With the Senior Bowl well underway down in Mobile, Alabama, the news is coming fast and furious about which guys are rising and which guys aren’t. Pittsburgh Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin has made no secret about the fact that he loves this time of year. He thrives on the journey that is adding young talent to his team and the Senior Bowl is the first step in that process. With General Manager Omar Khan and others in tow, Tomlin has been one of the more active coaches on the field.
It should come as no surprise that Tomlin has paid special attention to the guys in the trenches. Ohio State defensive lineman Michael Hall chatted with Tomlin today. He’s a defensive tackle-type who would fit well with Keeanu Benton. Yesterday he spent some time with Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton and Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson. Both of those guys are likely first or early second round guys.
But Tomlin also made his way to the skill guys as well chatting up numerous defensive backs, corners and safeties alike. And he also was pretty locked in on Michigan WR Roman Wilson who has had a brilliant couple of days. Wilson would be a perfect slot receiver option in my opinion.
What’s most important to take from Tomlin’s persistent activity is that every guy he speaks with isn’t necessarily on the Steelers’ radar. He loves to chat guys up for any reason but he also uses conversation to learn about other players that may in fact be targets of the Steelers. He’s commented on many of these situations in the past. It’s also a way for Tomlin to network. He knows many of these young men will be around for the next few months and some won’t get drafted. That means they’re available in free agency. Building those relationships can help convince players to come to the Steelers.
If you learn nothing else about how Tomlin operates during the lead up to the draft it’s this; he’s a hustler. Not in the con man sense but in the sense that he never stops getting to know guys and watching guys. It’s not a guarantee for getting every draft pick right but it’s a leg up towards doing just that.