Steelers Join NFL in Preparing for Senior Bowl Week

Donnie Druin

After victories by the Chiefs and 49ers to decide their respective conference championship games, we now officially have our Super Bowl LIV matchup. While the last two teams remaining look to capture a Lombardi trophy, the offseason has officially started for 30 other teams to look towards free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Senior Bowl is a collegiate football all-star game featuring seniors from schools far and wide in their pursuit of being selected in the upcoming draft. Over 100 players are divided between a north/south squad led by NFL coaching staffs. This year’s game features the Detroit Lions handling the North team, while the Cincinnati Bengals lead the South squad.

In recent years, the popularity of the game has risen to significant levels thanks to the leadership of director Jim Nagy. Scouts, coaches and media are able to personally evaluate and interact with draft-caliber players throughout the week, providing a chance for players to get a head start in the draft process.

Despite not having a first round pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers will once again look to the draft to fill vital needs in one of the more pivotal off-seasons in recent memory. The team has confirmed they will be sending select staff to Mobile.

The Steelers haven’t particularly utilized the Senior Bowl as a pipeline for their draft plans despite having a presence the last few seasons.

Yet the lack of history only provides opportunity for the team to change course, and 2020’s Senior Bowl roster is as impressive as any in recent years. While it’s unlikely Pittsburgh will get the opportunity to draft high-profile talents such as Justin Herbert, many positions are deep in talent for the team to assess.

Potential positions of focus for the Steelers in the off-season are (in no order): Tight end, offensive guard, nose tackle and running back among other positions. While we are still distant from the team finding what they truly need, Pittsburgh will likely do their due diligence for a handful of positions at the Senior Bowl.

The following players are here in Mobile for the Steelers to evaluate and potentially interview further:

RB: Josh Kelly (UCLA), Eno Benjamin (ASU) Ke'Shawn Vaughn (Vanderbilt), 

TE: Brycen Hopkins (Purdue), Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt)

G: Logan Stenberg (Kentucky), John Simpson (Clemson), Jonah Jackson (Ohio State)

NT: Raekwon Davis (Alabama), Robert Windsor (Penn State), Neville Gallimore (Oklahoma) 

Could any of these players find themselves in Pittsburgh following the 2020 NFL Draft? While it’s entirely too early in the process to tell, the Steelers have an entire week to get their homework done in Mobile.

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