2023 NFL Draft

2023 Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Day Review – What Did We Learn?

The 2023 NFL Draft Pro Day circuit has wrapped up for the year. While there are a handful of individual workouts during the month of April, all the formal school events are over (except for apparently Montana State on the 5th).

Dave Bryan and I have had what I would consider our most successful Steelers spottings on the Pro Day trail. While this shouldn’t be considered a 100% complete or exhaustive list, we found more Steelers scouts and coaches at schools this year than ever before. And outside of NFL teams and organizations, I don’t think anyone has as complete a list that we do. If you missed the chronological order of the tracker, you can check it out by clicking here, though the results will be shown in this article.

In total, we know the Steelers attended at least 91 Pro Days this year, and we were able to specifically identify one member at 89 of them. That’s up from tracking 75 Pro Days in 2022 with names at 68 of them.

But what does it all mean? What are the takeaways? That’s our focus today. Summarizing all our Pro Day tracking, seeing who went where, and how it could help us predict who the Steelers will draft later this month.

We’ll start by analyzing and recapping where head coach Mike Tomlin and GM Omar Khan attended this year. In total, they were at seven schools.

Mike Tomlin/Omar Khan Pro Day Trips

Iowa State
Ohio State

– They attended all seven Pro Days together. Last year, Tomlin attended eight Pro Days while Kevin Colbert attended 13. Some of that was due to the team’s “QB tour” while searching for Ben Roethlisberger’s replacement. In 2021, a more “normal” year, each attended nine. So the numbers are down slightly compared to a year ago. Perhaps some of that can be blamed on NFL Owners Meetings that likely caused Tomlin/Khan to miss a trip or two. In a separate article, we’ll do another dive into the prospects who fit best to be the team’s pick at #17 based off that data.

Now let’s look at where the team’s coordinators and positional coaches were this year.

Coordinators/Positional Coaches Trips

Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada: None
Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin: Clemson, Georgia, Iowa State, Penn State (4)
Special Teams Coordinator Danny Smith: Clemson, Georgia (2)
QBs Coach Mike Sullivan: None
RBs Coach Eddie Faulkner: Pitt (1)
WRs Coach Frisman Jackson: Pitt (1)
TEs Coach Alfredo Roberts: Michigan, Penn State (2)
OL Coach Pat Meyer: Northwestern, Ohio State, Alabama, N.C. State, Tennessee (5)
DL Coach Karl Dunbar: Clemson, Bowling Green, Western Kentucky (3)
LB Coach Aaron Curry: Tulane, Wisconsin (2)
DBs Coach Grady Brown: Alabama, Penn State, Michigan, Pittsburgh (4)
Offensive Quality Control Coach Matt Tomsho: Pittsburgh (1)

– It’s certainly worth noting we didn’t spot Matt Canada anywhere this year. Last year, we spotted him at five Pro Days, though they were for all the top quarterbacks alongside Tomlin and Colbert. In 2021, we spotted him three times. Perhaps he was somewhere and we missed it, but I like to think he’s a face we would’ve seen. Compare his goose egg to Teryl Austin’s four trips and that’s definitely notable. Last year, we only saw Austin at one and that was Pittsburgh. Not exactly much of a “trip.”

– No one was as busy as Steelers o-line coach Pat Meyer. Five trips this season, which is just about the max you’re going to see from a Steelers positional coach. Last year, no positional coach attended more than three Pro Days with Meyer only attending two.

– DBs Coach Grady Brown had the second-most stops, though one of them was at Pitt. Interestingly Danny Smith had a pair of trips this year. He had just one last year but three in 2021, when he went and watched two punters with the team drafting one of them in Pressley Harvin III.

Now let’s look at those who aren’t labeled as area scouts or something essentially equivalent. I give them a little more weight than the area scouts.

Higher-Ranking Front Office Personnel

Dan Rooney Jr. 12 (South Carolina, Clemson, Iowa State, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Duke, North Carolina, East Carolina, Wake Forest, Appalachian State, UNC-Charlotte)
Mark Sadowski: 7 (Northwestern, UCLA, USC, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State)
Dan Colbert: 4 (Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, North Dakota State)
Sheldon White: 3 (Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh)
Dave Petett: 2 (Boston College, Pittsburgh)
Andy Weidl: 2 (Penn State, Tennessee)

– An active year for that bunch, especially Rooney Jr. By comparison, we saw him only seven times last year. Worth noting Omar Khan mentioned that Mark Sadowski, Sheldon White, and Dan Colbert will help set Andy Weidl’s draft board, so I pay extra attention to where those guys are. Sadowski was active all over the country whereas everyone else seemed to have more of a “zone.”

– Only two stops for Weidl, at Penn State. Very curious for your assistant GM with the scouting background to be this limited. He may have been in charge of handling day-to-day tasks and free agency while Tomlin and Khan were on the road, but I wonder if that’s what he had in mind when he signed on. At least it seems like his background influenced the team’s signings, nabbing former Eagles’ offensive linemen in Nate Herbig, Isaac Seumalo, and Le’Raven Clark. He seemed to fill in more when Tomlin/Khan were at the League Meetings.

Finally, we look at the team’s are scouts or title equivalent.

Area Scouts

Mark Gorscak: 12 (Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Toledo, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Ball State, Louisville, LSU)
Phil Kreidler: 10 (Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, Troy, Auburn, UAB, Alabama, Southern Miss, Jackson State, Mississippi State, UT-Chattanooga)
Kelvin Fisher: 10 (Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, Iowa State, Utah, BYU, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma)
Mike Butler: 8 (Army, Syracuse, Princeton, William & Mary, Old Dominion, West Virginia, Shepherd, Maryland)
Mark Bruener: 7 (Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Boise State, Washington State, Fresno State, Montana)
Chris Watts: 5 (La Tech, SMU, Houston, Baylor, Texas A&M)
Dennis MacInnis: 4 (North Carolina, East Carolina, NC State, UNC-Charlotte)
Casey Weidl: 3 (West Virginia, Shepherd, Duquesne)
Ike Taylor: 3 (Miami FL, Central Florida, Florida)
Chidi Iwuoma: 3 (Stanford, San Jose State, Lincoln CA)
Braunson Williams: 2 (Rutgers, West Virginia)
Anthony Rooney: 2 (Notre Dame, West Virginia)
Tosin Kazeem: 2 (Buffalo, Western Kentucky)
Merril Hoge: 1 (Texas)

– Gorscak’s 12 stops were one more than the most we observed of any area scout last year, Rick Reiprish’s 11. Last year, we only saw Gorscak at six schools. They changed his region for 2023 and we’ll nerd out about that in a separate post but he was a busy man in the Midwest/Mid-Atlantic.

– Beyond that, there aren’t a ton of notable takeaways. I thought we’d see Casey Weidl more than we did and when he did show up, it was very local. Taylor and Hoge are basically positional scouts so where they went is a little notable because they were going to see specific guys rather than covering a region.

Finally, a very quick note on the Pro Days I know the Steelers didn’t attend. I base that off when schools tweet the exact teams at one place and the Steelers aren’t listed. I don’t base it off just my visual of not seeing a Steeler there. That’d be reckless. But here are the schools.

Air Force
Western Florida

There are certainly others but those are just the ones off our tracker. Not a lot to take away from here, to be honest.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!