Add two high-profile defenders to Steelers watchlist after Iowa's Pro Day

Steelers, Lukas Van Ness
Steelers, Lukas Van Ness / Matthew Holst/GettyImages

The pre-draft process marches on for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Already, Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan have been on hand at some big Pro Days, including Clemson, Georgia, and Michigan. Now they continued their scouting trail by making a stop at Iowa to scope out their top talent on Monday, according to reporter Dale Lolley.

Iowa is a team that is typically known for great defense and offensive line play. This year, there are a number of prospects who could go in the top two days of the NFL Draft. These include players like EDGE Lukas Van Ness, LB Jack Campbell, TE Sam LaPorta, and CB Riley Moss.

Meanwhile, the Steelers just so happen to have some level of need at all of these positions. Though there weren't major scheduling conflicts going on that would have prevented Tomlin and Colbert from showing up, it's probably safe to say that they have a fairly strong interest in a few players on hand at Iowa's Pro Day.

Add two players in the mix for Steelers top two draft picks

The Pittsburgh Steelers own the 17th and 32nd overall selections in the 2023 NFL Draft (among others). This is outstanding capital early, and we would have to think that two players will be pretty high on their draft radar.

Lukas Van Ness has been a sneaky candidate for Pittsburgh throughout the pre-draft process. Van Ness has experience at both edge defender and defensive tackle -- making him a versatile chess piece a team could potentially move around.

Since blowing up the NFL Combine at 6'4 3/4'' and 272 pounds, he's been squarely on the map as a mid-first-round pick. Meanwhile, it's possible that the Steelers could lose Alex Highsmith following the 2023 season, and they greatly lack depth at both EDGE and DL. Van Ness is projected to go somewhere around pick 17, and he could be an under-the-radar first-round candidate this year.

The other player the Steelers could have a lot of interest in is linebacker, Jack Campbell. The Steelers did wipe the slate clean at LB this free agency period by ditching Myles Jack, Devin Bush, and Robert Spillane, and added Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts, they could still use another LB in the mix.

Campbell has a terrific blend of size and traits. While he isn't the fastest player on film, he checks all of the boxes that Pittsburgh typically looks for and is a guy who just seems to always be around the football. Campbell is considered by many to be a second-round prospect who could be in play with the 32nd overall pick.

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It's possible that the Steelers could draft a player like TE Sam LaPorta as well, but Van Ness and Campbell seem to be very strong early prospects that could be on Pittsburgh's radar after Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were on hand for Iowa's Pro Day.