With both Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert and wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard personally in attendance at Auburn’s pro day to meet with wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, the speedy pass-catcher could be a priority for the Steelers.
Though it’s impossible to slot a player to any one team ahead of the draft, Schwartz, for his part, didn’t play down the meeting.
“It must mean something that the head man is here,” Schwartz said. “We went over some concepts, went over some film. I felt like they got a good understanding of me.”
He caught 117 passes for 1,433 yards during his three seasons at Auburn and projects as a mid-round pick. Schwartz would be a cunning fit as a decoy in Matt Canada’s offensive scheme, which places heavy emphasis on putting players in motion before the snap. He said that Chiefs star receiver Tyreek Hill—who also served as a gadget player before breaking out — inspires him on the field.
With star slot receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster almost certainly leaving in free agency, the Steelers need another option in the slot. Schwartz is built like a slot receiver, standing six feet tall and weighing 179 pounds, but the measurable that really stands out is his 4.26 second 40-yard dash
Auburn WR Anthony Schwartz
⚡️ 4.26 ⚡️
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 18, 2021
Schwartz said he focused on his start in the dash, showcasing his explosiveness.
“I’m not just only a fast guy,” Schwartz said. “I’m quick, I can run my routes and I can get in and out of cuts and I have a good change of direction.”
Despite his blazing speed, Schwartz is a shifty route runner and fits best in the slot, though his game-breaking speed gives him potential on the outside.
“I feel comfortable playing both inside and outside, don’t really have a preference,” Schwartz said. “I’ll play wherever is needed for me.”
Schwartz focused on his cuts and route running after Auburn’s season ended, training with NFL Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss.
“[I’ve been] working on my routes, getting them cleaner and crisper,” Schwartz said. “[I wanted] to show good footwork, be fast in and out of breaks.”