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Steelers work out 9 offensive players ahead of Week 17

Pittsburgh works out two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, three tackles, a tight end, and a running back who once ate seven pounds of steak in one sitting.

Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Adrian Martinez (9) drops back to pass during the third quarter against the Texas Longhorns at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a busy Thursday for the Steelers, who worked out nine offensive players today per NFL reporter Aaron Wilson.

The tryout list includes two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, three tackles, a running back, and a tight end.

At quarterback, the Steelers worked out rookies Adrian Martinez and Matthew McKay. Martinez is a dual-threat who played college football at Nebraska and Kansas State. In his final year of college, Martinez passed for 1,261 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception, adding 627 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. The 6’2, 220-pound passer has spent time on the Detroit Lions’ practice squad this season.

McKay played college football at NC State, Montana State, and Elon, and is a threat as a runner much like Martinez. The 6’4, 212-pound quarterback threw for 2,690 yards, 21 touchdowns, and four interceptions his final year of college football, adding 458 yards and three additional touchdowns on the ground.

At wide receiver, Pittsburgh tried out two more rookies in Xavier “Zay” Malone and Keilahn Harris. Malone played college football at Henderson State, recording 67 catches for 1,382 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2022. The speedy, 5’9, 180-pound receiver spent time with the Atlanta Falcons this year. Harris is also a former Falcon. The 5’10, 180-pound receiver played for Oklahoma Baptist in 2022, recording 80 catches for 1,050 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Steelers also worked out three offensive tackles in Tyler Beach, Devery Hamilton, and Hunter Thedford. Beach played college football at Wisconsin. The 6’6, 290-pound lineman started nine games in 2022 at both guard and tight end. He was an All-Big Ten honorable mention by coaches in 2021. Hamilton played college football at Stanford and Duke, earning starts at both guard and tackle spots over his college career. The 6’6, 311-pound lineman has spent time on the Giants and Raiders’ practice squads.

Thedford was originally a tight end when he entered the NFL, having played the position at SMU and Utah. However, he switched to offensive tackle at the NFL level despite being undersized at 6’6, 260 pounds. Thedford has reportedly bulked up to 290 during his NFL career, having spent time with the Lions, Patriots, Broncos, and Browns.

The Steelers also worked out a running back today in Derek Parish, a 2023 seventh-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Parish is a jack of all trades type of player, having played linebacker, defensive end, and fullback in college. You’ll also see him listed at tight end and running back now at the NFL level. Parish was a team captain at the University of Houston, recording 20 total tackles and five sacks in his final collegiate season. At 6’2 and 245 pounds, it’s no surprise that Parish made the positional switch to fullback/running back at the professional level. He fits a similar profile to current Steelers practice squad member Jack Colletto, a linebacker/fullback/special teams ace.

In his junior year of college, Parish reportedly downed seven pounds of steak in one sitting to win an eating competition between offensive and defensive linemen at the University of Houston, per the Houston Chronicle.

Pittsburgh also worked out tight end Johnny Lumpkin, a rookie who played college football at Louisiana. In his final year of college football, the 6’5, 264-pound tight end recorded 16 catches for 243 yards and four touchdowns. In the NFL, he’s spent time with the Colts and Patriots.

As noted by Steelers reporter Nick Farabaugh, these workouts likely have nothing to do with the remainder of the 2023 season, and are instead the Steelers getting a head start on scouting names for potential reserve/future contracts for the offseason.

As for this season, the Steelers next take the field on Sunday when they play the Seattle Seahawks at 4:05 p.m. ET.