It's not surprising that Kevin Colbert stopped by Auburn University to have a look at some of the most dynamic athletes in college football.
Chase Goodbread, a reporter for NFL.com, tweeted that he spotted the Steelers GM at Auburn's facility earlier Tuesday.
While many scouts likely wanted to get a closer look at Sammie Coates, a receiver who could be selected anywhere from the end of the first round to the third round, some of the Tigers in attendance did enough to stand out in their own right.
Corey Grant, for example, managed to stand out. The senior running back wasn't even invited to the Combine after rushing for under 400 yards in 2014, but probably earned himself some attention at his Pro Day. Grant ran an unofficial 4.19 40-yard dash, as well as a 4.26 and 4.27, the latter of which still would've made him the fastest player at the Combine had be been invited. He tacked on a ten-foot-seven inch board jump, a 37 inch vertical and 22 bench press reps. With a five-foot-eleven inch 210 pound frame and tree-trunk sized legs, Grant looked like a former Auburn running back whose rare blend of speed and strength turned him into a legend.
Bo Jackson comparisons aside, the Steelers have had success with other unheralded collegiate running backs with track-star speed, such as Willie Parker, who made a pair of Pro Bowls and owns a Super Bowl ring. The Steelers did pull the trigger on a lightening quick running back in last year's draft with Dri Archer, but Archer's diminutive frame leaves him without a clearly defined position; a problem Grant doesn't have to worry about. With Le'Veon Bell set to miss as many as four regular season games, a late round flier on a running back might be a reasonable decision.
Colbert (and many other scouts) also were likely trying to catch a glimpse of Nick Marshall, one of the draft's most athletic players. Marshall, who played quarterback at Auburn, is seeking a position change and attempting an NFL career as a defensive back, and showed up to his Pro Day 10 pounds heavier than he was at the Combine only weeks before. At six-foot-one and nearly 215 pounds, Marshall is gaining the size to play defensive back in the NFL, and he makes for an interesting mid-round selection for a team hoping to experiment with him.
The Steelers have had success with converted collegiate quarterbacks, as Antwan Randel-El served as a dual-threat cornerback at Indiana University before switching positions and becoming a second round pick of the Steelers in 2002. Randall Cobb, Julian Edelman, Brad Smith and Denard Robinson all played quarterback in college and have enjoyed success as a result of their position changes.
Marshall was recruited as a cornerback out of high school, so it's not as if he lacks an experience with the position, and the Steelers will be among the teams who take a good look at the former Tigers star.