2023 NFL Draft

Breaking Down The Steelers’ Combine Meetings – What Do They Tell Us?

With only 45 formal interviews per team, who the Pittsburgh Steelers talk to at the NFL Combine actually matters. Over 300 players attend, meaning the Steelers and the rest of the NFL must be selective with who they choose. There’s a level of strategy and resource-management to it, you probably don’t need to talk to the guy you already spoke with at the Senior Bowl, but oftentimes the Steelers’ area of focus helps put in perspective the general direction they’re going to go. In 2020, the league increased the length of the interviews, 15 to 18 minutes, but reduced the total from 60 to 45. That mark has remained post-COVID.

Thanks to the great work of our Jonathan Heitritter and Joe Clark who were in Indy all week for the 2023 NFL Combine, we have a strong list of confirmed formal interviews the Steelers conducted. Of the possible 45, we know of 37 confirmed interviews with a handful of others that aren’t clear if they were formal or not. You can check out the complete list of names at the link here, but of the known 37, here’s how they break down by position.


QB: 0
RB: 0
WR: 3
TE: 1
OT: 3
iOL: 3



DL: 5
ILB: 6
CB: 7
S: 3


A very heavy defensive slant here. 27 on defense, ten on offense. It’s worth pointing out the team had a ton of informal interviews with offensive linemen and running backs but not of their allotted 45 “formal” meetings. No quarterbacks and no running backs come as no surprise. Ditto tight end with just one known formal, Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer. Only three receivers is lower than I expected and perhaps a signal the team is confident in Calvin Austin making an impact next year. Overall, the formals are a little lighter on the o-line. They spoke with the top tackles in Broderick Jones, Paris Johnson, and Peter Skoronski and probably passed on talking to other top tackles like Darnell Wright and Dawand Jones considering they were at the Senior Bowl. The top three names are underclassmen so this is the team’s first exposure, making Combine formals important.

Defensively, the 27 were spread out fairly evenly. Five defensive linemen, six EDGE rushers, six inside linebackers, and seven corners. Needs across the board exist heading into free agency so it’s logical the Steelers are paying close attention to those groups. A strong cornerback class also has their attention, especially with Cam Sutton a pending free agent who isn’t guaranteed to be re-signed. He won’t come cheap.

Speaking to the media at the Combine, GM Omar Khan kept things close to the vest and didn’t spend much time discussing the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s draft class. But on at least one occasion, he rolled through a list of strong position groups and mentioned offensive line, defensive line, and cornerback. Which just so happens to align with arguable needs with the team and gels pretty well with their Combine formal interviews. None of this is a shock, of course, but it helps reinforce the direction the team is headed.

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