During draft season, we’re usually on top of things to tell you where coaches and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ front office are in attendance. But occasionally, where they aren’t is just as telling. Outside linebacker’s coach Joey Porter did not attend Houston’s Pro Day yesterday, a source told Steelers Depot.
What makes that interesting is Houston has one linebacker commonly linked to going to Pittsburgh at 30th overall – Tyus Bowser. But with Porter showing up, the chances of Bowser becoming a Steeler seemed to have taken a hit.
Porter has been to practically every other Pro Day with a top pass rusher. He was at Missouri to watch Charles Harris. At Youngstown State to watch Derek Rivers. Ditto with Auburn’s Carl Lawson and Wisconsin’s pair of pass rushers, Vince Biegel and TJ Watt.
But for Bowser, he was not there. And it’s not like there was a busy slate of other Pro Days yesterday. Houston was the biggest name on tap. Here’s the rest of the schedule, per Sporting News’ masterlist.
Appalachian State: 9 a.m.
Cal Poly: 8:30 a.m.
Houston: 2 p.m.
Monmouth: 10 a.m.
Morgan State: 9 a.m.
Rice: 8:30 a.m.
Villanova: 9 a.m.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Steelers aren’t drafting anyone from Monmouth in the first round.
Bowser seemed like an attractive name because he’s a strong athlete and played on his feet, dropping into coverage maybe more than any other EDGE prospect in this year’s draft. There’s obvious comparisons to Bud Dupree, who profiled similarly coming out of Kentucky in 2015.
And while it’s still not impossible for Bowser to be their pick, we’ll see if he’s brought in for a pre-draft visit, the fact the Steelers didn’t send anyone of note to watch him work out and meet with him is a big red flag.
What options are still on the table at EDGE for Pittsburgh at 30? It sounds like a choice of four guys: Lawson, Rivers, Watt, and Jordan Willis. I’m sure at least two of those guys will come in for a visit; definitely Rivers since Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert couldn’t attend his Pro Day.