In a Monday pre-Pro Day press conference, Notre Dame EDGE rusher Daelin Hayes says he’s had multiple meetings with the Pittsburgh Steelers throughout the pre-draft process. Hayes says he met with GM Kevin Colbert and several scouts at the Senior Bowl. And last week, he had a formal Zoom meeting with Colbert and Mike Tomlin.
TE Tommy Tremble and WR Ben Skowronek also confirmed they’ve spoken with Pittsburgh. Skowronek said he met with the team at the Senior Bowl, where teams meet with virtually every prospect in attendance.
Hayes’ Zoom call is most notable. He expanded on his interactions with the Steelers.
“I’ve met with Coach Tomlin and Kevin Colbert,” he said. “We had a Zoom interview about a week-and-a-half ago. I met with Mr. Colbert and a few scouts down at the Senior Bowl. Very little of our conversations is ever about football. They’ve been interested in getting to know me as a young man. Kind of like some of the questions about the beginning of this interview. Things I’ve done in the community, what was my mindset, what inspires me. They’ve been amazing conversations.”
A fifth-year senior, Hayes left Notre Dame with 97 career tackles (20.5 for a loss) with nine sacks, four forced fumbles, and one interception. Elected team captain, he was lauded for his community work and named one of three finalists for the Jason Witten Man of the Year Award. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger ultimately took home the trophy.
In an aggregate of mock drafts, NFL Mock Draft Database has him listed as a 5th round pick. In our scouting report, we praised his versatility, effort, and pass rush plan but questioned his overall athleticism and play strength. He also has a lengthy shoulder injury history.
Here’s how I summed him up in my draft profile:
“Hayes could stick in the league as a special teamer. I can see him be effective running and hitting downfield covering kicks and punts. But he’s maxed out, he isn’t a starter, and I don’t even love him as a #3 outside linebacker.
In some ways, the limited athlete with medical concerns, he reminds me of Curtis Weaver, a 5th round pick last season the Steelers reportedly were interested in. His ceiling is someone like Anthony Chickillo. A role for him but yeah, not someone you’re banging the gavel to draft.”
Pittsburgh lacks EDGE depth behind TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith and will surely add at least another player during next month’s draft. Hayes could be on the team’s radar later into Day Three.
Skowronek measured in at the Senior Bowl at 6027, 211-pounds with a wingspan of 80 1/4-inches. His arms were 32 5/8-inches and his hands 10-inches.
In 2020, Skowronek caught 29 passes for 439 yards and five touchdowns after playing his first four seasons at Northwestern. He said Monday he was looking forward to showing off his speed at his pro day this week but that unfortunately he won’t run a 40-yard dash as he rehabs from a foot injury. He indicated he would unlikely be able to workout before the draft. He is projected as a late Day Three pick or priority undrafted free agent.
Tremble was an underutilized piece of the Notre Dame offense. Over the past two seasons, he caught 35 balls for 401 yards and four touchdowns. He said he considered returning to school for another season but felt declaring as a junior was the best decision for him and his family. Tremble is likely to be selected on Day Two of the draft and may be an option for a Steelers’ team looking for strong run blockers. Tremble might be the best run blocking tight end of his class.