Steelers Mike Tomlin gives potential first-round pick a look at Iowa State Pro Day
By Tommy Jaggi
It's been a busy jam-packed trip to the state of Iowa for Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan. After making the trip out west to Iowa's Pro Day to scout out potential draft picks in players like EDGE Lukas Van Ness, LB Jack Campbell, and TE Sam LaPorta Pittsburgh's brass stayed in the Cyclone State on Tuesday for Iowa State's Pro Day.
Reporter Bill Seals confirms that at least Tomlin made the trip. While we don't have confirmation of whether or not the Steelers GM is there, Khan made the trip yesterday, so it's probably pretty safe to assume that he's on hand as well.
Iowa State's Pro Day isn't nearly as big of an attraction as the one they witnessed yesterday with several very strong prospects slated to go in the first few rounds of the draft. While there have some players who could potentially be drafted later on with Xavier Hutchinson, Anthony Johnson, MJ Anderson, Trevor Downing, Colby Reeder, O’Rien Vance, and Darren Wilson, the big prize here is edge defender, Will McDonald IV.
Steelers could be targeting edge defender
Will McDonald is a sneaky first-round prospect who could go much higher than people were originally anticipating. At 6'3 5/8'' and 239 pounds, McDonald doesn't have ideal height or length for an edge defender, but he makes up for his slight frame with outstanding 34 7/8'' arms.
McDonald pairs his long arms with elite bend to be a terror off the edge for opposing quarterbacks. Watching his tape, he reminds me a lot of former high-profile pass-rusher, Randy Gregory. Gregory ultimately fell to the second round because of off-the-field issues but proved to be an excellent player because of how fast he could get to the quarterback.
McDonald offers some similar traits and graded out well as a pass rusher this past season. He also has two productive college seasons. However, McDonald turns 24 years old by training camp, so age is at least something to consider. He also took a major step back in production during his redshirt senior season in 2022.
Still, the tools might be worth gambling on for a team in the mid-first round, and he would be considered a steal if he made it all the back to Pittsburgh's 32nd overall pick at the top of the second round. Meanwhile, the Steelers don't know if they will be able to link Alex Highsmith to a long-term deal, and McDonald seems like he would be a great player to pair with T.J. Watt in the future.
At the very least, we can add Will McDonald IV to the list of potential prospects for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round as he checks the box when it comes to the Mike Tomlin Pro Day visit. It will be interesting to see if Pittsburgh uses a top-30 visit to bring him into the facility