Steelers have pre-draft visit scheduled with top interior OL prospect Steve Avila
By Tommy Jaggi
The Pittsburgh Steelers got really aggressive when it came to addressing the interior offensive line in free agency. After already spending good money on a pair of offensive linemen last year in James Daniels and Mason Cole, I don't think many expected this to be a big priority. Instead, Omar Khan went out and signed OG Nate Herbig and OG Isaac Seumalo -- both former players of Andy Weidl in Philadelphia.
What's most interesting is that Pittsburgh apparently isn't done yet. On Wednesday morning, NFL reporter Ryan Roberts announced that the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of five teams to schedule a pre-draft visit with TCU offensive lineman, Steve Avila.
Between their pro day scouting trail and pre-draft visits, we all figure the Steelers will look to select an offensive tackle early in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, some of their recent pre-draft visits have thrown us through a loop. Despite signing a whopping four interior offensive linemen in free agency over the past two seasons, Pittsburgh is still apparently interested in adding another early in the draft.
Where would Steve Avila play for Steelers?
The more I watch Steve Avila, the more I fall in love with his game. The versatile TCU offensive lineman has experience all over the offensive line with quality tape at guard, center, and even tackle. At 6'3 5/8'' and 332 pounds with 33'' arms, Avila certainly has an ideal body type to man a guard position at the next level, but that may not be what the Steelers have in mind.
With a surplus of guards already on the roster in players like Isacc Seumalo, James Daniels, Nate Herbig, and Kevin Dotson, Pittsburgh's interest in Avila is most likely at center. Personally, I love this mentality.
Though Mason Cole wasn't a terrible player last year as the starting center, it's clear that the Steelers could stand to upgrade the position at some point. Cole is no more than a stop-gap starter, and the team would love to be able to find their long-term solution at the position. Avila would provide that.
What's great about Avila is his incredible position flexibility. Avili is such a sound football player when it comes to his technique at all OL positions that he could even slide to offensive tackle if the Steelers need him to.
The more tape I watched this offseason, the easier it was to see that Steve Avila is the best interior offensive lineman in this class -- better than O'Cyrus Torrence and John Michael Schmitz. Avila does seem like a bit of a luxury pick, but he would help greatly improvepocket the running game while providing an excellent pockett for second-year quarterback, Kenny Pickett.
I doubt the Steelers would have a strong enough interest in Avila to take him with the 17th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but it's very likely that he's gone before pick 32 rolls around. A team like the Dallas Cowboys could have a ton of interest at pick 26. If he does fall to the second round, Steve Avila becomes a player who is in strong contention for the Steelers after his scheduled pre-draft visit.