The 2022 NFL Draft Pro Days are in the books and we’re closing in on Day One of this year’s draft in Las Vegas. If you’ve followed along this offseason, you’ve probably seen our Pro Day tracker, keeping tabs on where the Pittsburgh Steelers are hitting the Pro Day trail. Everyone from Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin down to their area scouts.
The link we had threw a lot of information at you guys and was laid out in chronological order. Today, we’ll take the most important pieces of info in a more digestible format to get you ready for this year’s draft.
To be clear, this is not intended to be complete, 100% accurate information. The only ones who have that are the individual schools and of course, those who work for the team. But this is as accurate and complete a list you’ll find probably for any team in the league. But there are things I’m sure were missed. Just want to be upfront about that.
Let’s start with the most important piece of info from our tracker. Where HC Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert attended this year. The Steelers’ first round pick has had one or both men attend his Pro Day every year since 2010. In 2022, Tomlin attended eight Pro Days while Colbert attended a whopping 13 of them. Here is where they went with the ones attended solo by Colbert noted.
Mike Tomlin/Kevin Colbert Pro Day Trips
Notre Dame (Colbert Only)
North Carolina (Colbert Only)
Duke (Colbert Only)
NC State (Colbert Only)
Alabama (Colbert Only)
Since we began heavily tracking things in 2017, here’s the number of schools both men have attended year-by-year (2020 excluded due to COVID):
Tomlin – 8
Colbert – 13
Tomlin – 9
Colbert – 9
Tomlin – 4
Colbert – 10
Tomlin – 7
Colbert – 9
Tomlin – 7
Colbert – 8
Tomlin’s eight schools in 2022 nearly tied his high of nine from 2021. Colbert easily visited the most schools since at least 2017, besting his previous mark of ten in 2019. Lot of work done this year as the team got eyes on as many quarterbacks as they could. As you’ll see below, Colbert attended more schools than anyone we have listed, including all the area scouts. He put in as much work, if not more, than anyone else.
Let’s check out where the Steelers’ coordinators touched down.
OC Matt Canada – Pittsburgh, Liberty, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, North Carolina
DC Teryl Austin – Pittsburgh
ST Danny Smith – Wake Forest
Pretty light work. Canada the busiest, going to see the top five quarterbacks in this class. Only spotted Austin at Pitt and Smith at Wake Forest, where they have an accurate and potentially draftable kicker, though I don’t expect the Steelers to burn a pick on one.
Let’s look at the same for the positional coaches.
QB Coach Mike Sullivan – Nevada, Cincinnati*
RB Coach Eddie Faulkner – None
WR Coach Frisman Jackson – Georgia*, Clemson*, SMU
Asst WR Coach Blaine Stewart – Ohio State, West Virginia
TE Coach Alfredo Roberts – None
OL Coach Pat Meyer – Minnesota, Texas A&M
Asst OL Coach Isaac Williams – None
Offensive Asst Matt Tomsho – South Dakota State
DL Coach Karl Dunbar – Texas A&M
LB Coach Brian Flores – Georgia*, Clemson*, Penn State
LB Coach Jerry Olsavsky – Penn State
Asst LB Coach Denzel Martin – None
DB Coach Grady Brown – Penn State, Alabama*, LSU*
*Notes attendance alongside Tomlin and/or Colbert
Fairly quite on the positional coach front. Which is disappointing knowing how important that is for second round picks and beyond. Just 15 visits in total from the main position group list (excluding assistants) with seven of them being trips alongside Tomlin and/or Colbert.
No known trips for Faulkner and Roberts, which makes sense after last year’s high investments in Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth. Sullivan took a rare trip out west to watch Nevada’s Carston Strong. Jackson personally worked out Georgia’s George Pickens and Clemson’s Justyn Ross while SMU’s Danny Gray is the name to watch there. Stewart went in place of Tomlin/Colbert for the Ohio State wideouts. He also has ties to WVU.
Meyer was on-hand at Minnesota for hulking OT Daniel Faalele while Texas A&M has a first-round candidate in OG Kenyon Green. Tomsho was at SDSU for QB Chris Oladokun and RB Pierre Strong.
