Today is Boise State’s Pro Day and by initial accounts, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a special trip out to see linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. According to Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline, the team met with him prior to today’s Pro Day. Pauline says:
“A large crowd is expected to be on hand for Leighton Vander Esch. The linebacker met with the Pittsburgh Steelers last night and will be drafted somewhere in the middle of round one.”
It’s unclear exactly who met with him though usually that wording is a sign that it’s one of the decision makers, i.e. Kevin Colbert and/or Mike Tomlin. Once they kick off their Pro Day shortly, we should know for sure who from the organization is in attendance. There’s decent odds it’s Colbert, Tomlin, and ILB coach Jerry Olsavsky.
If you’re excited about the meeting, the downside comes in the last part of Pauline’s sentence. According to him, LVE is expected to get drafted in the middle of round one, well before Pittsburgh picks at 28. If that’s true, then the Steelers will need to trade up to get him. While those odds are always going to be unlikely, if Colbert’s statement that this ILB class lacks playmakers is honest, and the team feels Vander Esch is one of the few exceptions, they could make a big jump to go get him.
Read our scouting report on him below. We’ll update this story when we get word of what Steelers showed up to watch him workout.
UPDATE (12:21 PM)
According to this tweet, ILB coach Jerry Olsavsky is likely in attendance.
Sounds like it won’t be a madhouse at Boise State Pro Day like some expected. Several teams will bring in Vander Esch for a visit and don’t need to travel just to see him do position drills. Steelers LB coach among those scheduled to attend though.
— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) April 3, 2018