Steelers Pro Day visits led by Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22) (Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22) (Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /
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We take a look back at which pro days were visited by Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and HC Mike Tomlin and what they could mean for the future. 

While a slow transition back to normalcy economically is in progress, canceled events such as the NFL combine remind us of the uncertainty of the year. The world’s current situation affected scheduling and attendance in  2020’s regular-season. We are seeing that effect continue in the makeup of rosters so far this offseason, especially for the Pittsburgh Steelers, scouting has become the newest area to see some changes.

After an already limited college football season for many teams, NFL teams and their personnel have not met in-person with any prospects until their pro days. What started in early-March, quickly became a sensation this past week as many headline names of the 2021 draft class did their part in showcasing themselves for the league.

Again, it’s the first time these players will have a chance to meet their futures, and perhaps it will give us insight. Shifting the spotlight onto Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and HC Mike Tomlin, maybe their selected schools could clarify the prediction of what happens next month, or it’s all a smokescreen.

Steelers trio heads to Dabo Swinney and company first

In mid-March, Colbert & Tomlin made their way into South Carolina, along with OC Matt Canada. At an indoor-football complex that was cascaded with people wall-to-wall for the viewing of QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Ettiene. Ettiene is catching the eye of the Black & Gold.

Without a doubt, RB is a top need for the Steelers going into the draft and Etienne is one of the best in the country. At 5’10 and 215 pounds coming from a zone/RPO scheme, he’s effective and versatile as a runner and pass-catcher out the backfield. A sprinter that once looked like he was moving at a fast-forward pace on camera, he’s also elusive and contains excellent contact balance.

However, his acceleration can out-pace his blocks at times, Etienne’s greatest struggles appear to be as a pass blocker and his ball security. He fumbled four games in a row in 2020, losing three of them. Still, with the fan-favorite of Alabama’s RB Najee Harris in the loom and likely the only one at the position that will be taken in the first round, having the backup plan of Travis wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.