The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to host a talented but oft-injured inside linebacker in former Penn State Nittany Lions standout Michael Mauti, according to a report from Steelers beat writer Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mauti suffered yet another devastating knee last season in mid-November, and he is the most injury-prone player in the 2013 NFL Draft class.
But Mauti is also an incredibly gifted inside linebacker when he is healthy, and he has terrific intangibles. It’s impossible to question Mauti’s leadership, work ethic, and love for the game. Back in late January, he actually sent letters to every GM in the NFL about how much he loves the game of football.
So Mauti is talented and has great intangibles at a position where intangibles are extremely important, but many Steelers fans are cringing at the fact that the Steelers are showing interest in the former Penn State star. Just look at the replies to Bouchette from that report. My favorite one is the dude who said he has never heard of Mauti, but at least he wasn’t as bad as the guy who overreacted by saying “please god no”.
There is nothing wrong with hosting a player on a visit, and the Steelers just want to check out Mauti’s health and gauge the risks of taking him. Mauti is going to be a third day selection due to his huge injury risk, even if he has the talent of a player in one of the first three rounds. He isn’t simply some priority free agent, and there is value in scoping him out as a potential late-round pick. Besides, it’s still good to check things out and due diligence even if Mauti won’t be drafted. The Steelers aren’t stupid, and they aren’t going to slam the door shut on a player just because of injuries.
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