USA TODAY Sports
Texas safety prospect Kenny Vaccaro met with the Steelers at the NFL Combine last week, bringing back a humorous story from training camp about a conversation between Ryan Clark and Mike Tomlin.
"If your quarterback is gonna hang onto the ball that long, you better draft some more offensive linemen next year!"
Tomlin responded, "I'm going safety. Free safety!"
It was all in good fun - or at least not all seriousness - with Clark providing a timely jab at the Steelers' recent draft history. But as Wexell connects the past to the present in pointing out the Steelers met with Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro at the NFL Combine this past week, it very well could end up that way.
Vaccaro met with the Steelers behind closed doors, likely being dissected by Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau (who told BTSC he would like the team to add a young safety this offseason). While Vaccaro didn't set college football on its collective head with interceptions, he showed he has the size and willingness to support the run and the ability to cover slot receivers - a critical attribute of a successful safety in today's NFL.
But safeties who get drafted that high show more playmaking ability. The question teams are going to ask themselves when they're on the clock is whether Vaccaro is more of your traditional free safety, or one who is dynamic enough to play all over the field and make things happen.
The Steelers were at least curious enough to sit down with him to see what kind of guy he is.