The Curtain Call, Part 1: Will the Steelers yell Wolverine! in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Okay picture this you turn off your tv you wanna kick back relax and completely over analyze what you just watched. We made galaxy brains just for you. Hi dave schilling. I'm joan array. Are the hosts of galaxy brains polygons brand new podcast launching thursday april twenty second followed galaxy brand apple podcasts or your favorite podcast app to get new episodes in your ear but every week that's right unit galaxy brains where movies in overthinking collide. Pittsburgh steelers fans. It is time once again another edition of the curtain call. Podcast my name is michael beck. Deputy editor behind the steel curtain dot com. Join as by with always jeffrey benedict. Jeffrey how you doing tonight go perfect. And as always we are leading up to the draft. We bring you a special guest tonight. From as and brew that is michigan. Wolverines espy nation. Log trevor woods. Trevor how are you. I'm doing great beyond talk about steelers and michigan. I'm happy man football on april. Let's do it. Yeah you're gonna love it gotta love it. But kicking things off right at the top Trevor kind of the one of the big prospects that the steelers. Obviously you're kinda. I hang up on is tackle jalen mayfield. Now mayfield. didn't have the best pro day in the world you think that has kind of affected his stock is is he still even a first round pick. I definitely think he's still a first round. Pick pro days and the combine on a regular year sometimes they can be over evaluated and sometimes a a team will have their mindset. And don't even meet with the guy right. We know that happens too. So i think he's a kind of in the same range as he was. The question is is he going to be able to slip to the steelers. I think that's more the question right now the steelers what are you the twenty third pick twenty-fourth twenty four. Okay twenty four th pick We had a mock simulation last month. Granted this was before the pro day maze brew had him going number fourteenth overall to the minnesota vikings so i definitely think though he could slip to the steelers. He's right in that range in my opinion from fourteen to late round one and heck early round to you know how things go but i don't see him slipping further than that. He does seem to have a decent bit of various indifferent. Mock drafts where people think he's going to go. How much do you think the michigan season in. Twenty twenty is gonna hurt Jalen mayfield with that level of uncertainty and how little they played and how many players were in and out and also how poorly the tainted in this twenty twenty season. How much do you think. That's going to hurt this draft class and jalen specifically jalen mayfield specifically. I'm glad you added that. At the end i would say mayfield specifically him in pay Those two defensive including pay. I don't think this season michigan hands. Pointer hurt them as much. If you look at a lot of mayfield's film is still good film despite a lackluster performance from the team. As a whole. I like sometimes Some you know tell me see recruits to a reliever in baseball to where okay. This team is garbage. The baseball team but their leaders have one heck of a season. Sometimes they try to correlate that with certain prospects now on the other hand some other players michigan which will get into Cameron for example. A linebacker he was supposed to be the next. Evan bush which you guys know all about but he was not the next. Evan bush Hustle of at defense and some other things For guy like him in particular and some others Your point is very much true and correct that the michigan season was a detriment to their stock. Now what are the things. that's kind of been growing. i guess across some analysts when it comes to the nfl draft is potential. Jalen mayfield might not even play tackle at the next level and could slip inside to guard. Are you buying that at all is he. Is someone that needs to be on the edger. Could you see him playing in the in the interior on offense alive. I could see in plain either. I mean he's the guy six five he's three hundred twenty six pounds but he's a agile to to where he doesn't have to be some boat anchor on the outside I definitely think he has versatility position. Wise to where he can be moved around It just all boils down to whoever drafts him. How debut on and what they'd like to do with them So i definitely like the versatility an also. I think that's the reason why. I don't see slipping out of the first round with this with mayfield. Even though he didn't play much in two thousand twenty you tell us a bit about what he faced in two thousand nineteen. Because i have to tell you. I'm i'm a michigan guy. I was born in michigan and the two thousand nineteen season. The jalen field hat had a first year. Starter was absolutely incredible. Our you just tell us a little bit about that. 