It should come as no surprise to see multiple selections of the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers draft class come from their pre-draft visit pool. As we told you in our mock draft guide, it’s wise to choose a couple (but not too many) names from the list.
“Pre-draft visitor list as a guide – The Steelers are allowed 30 pre-draft visitors outside of their local area every year. Additionally, local college players out of Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Kent State, or players who are from the Pittsburgh area, can come in for visits and not count against the 30. Luckily for us, we know who all of this year’s Steelers pre-draft visitors were and you can find that list here. It’s a good bet that two to four players on this year’s pre-draft visitor list will ultimately be selected by the Steelers.”
That’s exactly what happened in 2019. Three of the Steelers nine selections came from that list of 30.
WR Diontae Johnson
CB Justin Layne
ILB Ulysees Gilbert III
Right in line with what the team has done the past five years.
2018: 1 (Marcus Allen)
2017: 2 (Josh Dobbs, Keion Adams)
2016: 3 (Jerald Hawkins, Sean Davis, Javon Hargrave)
2015: 3 (Senquez Golson, Sammie Coates, Doran Grant)
2014: 6 (Shaq Richardson, Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt, Martavis Bryant, Jordan Zumwalt, Rob Blanchflower)
It’s worth pointing out that while there are exceptions like 2014, most years, only 2-3 players get selected from the Top 30 list. So going overboard on prospects in mock drafts are unlikely to come true, even if you improve your “hit” rare.
One other note. While it’s rare for the Steelers to draft a non-combine invite, the two they’ve taken the last five years have each been brought in for pre-draft visits. Adams in 2017 and Gilbert this year. That’s important. The visit allows the team to see the prospect face-to-face and get an accurate medical evaluation, two things the Combine provides.
We might bump this post up for next year’s draft (only 50 shopping weeks left!) but I wanted to circle back to what happened during the draft. Reinforces what we’ve been saying around here for awhile in addition to all the other “clues” the draft gives. They were again consistent with their 1st round selection, choosing an athletic, underclassmen from a Power 5 conference the Steelers’ brass had a Pro Day dinner with.