Pittsburgh Steelers Re-sign Trai Essex, Doug Legursky, David Johnson
Today has been another busy day for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they have reportedly re-signed versatile unrestricted free agent OG Trai Essex, had both restricted free agent OG Doug Legursky and TE/FB David Johnson sign their tender offers and have four college prospects in for pre-draft visits. Legursky and Johnson join OG Ramon Foster in rejoining the team after receiving their one-year guaranteed RFA tenders.
Of the signings, Essex is a solid move for depth along the offensive line with his ability to play all five positions. Fans, may view this with a raised brow, but the flexibility and leadership that the 6-5, 324-pound lineman will be an asset for the team this off-season as they develop some younger linemen that they most definitely will bring in over the course of the draft. Essex joins veterans WR Jerricho Cotchery and TE Leonard Pope (Kansas City) as unrestricted free agents join the Steelers for 2012.
On the prospect front, it is being reported by multiple places on Twitter that Alabama LB Dont’a Hightower, Oregon RB LaMichael James, Oregon TE David Paulson, and Midwestern State OG Amini Silatolu are at the teams facility.
Hightower has created a lot of buzz and is mentioned all the time as the Steelers target at number 24 when the draft starts in two weeks. The 6-2, 265 pound linebacker is big, physical, explosive and is already experienced in a pro-style base 3-4 from his days in Alabama. A student of the game and very instinctual, he would definitely help the Steelers replace veteran James Farrior who was cut earlier this offseason for salary cap purposes.
With the addition of these prospects, the Steelers have now met with 20 or their allotted 30 out-of-town pre-draft visitors. In all, there have been six linebackers (three outside and three inside), four offensive linemen ( two tackles and two guards), two tight ends, two running backs, two defensive linemen, two wide receivers, one cornerback and one long snapper.