'cause i don't know if people realize these doors he's gonna turn twenty one after the draft and he has already faced guys who are who are starting in the nfl a lot. Yeah exactly and that's another thing about mayfield to wear He did a little bit a battle with chase young. Even ohio states chase young. He acclimated himself. Well with good big ten defense's if big ten's known for anything it's known for their hard nose football and sometimes that can be boring but if you like battles in the trenches they something for you. So yeah that's cool. You're michigan guy and Mayfield going into the twenty nine thousand. Nine season like most michigan players so much hype surrounding them so much praise and then sometimes it's unfair to them. Unwarranted expectations don't Meet reality but with mayfield man as she said looking him now he's still very young and he was very young then and even interviews high carrying himself off the field. You can tell you is a very smart player. Understands the xs knows of the game and then he has that physicality and as just a nineteen year old. How strong and he was and the game didn't look too hard for him and he caught up to big ten defense speed quickly. He was definitely a bright spot in two thousand nineteen and is a reason why michigan even went to not the best ball world but they were leading alabama at halftime in the citrus bowl. Obviously a really bad. You're in twenty twenty and all that for michigan but a michigan was okay in two thousand nineteen and mayfield's a big reason. Why when it comes to jail mayfield. I i got one more question for him and specifically when it comes to the other tackles this draft class. I'm not sure how much you know the other guys. But right now it really seems like there's a clear clear. Cut top three with those tackles the next ten. It seems like it could be any of those names going in any particular order. So trevor i want you to offend your guy. Why should jalen mayfield. Be the fourth tackle taken well. Part of the reason is what. Jeffrey just outlined. Its look he has experienced. He has a resume but still yeah only fifteen. So it's kind of paradoxical it's like he doesn't have a lot but all the fifteen games is still enough to say. Hey look this guy look at what. He did look what he accomplished and then what. What a team's getting is still young guy not somebody who's twenty three twenty four coming outta college. He's a very good player now and he can grow further in the nfl. But i think he can have success from day one in the nfl to now as far as what d Know debris differentiates him from others. It's so hard to play that game because we live. In retrospect anytime we're talking about the nfl draft. I mean look at the quarterbacks right now too. I mean some people think justin fields could slip to number ten number eleven And think rightfully so others think that's absolutely crazy to happen so Evaluations are so subjective across the board and only a true objectively comes a couple years down the road but Heck anywhere between like. I said pick fourteen in early round too. I think is good value for mayfield. So moving on from mayfield quickly. Pai tell us a little bit about him. he's i think he's he. He kind of flew under the radar for a while and then as he. He's all over the place. People that are super high on him. You hear people that are like now. yes pretty. Pay another really strong physical specimen the perception is he will be able to get after the quarterback and also helping the run game as well. The detriment of for pay would be the as. You were alluding to earlier. Jeffrey is how michigan's performed defensively the past couple of years in Don brown he's fire now the previous defense for nader. He didn't always necessarily utilized people correctly in the ways. He should have a point. Would be sean gerry. Who's now doing quite well starting to come into his own. The green bay packers. If you look at a sack numbers and stuff at michigan. It just wasn't that great when they asked him to do. Relate to these eye-popping numbers. I would say the same thing about pay in that regard. Actually time mcshea. Tom mcshea thinks he's going to be the first or second. Ed rush off the board definitely. He's as a quick guy vassal quickness for his size mcshea echoes. What i said i echo. What says the says. He said he didn't think pay was utilized properly. And just he's a high motor guy. He loves football. He's the type of guy who gets draft in the first ten or so picks with quip as well is he someone that is more of a hand in dirt street edge. Rusher for a forty base defenses. He's someone that can do it all and being outside linebacker in and cover guys if if that's needed from yeah that's a good question. There's nothing once again. It's how to utilize in the film available to dissect but at the moment i consider him highly raw as far as you know becoming some outside linebacker but at the same time at six foot three to sixty one you like for him to drop into some certain types zone coverage At least a hybrid. That's where the nfl's trendy and across the board defensively is you need hybrids so His forty yard dash very impressive at his pro day. There is absolutely no disputing that. A four point five four four yards dash so obviously very strong as well. Thirty six bench. Reps so i do think that he can transition from a hand in the dirt to a standup outside linebacker. But as far as the coverage. That's my concern is now. You're gonna ask the guy to do something he's never done before. However we've seen a lot of examples strut time to where guys who were used to one thing hand in dirt and college. They make that transition pretty smoothly at least by your to your three of their career but he's definitely raw in that area right now. How how is how would you rank pans run defender. Because if he comes to the let's say he falls all the way to twenty four and the steelers decide to go that direction which it's unlikely. Either of these things happen But how would he play as like a run defender. How did he show up in that setting the edge. You know in run defense a. That's a good question. i i say. Mixed results on his rushing prowess as a rushing awareness. Definitely sometimes you get caught flat-footed and stuff and as on counters at the On the flip side to where. Actually he's not