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Ike Taylor Praises Kamren Kinchens, Mike Sainristil After Pro Days

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten former cornerback Ike Taylor involved on the scouting trail again this offseason, as Taylor has attended numerous Pro Days and put some defensive back prospects through workouts. During an episode of the Bleav In Steelers show he co-hosts with Mark Bergin, Taylor gave praise to some of the players that he’s watched and/or worked with at Pro Days, in particular Miami’s Kamren Kinchens and Michigan’s Mike Sainristil.

“When I heard Kam [Kinchens], I didn’t hear him. I had to look at his feet. Cause when I was giving him the drills out the breaks, I was like I can’t even hear him. Like, this dude light on his feet,” Taylor said. “Usually, when you hear somebody break once, I say break, you hear that foot come out the ground, I couldn’t even hear him. I’m just like, ok, this dude’s got some real light ass feet.”

Taylor also called Kinchens the “ultimate teammate” and said that all he thinks about is football.

Taylor also praised Michigan’s Mike Sainristil and Alabama’s Terrion Arnold, comparing them to both Tyrann Mathieu and Charles Woodson for the way they play.

“Honey badger was just different, right? I mean, honey took over a whole game by himself. Honey who’s like Charles Woodson cousin in college. So at first it’s Charles,” Taylor said. “So Charles [Woodson] was the honey badger, honey badger, we’re talking about Terrion [Arnold] from Alabama and we could talk Mike [Sainristil] from Michigan like that, too. Them guys don’t come around too often and when they do they just acknowledge and you just acknowledge, I don’t care where I put ’em out on the field, they just need to be on the field somewhere.”

Given that both cornerback, and to a lesser extent safety, remain needs in Pittsburgh, it’s worth listening to the praise when it’s Taylor throwing it out. We know the team is interested in Sainristil, holding a formal meeting with him at the 2024 NFL Combine and also meeting with him before his Pro Day. While the comparison to Woodson and Mathieu for both Sainristil and Alabama’s Terrion Arnold, who the team met with at a pre-Pro Day dinner, are lofty, it shows that Taylor thinks that both are capable of taking over a game.

While Sainristil is more likely on Day 2 or later, Arnold is a potential first-round pick if he’s still around and the Steelers decide to go cornerback at No. 20 overall.

As for Kinchens, the Steelers need at safety got a little bit smaller after they brought in DeShon Elliott, but he still could be worth taking a flier on late in Day 2 or early on Day 3, if he’s still around. For much of the college football season, Kinchens was hyped as a potential first-round selection. However, a really poor Combine performance tanked Kinchens’ stock, and he may fall into the third round or later now. The Steelers could still look to add some depth at safety behind Elliott, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Damontae Kazee.

Taylor worked Kinchens out at Miami, and so he got an up-close look at him and was clearly impressed by his footwork and how light on his feet he is. He’s a bit undersized and obviously didn’t test well at the Combine, but there are some things you can’t teach, with heart being one of them, and Taylor was gushing about Kinchens’ approach and love for the game of football.

With the praise from Taylor flowing, it’s worth paying just a little bit extra attention to Sainristil and Kinchens now, just in case they do become future Steelers. Personally, I think Sainristil feels the most likely given the team’s prior demonstrated interest, but he’s also going to be the more sought-after player. With the draft now less than a month away, we’ll luckily get some answers soon on who the next batch of Steelers will be.



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