INDIANAPOLIS — Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum confirmed that he has plans to formally meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he said Thursday at the 2021 NFL Combine.
Linderbaum is widely considered to be the top center available in the 2022 NFL Draft, and could be a contender for the Steelers to take with the No. 20 overall pick.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with them,” Linderbaum said. “With all these teams, the formal meeting and an informal meetings are important, just to get to know them, have them get to know me.”
According to NFL Mock Draft Database, Linderbaum’s average draft position is currently 13th, so he may not be available when the Steelers draft.
While there’s no doubt the Steelers need help along the offensive line, there is some question as to whether they have a need at center.
The team drafted Kendrick Green in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Green started most of his rookie season at center to mixed results after playing mostly guard at Illinois.
After a late season injury, Green was replaced by journeyman backup J.C. Hassenauer and the line seemed to perform better with Hassenauer in there. Ben Roethlisberger openly speculated about moving Green back to guard, and both head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert have confirmed that they consider that an option for Green going forward.
Linderbaum is certainly the type of player that could get the Steelers to make that move. He was the 2021 Rimington Trophy winner as the nation’s top center and a unanimous All-American. He was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection.
In addition to on the interior, the Steelers also have a need at tackle, with starter Chukwuma Okorafor set to enter free agency. Cornerback, defensive line, inside linebacker, quarterback and wide receiver are also positions with significant needs.