being caught flat-footed he's over pursuing and he's not maintained his gap. So with that sad you're gonna find plenty of film where he sheds his man. He's in the proper place he contains. He sets the edge he gets offering makes solo tackle but Right now his strength is being a pass. Rusher is quitting. Pay the top prospect coming out of michigan this year. Yeah i would mayfield. Though isn't too far behind. And he's young so to me. Honestly i said. The retrospect two years from now a minute ago but Pay will be the first one off the board. Put it that way but Mayfield can end up having the better career move on people who will actually have a much better chance of being there when the steelers pick nico collins collins. Another athletic frequently wide receiver from michigan. There seems to be a good string of these big athletic wide receivers for michigan but so far none of them have really taken off in the. Nfl is this. Is this a you know a jim harbaugh wide receiver curse is this. You know the system that they use it michigan or is this just none of the other have been this good and equal collins could be the first to really break that streak of guys who haven't really hit it off in the nfl. Yeah granted six round. Pick down people's jones started doing decent for the browns last year. But you're totally right at harbaugh. Been there six seasons now off the top anybody's head whether they're michigan fan or otherwise they can't really name all you know. Look at this receiver doing so good in the nfl. So spot on their can collins break that trend. I would say he might be the best receiver. Harbaugh's had entering the nfl draft to this point and actually some of his attributes in some of the things too is game remind me of a more raw version of a chase claypool. Nico collins is six four years. Two hundred fifteen pounds ran a four point. Four three forty. I believe platefuls forty yard dashes four point. Four two So there around the same size and speed playful. I think coming out of college steph. Had a him. In as far as his development. I'm she didn't collins missing opting out of the twenty twenty season but he was able to impress people at the senior bowl during his time. There i think he has been a potential in a high ceiling in the nfl. He's already guy who is very good at catching the football. And that might sound silly but a lot of prospects get drafted who are fast but simply can't catch her can't catch well or are inclined to let the ball hit. They're chest before a trying to put hands on it. Collins is very strong strong hands. he's ready to grab that football and i think that's assets. He's definitely a deep threat. Averaged i believe over. Nineteen yards per catch in his michigan career. So you have that there. As far as his route tree that is raw and very much in development. But i think in the right situation we could see collins developed quite well. There's a lot to like about the guy. What kind of position do you see collins playing more of a slot or see someone that should be playing on the outside. He should be playing on the outside. Now branded i do think he's better than some six foot. Four guys at cutting into inside the field be a tightly. Contested slant route or gain some separation With mesh concepts but to me. He is a right now. More of a straight line runner Let's just get this guy down the field. Let's see if he can out some press coverage on a week or corner and gain some separation and then track the football which he actually tracks falls quite well which can be quite difficult if your money making ability is the catch so yeah for right now. Definitely an outside guy. He needs to have more shipping s with his feet and have a little more grew to it. Grew to his steph. Otherwise you'd never going to be big asset as a slot receiver on inside so in michigan at michigan and with the steelers run blocking is something wide receivers have to do a nico collins. Standard is a guy that could be give you value even as like a rookie if he's a death receiver if he's not the number one guy. If if you are trying to that slot is he a guy that brings us to run blocking the guy who can go. you know. Put a hat on safety. And also specialties bringing value there. I don't think he's going to have value on special teams. I don't think a team would utilize him on special teams gunner or a punt returner off but the blocking questions very good one and i think he does hold value as a blocking receiver. He was even quoted before in one of his availability through the years. How he takes pride in being a blocker. Of course he lost some battles. you know. Not every receiver larry fitzgerald or hines ward and the you know an amazing hall of famer and blocking receiver but for a guy is going to be a rookie. This year liked what he didn't college in that regard so yes now transitioning to tama grown. Obviously having watched. Evan bush play back in his michigan days. I'm curious whether or not you think. Grown is someone who could play beside the devon bush or do those. Two styles clash. They don't clash. But actually i think i was thinking about this today. Obviously i knew. I was going to talk to you guys but i think mcgraw would be a perfect. The steelers would be a perfect spot for him now. I have my skepticism about him. But i think being around the bush again would do wonders mma grown. I had trouble communicating last year with his other linebackers and Safeties linemen and there's definitely too much miscommunication And then there are times. Where the season before Great sideline to sideline lateral -bility of getting to the ball carrier snuffing. Out