The Pittsburgh Steelers’ trend of scheduling trench guys for pre-draft visit continues. According to the Star-Tribune’s Andrew Krammer, Minnesota center John Michael-Schmitz has a pre-draft visit set with the Steelers.
So far, we have only been able to spot area scout Mark Bruener at Gophers’ Pro Day. There’s no word on whether OL Coach Pat Meyer was there, though his name was not included in Krammer’s tweet. Meyer was at Northwestern yesterday to watch Peter Skoronski, one of the first offensive linemen who will hear his name called this April.
Michael-Schmitz started 3 1/2 years at center for Minnesota and is regarded as a top center in this year’s draft class. Though he doesn’t have much experience at guard, he has the size to play guard in Pittsburgh’s system. At the NFL Combine, he weighed in at 6034, 301 pounds with 32 5/8 inch arms. On tape, he’s a nasty, physical player and a better athlete than how he tested.
In our pre-draft scouting report, Jonathan Heitritter praised Michael-Schmitz for his grip strength and ability to generate movement in the run game. Michael-Schmitz has a wrestling background and uses leverage well while also using his strength to anchor against bull and power rushes. However, we noted that Michael-Schmitz’s age, 24, and lack of high-end athleticism will hurt him. Overall, we placed a second-round grade on him with a comp to longtime NFL center Ben Jones.
Michael-Schmitz is the fifth known pre-draft visitor to be scheduled. He joins fellow OL Florida’s O’Cyrus Torrence and Ohio State’s Dawand Jones along with Florida DL Gervon Dexter. The only non-trench player with a reported Top 30 visit is Georgia CB Kelee Ringo. Follow our Steelers’ pre-draft visit tracker for the latest updates throughout the pre-draft process.
Check out our full report on John Michael-Schmitz below, along with two interviews we’ve conducted with him.