - 8:06 PM

Pitt WR Jester Weah ran the 40 yard dash in 4.43 seconds on Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Weah (6'2/211) was near the top of the 40 yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump, which is good. He was also near the bottom in the three-cone drill along with the 20 and 60 yard shuttle runs, which isn't great. Without drawing too many conclusions from a small sample size, this could be a case of Weah showing he has NFL speed, but possibly not the quickness you're looking for. Still, the positive 40-yard dash time as well as his hops could help a player that most analysts peg for the middle of Day 3.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 3 - 11:16 PM

Pitt WR Quadree Henderson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Henderson (5'8/192) ran respectably, though he also struggled with drops and adjustments while running routes on the field after his sprint. The latter part of the equation comes as no surprise -- while at Pitt, Henderson was largely used as something of a gadget player. Perhaps the most intriguing part of his game for NFL purposes is his upside as a special teams piece.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 3 - 1:37 PM

Pitt T Brian O'Neill unofficially ran the 40-yard dash in 4.80 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

O'Neill (6'6/297) led all offensive linemen with his 4.80-second jaunt through the combine's premier event. He put in a 10-yard split of 1.70 seconds in the sprint. All this comes one day after he put in 22 reps on the bench press. A likely Day 2 selection, O'Neill is an elite athletic prospect, though he could stand to add weight. He also disappointed in Senior Bowl action in January.
Mar 2 - 12:10 PM

Pitt HC Pat Narduzzi announced that sophomore QB Kenny Pickett is the team's starting quarterback heading into spring practices.

Max Browne and Ben DiNucci are goners, so the QB room will look a bit different in 2018. Incoming JUCO transfer Ricky Town is currently running No. 2. "We want competition. And Ricky knew that when we brought him in," Narduzzi said. "I feel like our quarterback situation right now is the best it's been since I've got there, even though we got Kenny in a young guy and we brought Ricky Town in and he hasn't played a game yet. It's as strong as we'd been at the quarterback position." In Pickett's first start, he led the Panthers to a resounding upset over then-No. 2 Miami in late November.
Feb 27 - 11:27 PM


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