runs and definitely lost. Hitch hitching his step. Whether it was mental weather is a combination of mental and physical. I definitely think some the storm from this past season concerns scouts With that said if you look at some his film from two thousand nineteen some really great mill. Definitely a guy can even get in the backfield and get to the quarterback on some different blitz packages So i think a team like the steelers maybe not the steelers. But who hasn't other young energetic linebackers he can learn from and that he can try to embody and mimic would do wonders camera ground. Do you think he. He's a guy who's going to thrive in more of a coverage role where he is dropping back covering people or is he You want to set free and let him attack the offense and you know. Try and get some tackles for loss. Make make the splash place. We're kind of linebacker. Is he better suited to play. Jeffrey you your michigan guy. Right i i'll send you for this now. I'm setting you up to but think about all the times that you know. Linebackers were asked to play man coverage and all the times ohio state and others just dashed gash done with linebackers that it couldn't cover now mccrone sometimes could cover okay but when it mattered most. Oh my god people at burnham so i think for the time being and once again he could develop into a better coverage linebacker but That's definitely to be determined He's definitely has better in run support. better just like you said when he's able to just attack and death Have some free roam and i wouldn't Until proven otherwise. I'm not going to tell you any michigan. Linebacker can cover. Well i just want to throw a little add on to that. Steeler fans no devon bush has become an incredible coverage linebacker. He he started on some serious flaws even even as forty year. You could see it. As first couple of games teams attacking them with titans and he got one interception and they were like our our stay away from w bush and last year he was doing stuff on film. That linebackers can't do actual develop into it yet. And i gotta add on. I absolutely loved evan. Bush definitely one of my favorite michigan players to cover. You know just just so much. Heart is definitely disappointing. Went down last year but yet Devon bush. I have to clarify the exception to what i just set. The guy can cover is absolute baller. Do you think. Do you think camera would be a good pairing in a in a system where mccrone is taking on more of the three four system. What you call the buck linebacker role where you are adding on run. Plays an often taking out taking time kind of filling in for the fact that you don't have a fourth defensive line up there while devin bush place behind him without being ideal role because that's that's one that interests me yet. Now that's another one where you see some film of grown that he is able to slip in somehow it between a couple of lyman. Find that crease and get to the ball carrier. But then there's plenty of thumb of mccrone is just getting absolutely thrown around by some physical lineman whether it's you know what's kansin ohio state. So he needs. He gets stronger in that regard and what makes him good. What makes them succeed when he does well. In that role is his aggressiveness. His is a quick twitch his ability to diagnose quickly and so much of the game footfalls mental in cameroon. To me is a very mental player. And when we've seen him really engaged and into it the guy can be lights out but then there are other times where he doesn't seem as engaged you know he loses that millisecond to where then he's a little too slow and then he's getting thrown around by guys stronger than him so when guys are always strong and you gotta you know you know how to use your leverage. You have to know how to be shifty. So i definitely think like i said. Uh you know the start. The conversation off is Being around a guy like bush. I really think would be perfect. But it'll be funny a few weeks from now if that actually comes for wishing one out of thirty two chance. You're absolutely right now. Transitioning outside to the corner spot. I'm on ambery thomas. Someone who can play a physical slot type rollers someone. That should be playing on the outside. I i think right now probably should stick to the slot. That guy has so much heart. I think he he. A rare condition called colitis. Don't quote me on that completely. everybody go google it. But he had a really bad condition and he battled back from that and just had an absolutely incredible season. Twenty nineteen. Jim harbaugh loved the guy. There is actually one time. Where was michigan win. I forget what game but harbaugh of brought him with him to the press conference in thomas set next the entire time. That's the type of guy. Thomas is off the field which translates to what he does. On the field gamer. He loves football. Not the biggest guy in the whole world would. He plays better than what he is with that sad. I definitely like to see him in a nickel type role. I think you'd absolutely thrive in it. But i think he can play everywhere. There's a lot of undersized. You're not exactly a strong and stature. Cornerback zoo a play on the outside but yet can you know how to tackle well. They use their shoulder. They flying like torpedoes. And thomas love for the game and his willingness to do whatever it takes for his teammates. I think will ultimately happen plane. Wherever on the field back you are correct It was colitis he had to deal with. Thomas like you said seems like a guy would start off. You know starting in the slot you know. Give him some time to adjust to the nfl and move