NFL Draft

2018 Steelers Pre-Draft Visits: An Analysis

Later this week or early next, I’m going to revisit an article I did last year studying the Pittsburgh Steelers pre-draft visits and how they draft around it. But for now, with Wednesday being the last day to bring in players for those visits, let’s do a quick recap of the players the team brought in.

In all, they had 24 players reported or announced for a visit. The only player reported but never confirmed by the team was Ohio State ILB Chris Worley. We don’t often hear about all 30 players either; last year, we had a list of 29. You can view the entire list here.

There were also two known local visits that don’t count against the 30.

WR Quadree Henderson/Pitt
WR Justin Watson/Penn

West Virginia safety Kyzir White reportedly was going to visit, he would’ve also been considered local, but I can’t say with 100% confidence if that actually happened or not.

Let’s break down the 24 non-local players.

Offense: 7
Defense: 17

Pretty obvious slant to the defense though that’s no surprise. Last year, they brought in nine on offense and 20 defensively.

By position group, here’s how they look.

ILB: 8
DL: 4
WR: 3
S: 3
CB: 2
QB: 1
RB: 1
FB: 1
OT: 1

Inside linebacker runs away with this one, double the next group. Not a huge surprise given the need there but still, worth noting. Kevin Colbert said this ILB class was weak and clearly, he’s trying to find an exception.

It’s fair to say there was more of a Day Three/UDFA focus on this group than previous ones. Projections are subjective but here’s a rough look at the players brought in by the Day they’re projected to be selected on.

Day One: 2
Day Two: 8
Day Three: 14

The two first rounders I consider are Leighton Vander Esch and Justin Reid. And of course, a Steelers’ first rounder isn’t brought in very often anymore so frankly, it doesn’t have much in the way of predictive powers.

The Day Two players: WR Christian Kirk, DL BJ Hill, ILB Malik Jefferson, ILB Darius Leonard, CB Duke Dawson, CB M.J. Stewart, S Marcus Allen, S Tarvarius Moore.

The rest are Day Three types with several possibly falling out of the draft entirely: QB Brogan Roback, RB Reggie Bonnafon, FB John David Moore, WR Russell Gage Jr, OT Jordan Mailata, DE Curtis Cothran, ILB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, ILB Jermaine Carter Jr.

Pittsburgh always brings in a section of UDFA types but this class would be considered on the high-end of things. That’s eight players in that category, or 31% of the group.

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