No, you haven’t stumbled across an article from two weeks ago. Even though the 2023 NFL Draft Pro Day schedule has been over for two weeks, we always happen to come across a couple of names after the fact to add to our list. And this one is a big one.
Thanks to a Twitter follower who tipped me off and had me go hunting for a photo, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Assistant GM Andy Weidl attended the Tennessee Volunteers’ Pro Day to watch their handful of top prospects headlined by OT Darnell Wright.
We already knew OL Coach Pat Meyer attended the workout and having Weidl making the trip with him is all the more notable when it comes to evaluating Wright’s odds of being in play for Pittsburgh as early as #17. Historically, the Steelers’ first round pick has the head coach and/or general manager attending, something that’s been true of every pick since at least 2010. While Weidl is only the assistant GM, his presence matters and technically checks that box.
So why weren’t Mike Tomlin or Omar Khan there? They were just finishing up the League Meetings in Arizona and had too tight of a turnaround to make it back out on the Pro Day trail. Essentially, all their Pro Day stops were concluded prior to the league meetings and in their place, Weidl finally got to leave Pittsburgh and hit up a couple of schools. So far, we’ve spotted him at Penn State and now Tennessee.
The only odd thing is a lack of a pre-draft visit for Wright. Assuming all the scheduled players with visits did come in, Wright wasn’t part of that group. We know all the 30 allotted names Pittsburgh brought in. If the Steelers were that interested in Wright, a visit would’ve made sense. Still, Wright attended the Senior Bowl and the Combine so Tomlin/Khan and the rest of the organization had a chance to sit down with him throughout the process.
Pittsburgh has made serious strides to upgrade its offensive line, starters and depth, this offseason and are expected to continue to do so on draft day. They could draft two linemen, an interior player and a tackle, to finish out the room. Wright is regarded as a potential first-round pick most commonly viewed as a late Day One guy. But if Pittsburgh likes him enough, there’s nothing stopping them from taking him at #17.
Another Volunteers’ prospect of note is WR Cedric Tillman, who came into Pittsburgh for a visit on Friday. With good size, he battled injuries in 2022 but had a big 2021 season, averaging more than 16 yards per catch with 12 touchdowns. You can read our reports on Wright and Tillman below.