Last season: Recorded 55 tackles with three interceptions while starting all 13 of the Wildcats’ games.
Hidden number: 20 cornerbacks were drafted before the Steelers took Richardson.
Upside: Richardson has good size and speed and the Steelers seem confident that he can develop into a starter down the road.
Possible red flag: Didn’t get invited to the NFL scouting combine and an off-field issue caused Richardson to transfer from UCLA to Arizona before his freshman season.
Defensive backs coach Carnell Lake: “He gives us good size out there and somebody that has the ability to put a lot of pressure on tall receivers that have been drafted in recent years. He’s a smart, young corner that can come in and contribute.”
Richardson: “I’m definitely coming in to learn from Ike Taylor and other veterans and defensive backs they have on the team. I got a lot to prove and I’m ready to work.”
Last season: Started 13 games at left tackle and gave up just one sack in helping the Commodores gain 4,765 yards and average 30.1 points per game.
Hidden number: 22 of his blocks in 2013 led to touchdowns.
Upside: Is versatile, having started at both tackle positions as well as at center for Vanderbilt, and is also very athletic for a big man.
Potential red flag: Doesn’t have long arms, which might make him an interior lineman at the next level, and may not get much bigger.
Offensive line coach Mike Munchak: “He is definitely battle-tested playing in the SEC. He has played against guys like Jadeveon Clowney and played well against top-level competition week in and week out for a long time. That gives us the feeling that he will be very comfortable coming into the NFL.”
Johnson: “Being a Nashville guy, growing up [Munchak] was one of my favorite players. I knew all about him obviously because he’s a Hall of Fame offensive lineman and he’s been a great coach for a long time.”
Last season: Had a career-high 93 tackles with 5 ½ of those behind the line of scrimmage and also forced three fumbles and intercepted two passes.
Hidden number: Zumwalt’s 30 career starts came at four different linebacker positions.
Upside: Big hitter who is passionate about football and is also versatile.
Potential red flag: Not a great athlete and needs to get bigger. Also, is there room for Zumwalt in what has become a crowded field at inside linebacker?
Linebackers coach Keith Butler: “This guy was probably the best player on the board for us (when the Steelers first picked in the sixth round). He’s a long, tall kid but I would see him as in inside guy at this point. He can provide some backup for us and he should be able to play some special teams for us.”
Zumwalt: “I have a lot of passion for the game and if you’ve seen me play then you know what I can bring. I’m going to bring everything that I have possible to bring to the defense. It’s like a dream come true.”
DT Daniel McCullers
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 352
Last season: Made 33 tackles, include 4 ½ for losses, and assisted on a sack while starting all 12 of the Volunteers’ games.
Hidden number: Wears size 18 shoes.
Upside: Enormous and what general manager Kevin Colbert calls an “obstruction,” McCullers also has the position flexibility to play both nose tackle and defensive end.
Potential red flag: It could be tough getting the leverage necessary at nose tackle since McCullers’ height makes it difficult for him to stay low after the ball is snapped.
Defensive line coach John Mitchell: “He’s a big guy but those types of guys are hard to find. I’d rather work with a guy that is too big than one that you can’t see him when he goes down in a stance. I’m excited about that.”
McCullers: “Growing up I was always the big kid. Once I hit my sophomore and junior year of high school that’s when I started getting my growth spurts. I guess I got like four of them each year and just kept growing.”
Last season: Caught 27 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns despite playing with an injury that required sports hernia surgery after the season.
Hidden number: Four of the Steelers’ seventh-round picks since 2009 have played at least one season for them.
Upside: Is adept at blocking and catching, which is what attracted the Steelers to Blanchflower as well as his demeanor.
Potential red flag: Has to make the jump from FBS competition (formerly Division I-AA) to the NFL, and the Steelers have four returning tight ends.
Tight ends coach James Daniel: “He has a high level of aggression. He’s played in a multiple-formation offense so that gave us a chance to look at him in a lot of things. I think he’s special-teams capable.”