The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t hidden their intentions to revamp the trenches this offseason. They have signed outside free agents OGs Nate Herbig and Isaac Seumalo and OT Le’Raven Clark so far and have met with several of the top OL prospects in this year’s draft class at the all-star games and the NFL Combine.
Currently, the Steelers are expected to bring in several of the top OL prospects for pre-draft visits, including OT Dawand Jones, OG O’Cyrus Torrence, and C John Michael-Schmitz. Per NFL Draft analyst Ryan Roberts, they are bringing in another big name for a top 30 visit in Pittsburgh as he reported that TCU OL Steve Avila is scheduled to meet with the Steelers.
Avila fits the mold of what Pittsburgh is looking for along the offensive line, standing 6’3 3/4”, 332lb with 33” arms. He has extensive experience, playing in 46 games for the Horned Frogs, starting 35 with 17 at center, two at tackle, 15 at guard. He started at left guard in 2022, logging 899 snaps, and allowed zero sacks. Avila was recognized as a first-team AP All-Big 12 selection this past season and also was a 2022 consensus All-American thanks to his level of play.
Ross McCorkle completed Avila’s draft profile for the site, having this to say about the big interior blocker’s game:
Avila’s game is not flashy, rarely mauling anyone in the run game or showing that nastiness that the guard position is known for, but he does have a solid grasp of the fundamentals and knows how to use his body mass to his advantage. His knee bend creates natural leverage, and his wide base helps him keep his hips square. Those are a lot of the things that other linemen work at for years. At 23, and with a lot of games under his belt in college, his experience shows, and you have to question the ceiling with someone who already has a good handle on his overall technique. He will work best in a gap or inside zone running scheme, but his troubles pulling or moving in space to the second level will limit him. Gap teams like to pull their guards and he lost a lot of reps pulling at TCU.
McCorkle gave Avila a third-round grade, calling him a Late Day Two/Early Day Three selection in this year’s draft. The Steelers have already overhauled the guard position. But given Avila’s experience playing center –and the fact that he fits the mold of what Pittsburgh is looking for in big movers up front –perhaps Avila could be in play in the middle rounds of the draft as a guy that can add depth to the interior of the offensive line and eventually push C Mason Cole for the starting job.