Defensively, Dunbar was at A&M for DL DeMarvin Leal and Jayden Peevy. Flores was at Georgia for guys like LBs Nakobe Dean and Quay Walker, Justin Skalski at Clemson, and Brandon Smith/Ellis Brooks at Penn State. Ditto for Olvasky in Happy Valley. Brown saw guys like S Jaquan Brisker and CB Tariq Castro-Fields at PSU, names like CB Josh Jobe at Alabama, and CB Derrick Stingley Jr. and Cordale Flott at LSU.
Let’s finish things off with where the Steelers’ scouts and front office executives were spotted.
Steelers’ Scouts/Front Office
Rick Reiprish – 11 schools (UAB, Georgia Tech, SC State, South Carolina, Jackson State, Miss State, Ole Miss, Memphis, Florida, Florida A&M, Florida St)
Kelvin Fisher – 8 schools (Oklahoma, Tulsa, Arizona St, Colorado, Nevada, USC, SMU, Colorado State)
Brandon Hunt – 7 schools (Liberty, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Maryland, Western Kentucky, Kentucky)
Mark Bruener – 7 schools (UCLA, Colorado, Utah, BYU, Washington St, Washington, Boise St)
Dan Rooney Jr. – 7 schools (Georgia, Liberty, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, LSU)
Phil Kreidler – 6 schools (Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa St, South Dakota St, North Dakota St, Purdue)
Mark Gorscak – 6 schools (Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Houston, SE Louisiana, LSU)
Dave Petett – 5 schools (Northwestern, Wisconsin, Pitt, Penn St, Boston College)
Fawwaz Izzuddin – 5 schools (Kansas St, Kansas, Virginia Tech, Virginia, James Madison)
Omar Khan – 3 schools (Pitt, Cincinnati, LSU)
Mike Butler – 2 schools (West Virginia, Maryland)
Chidi Iwuoma – 2 schools (Texas, Fresno State)
Dennis MacInnis – 1 school (Stanford)
Bruce McNorton – 1 school (UCF)
It was the spring of Rick Reiprish, the senior scout who covers the south we saw more than anyone else. Hunt was pretty active on the trail and joined Colbert/Tomlin to watch Malik Willis, Matt Corral, Desmond Ridder, and Sam Howell (he was also probably at Pitt’s Pro Day but we did not confirm). Khan, in the running to be Steelers’ GM, was spotted at Pickett’s and Ridder’s Pro Days.
Kreidler is one of the higher-ups in the front office. His inclusion at places like Minnesota and the Dakotas is interesting. Izzuddin is an intern who went to places with different school Pro Days grouped together. Kansas and Kansas State being around the same time. Ditto with Virginia and Virginia Tech and James Madison. We spotted Butler on the trail for the first time since 2019. MacInnis was *probably* at Oregon’s Pro Day, his alma mater, but we couldn’t confirm anything beyond Stanford. McNorton is always a hard man to find on the trail, only spotting him once this year.
With the schools listed next to each, you should get a feel for the area these guys cover. Scouts are broken up into areas of the country to make travel easier and their work more focused, seeing teams in the same conference from your area playing against each other, for example.
Reiprish covers the South/Southeast, Fisher Midwest/Southwest, Bruener the West, Gorscak the South, Petett the North/Northeast, Butler has been more of a Mid-Atlantic/East Coast guy, and Iwuoma, recently transitioning from BLESTO to area scout, seems to be covering the West/Southwest.
Lastly, here is the list of seven Pro Days we can confidently say the team did not attend based on school’s reporting what teams did attend their Pro Days. They are:
Pro Days The Steelers Did *Not* Attend
Notable prospects from this list include Montana State LB Troy Anderson, Miami (OH) LB/S Sterling Weatherford, Utah State WR Deven Thompkins, UConn DL Travis Jones, Idaho NT Noah Elliss, and Wyoming LB Chad Muma. The fact the team didn’t even send a scout to these Pro Days is generally a poor sign of them being on the Steelers’ radar. Anderson, Jones, and Muma are the highest touted names from this group.