The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to bring in prospects for official pre-draft visits leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. They have hosted a number of defenders, but not those big name players getting attention in mock drafts, etc. — until Saturday.
It is being reported by Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the team brought in Boise State inside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch for an official pre-draft visit over the weekend.
Leighton Vander Esch visited the UMPC Rooney Sports Complex Saturday for a top-30 visit, according to an industry source. The Steelers reportedly had dinner with Vander Esch the night before his pro day last week as well.
The Steelers have a huge need for an inside linebacker, and Vander Esch certainly looks as if he fits the proverbial bill. He is big and has the tangible skills to roam the middle of the field, as shown by his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.
While most feel the ultimate decision will be between Vander Esch and Rashaan Evans of Alabama, the Steelers are doing their homework on both. The team was present at the Boise State Pro Day, and took the linebacker to dinner the night before his pro day as well.
What does all this mean? Nothing really. The Steelers got to take a closer look at Vander Esch at their own facility. While these garner a lot of attention from fans, it can simply be the team doing diligence on prospects.
Interestingly enough, Mike Tomlin has talked openly about how he never turns down an opportunity to watch, and meet, with as many prospects as he can — even if there is no chance they will be available when the team selects in the first round. He mentioned meeting Joe Haden and Morgan Burnett during the draft process, and his knowledge of them helped the team in a big way when they brought them in as free agents.
Keep up-to-date with all of the Steelers pre-draft visitors, rumors and meetings with the BTSC Pre-Draft Visit Tracker.