The Steelers have been doing work when it comes to meeting with prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Steelers in particular are showing a lot of interest in the positions of need that team president Art Rooney II mentioned in his press conference not too long ago.
We, as fans, have been clamoring for it, and the Steelers are without a doubt looking into just about every possible edge defender in this class.
Joe Rutter of Tribune Review, reported that the Steelers have met with multiple edge defenders.
Alabama's Tim Williams and Temple's Haason Reddick have meetings with Steelers tonight. FSU's DeMarcus Walker also has met with them.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) March 4, 2017
Wisconsin OLB T.J. Watt, younger brother of JJ, is another pass rusher who will meet with Steelers tonight.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) March 4, 2017
Tim Williams has off field questions but is arguably the best pass rusher Nick Saban’s team has turned out in the past 5 or so years. Haason Reddick is tweener that could move to become an off ball LB but has special coverage ability and potential as a pass rusher. Demarcus Walker was very productive at FSU but is not considered to be a very good athlete.
TJ Watt has bloodlines, a great work ethic and passion for the game. He’s a great fit for what the Steelers want to do with their 3-4 OLBs as he’s dropped into coverage and can hold the point of attack against the run.
Jon Ledyard of InsidethePylon.com and Scout.com reported that the Steelers met with Youngstown State edge defender Derek Rivers.
Derek Rivers said he met with #Steelers in a formal interview. Met with Joey Porter. Talked player to coach with him (h/t @LedyardNFLDraft)— Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) March 4, 2017
This is the 2nd time the Steelers have met with Derek Rivers, as they already met with him at the senior bowl. The fact they have had a 2nd meeting with him indicates real interest from the team. Rivers is one of my favorite edge defenders in this class as well so this makes me excited.
Then, Mark Kaboly of DKPittsburghSports.com reported that the Steelers met with Ejuan Price of Pitt.
Pitt's Ejuan Price had a sit down interview with Joey Porter. Said it was a great experience.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) March 4, 2017
He’s right in their backyard so it does not shock me the Steelers would interview him. Price is undersized but he makes up for it with great pass rush ability and natural leverage. He’s a guy who could be had in the latter rounds of the draft too with his size questions and injury history.
But wait there’s even more! According to Jacob Klinger of PennLive.com, the Steelers met with Ryan Anderson, JoJo Mathis (Yay!), Devonte Fields, Fadol Brown, Tashawn Bower, and Duke Riley.
Alabama OLB Ryan Anderson says he's no boloney sandwich, but is a steak and egg sandwich — toasted or not.— Jacob Klinger (@Jacob_Klinger_) March 4, 2017
A lot of players indeed. Ryan Anderson has a high floor but not a very high ceiling and could be quite a solid player in the league. JoJo Mathis is one of my absolute favorite players in this draft and I’ve not hidden my desire for him to be a Steeler. Devonte Fields was a talented pass rusher dismissed from TCU and got another chance at Louisville but his lack of effort on tape concerns me a lot.
Fadol Brown looks more like an interior defensive linemen but played on the edge at Ole Miss. He intrigued quite a bit when someone told me he was a sleeper in this class. Plays with heavy hands for sure and sets a hard edge.
Tashawn Bower was somebody I didn’t know about and hadn’t watched (still haven’t). Played at a LSU and from what I’ve read about him from various sites, he’s athletic and has length but is quite raw. Reminds me of when I read about Danielle Hunter back in 2015, hard to tell if he’ll be like him in the pros.
Duke Riley also played at LSU but unlike his teammate, he played off the ball and like him was also quite athletic. Very interesting that they’ve been showing interest in these really athletic off ball LBs.
I also was listening to a interview at the podium during the combine and he confirmed that he indeed will be meeting formally with the Steelers. He only confirmed two meetings before he realized that his agent told him not to tell people who he was going to meet with.
You can watch it here.
Defense is the theme and edge defenders are what the Steelers are looking at.