Without an official, NFL Combine, chances to meet face-to-face with draft prospects is more limited now than anytime in recent memory. So getting to talk with prospects at the 2020 Senior Bowl is critical and the Pittsburgh Steelers made time to speak with Notre Dame EDGE Daelin Hayes. According to a tweet from Justin Melo, Hayes says he met with the Steelers – along with virtually every other team – but called his meeting with Pittsburgh “great.”
Notre Dame EDGE Daelin Hayes met with 31 teams formally at the Senior Bowl, noting that the #Rams weren't present.
— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) February 1, 2021
Word of warning. Only so much stock can be put into these reports. It’s all valuable information but teams talk to most players throughout the draft process. The pre-draft interviews matter much more than these.
But Hayes is an enticing EDGE rusher, a position the Steelers need to add depth to. In nine games in 2020, he recorded three sacks and two forced fumbles while being named one of the Fighting Irish’s team captains. A 5th year senior, Hayes recorded nine sacks and four forced fumbles to go along with 97 tackles. A 2019 shoulder injury ended his season just four games in, allowing him to redshirt and come back for one final year.
Knowing all that, Hayes is likely to be a later Day Three selection. But Day Three is when the Steelers could look to add an OLB behind TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith. Ola Adeniyi and Cassius Marsh are best suited as #4/special teams types than rotational pass rushers.
At the Senior Bowl, Hayes weighed in at 6’3/6, 261 pounds with 32 inch arms. Look for a full scouting report on him later this draft season.