Steelers host defensive line draft prospects Gilmore, Nichols
April 16--To kick off the final week in which NFL teams can host draft prospects, the Steelers turned their attention back to the defensive side of the ball Monday.
Visiting the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex were defensive linemen Gregory Gilmore of LSU and Bilal Nichols of Delaware.
Both players are projected to be taken on the third day of the NFL Draft, which runs from April 26-28.
Gilmore is a 6-foot-4, 311-pound nose tackle who was invited to the Senior Bowl but did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine. In his final season at LSU, Gilmore had 53 tackles and led the Tigers with 7.5 sacks.
Gilmore is the third LSU player to visit the Steelers in the pre-draft period, joining fullback John David Moore and wide receiver Russell Gage Jr.
Nichols, who is 6-4, 309, attended the NFL Combine in Indianapolis where he ran a 4.95 40-yard dash and had 29 repetitions on the bench press. He was a first-team selection to the Colonial Association Association as a senior when he had 56 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, one interception and four pass breakups. He also blocked a kick.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein didn't give Nichols a glowing report on the league's combine tracking site.
Wrote Zierlein: "Despite his 10.5 sacks over the last two seasons, there isn't much on tape to suggest he will be an effective NFL pass rusher, but he does have some anchor against the run. Nichols showed up plus athletic ability as a tester and has been moving up the draft board for some teams. He needs to play with better bend to improve his leverage, but he has an opportunity to become an backup in the league."
The Steelers have hosted 18 draft prospects. Here is a list of the 16 others:
APRIL 2: Defensive lineman Curtis Cothran (Penn State)
APRIL 3: Defensive back Roderick Dawson (Florida), linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (Western Kentucky), quarterback Brogan Roback (Eastern Michigan)
APRIL 5: Linebacker Jermaine Carter (Maryland), defensive lineman B.J. Hill (N.C. State), linebacker Malik Jefferson (Texas), safety Marvin Stewart (North Carolina)
APRIL 6: Linebacker Dorian O'Daniel (Clemson)
APRIL 7: Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)
APRIL 9: Running back Reggie Bonnafon (Louisville), FB John David Moore (LSU), WR Richie James (Middle Tennessee State)
APRIL 10: Offensive lineman Jordan Mailata (Australia)
APRIL 11: Wide receiver Russell Gage Jr. (LSU)
APRIL 13: Wide receiver Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)
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