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Devin Gardner will make a pre-draft visit

3/22/2015

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who begin hosting draft prospects in earnest following the league owners meetings, will meet with Michigan quarterback/wide receiver Devin Gardner in the coming weeks, according to ESPN NFL Nation reporter Michael Rothstein.

Gardner started parts of the last three seasons at quarterback for the Wolverines, but he will move to wide receiver as a pro. Gardner’s size (6-foot-4, 217 pounds) and athleticism intrigue teams, and the Steelers are interested enough to make Gardner one of the 30 out-of-area prospects teams are allowed to host prior to the draft.

The owners meetings start Monday in Phoenix and I will be among a group of Pittsburgh reporters who will be sitting down with general manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin over the next two days.

I should have a couple of posts from Colbert’s chat up Sunday evening.

There is no regular mailbag this week because of the owners meetings, but here is an abbreviated one with some questions I received last week.

@ScottBrown_ESPN There are still players out there though most of the ones who have name recognition or are considered upper-tier free agents already have signed elsewhere. And frankly I’m not sure the Steelers were going to find any quick fixes in free agency at outside linebacker and cornerback given the players available and what they were able to spend. They are going to have to draft an outside linebacker prospect and cornerback within the first three rounds this year and find some answers from within. The Steelers need Cortez Allen to bounce back after a disastrous 2014 season and they have to hope James Harrison picks Pittsburgh over the Tennessee Titans as the veteran outside linebacker apparently will choose between those two teams.

@ScottBrown_ESPN My guess is the Steelers would have more interest in Carrington since they looked at him last year when they were trying to add defensive line help through free agency. They signed Cam Thomas after Carrington signed with the St. Louis Rams, but Thomas did not give them much last season. Nor is he in the Steelers’ future plans. Carrington would provide quality depth behind Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. If Carrington is willing to accept a backup role and his contract demands are realistic, the Steelers would be wise to double back on Carrington. Thomas is expendable and with it now a buyer’s market, the Steelers would be crazy not to see what other options are available in free agency.

@ScottBrown_ESPN This is a huge offseason for McCullers. I am interested to see the progress he makes now that he is more comfortable with the defense and should have the confidence he can play at this level. How close he is to becoming a starter largely depends on whether he can fully earn the trust of the coaches. The 2014 sixth-round draft pick has a ton of upside as there simply aren't many people who are as big (6-7, 352) and mobile as McCullers. His challenge is playing with leverage and good pad level, and until he does that consistently McCullers will be more of a curiosity than someone who is ready to start.