him outside. If it works out where where do you see him. The draft value is like. Where do you. Where would you rank on quarterbacks in the draft. I would rank him. You know to me. I'd put them in the late second early third round range. It's hard town with him. I mean any time. A player ops out. It just has me a thinking that there whether it's right or wrong and of course anybody who opted out of the season. I'm not watching it. But it still hurts the evaluation process from a scheduling perspective from these teams and executives. So the question really would be you know. Did he do enough. Did he do enough in his previous time. Michigan to where teams are willing to take them out to or early round three. Because those are still highly coveted picks. I say yes. I say if you just look at his body of work and you don't patron twenty twenty in the opt out at all. I think there's plenty enough for somebody to go along and and give them a shot. He was playing talent in the big ten. A lot of time. You see all these corners from these Rinky-dink schools get drafting around to just because at one specific actor who it's the sixth recorder or he ran a four three but kenny. You know an thomas definitely can't smart guy and i think is off the field attributes and his love the game. I would be shocked to see him. Go before the middle around three now. We are getting to the top of your time. But i do want to ask you about ben mason. Is he some news. A fullback tight end defensive. Lineman can you break down ben mason and what he can do in the nfl. Yeah it's so cool you save the best for last and i'm so glad you asked about him at all because fullbacks you're getting phased out that can't happen but no. He's not a defensive lineman to me. Mason is a prototypical pullback in then has a lot of upside mine pinon as an h back mason. He's showed he can run some decent routes enough speed to warrants being. Ah back at times. And i definitely think he can do a little bit of damage catching the football as well but he is one heck of a blocker the guy just as our nose as it gets. He could've played with no helmet. One thousand nine hundred thirty and absolutely destroyed people in been the broccoli gerski of that day i have no doubt but times change Running back positions gotten faster but knows this guy belongs to the nfl. I think he's gonna stick around the nfl for quite some time. I remember a couple of years ago. I talked to phil steele. Espn analyst always has a college football preview magazine and he was saying how he thinks back then a couple of years ago that mason is going to beat the best full-back that will come out. Whatever drafty sent and now fast forward a couple years later. Here's the issue is if you look at mason stats. He was not utilize property he and no business being on the defensive side of the ball. The guy is an exceptional fullback but then mission brought in office coordinator and gaddis spread system. And then forgot. What a pullback is. They had trouble running the football but still never really utilize mason a whole lot. And then guess what guys when mason with in the games a fallback michigan's running aimed got better. But guess what they never figured it out. And that's just a little bit of a shame and because a it could've done for michigan and run game and their offense but just what could've done for mason's college football career so that's disappointing. But i am very high on ben mason and any team who gets him is very wise and running games going to get better because of it. I absolutely guarantee it. I don't guarantee you a whole lot when it comes to evaluating prospect. I want to throw in real quick before we let you go. Mason as a fullback. Does he have any versatility to play in. Line is a tight end. could he play in an h. back role we are do offensive. Coordinator matt canada. Who worked with you know. Derek wyatt in wisconsin was with sarah lind when they torch the buckeyes nearly beat them over time. He uses a lot of h backs and wings backs. Is that physician that ben mason could fill you know along with fullback to make him a guy who could be a valuable player for the steelers And maybe maybe a replacement in the future for derek y. Yeah no. I completely agree. I think he makes would be best utilized. Nfl as a fullback h back. You know whatever the package. The game situation calls for He can fill both of those roles he has has enough ability to be pass catcher to be an h. Back a traditional tight end. No but you get him in motion where the opposing defenses. Don't necessarily know whether he's just he's going to block or if he's rolling out for a catch i think he could definitely be a major asset and his blocking or definitely question so i think it would be a very good bit worrying team like the steelers are any team that says hey we could definitely use h back and fullback on one. Awesome before we let you go. Is there anything you want to plug now. Manages as brew also on the espy nation network and No trevor woods. I definitely appreciate you guys and I have steelers fans in the family. And they'll be happy to hear some conversation that i had with some steelers guy so they keep that our pleasure. Thank you for joining the program all right. Take care guys trevor. Now for everyone. Listening here on youtube and facebook. Just hang tight. We are going to jump into a quick couple. Second break evan. Listening on the podcast platform side. Just click over two part two now. Jeffrey and our will continue along pretty big day in steelers nations from signings. Some rumors will get told that in the second part of our podcast. Just hang tight.