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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Host Four Prospects for Pre-Draft Visits on Wednesday

The Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting four more players for pre-draft visits on Wednesday.



Pittsburgh Steelers OT Matt Goncalves
Pittsburgh Panthers offensive lineman Matt Goncalves (76) September 24, 2022 David Hague/PSN

The Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting LSU defensive lineman Maason Smith, USC wide receiver Tahj Washington, Pitt offensive lineman Matt Goncalves, and Pitt cornerback M.J. Devonshire for pre-draft visits on Wednesday.

The Steelers sent defensive line coach Karl Dunbar to the LSU pro day last week to work out Smith at his pro day, so this is a natural step in interest for the team.

Smith is a 6-foot-5, 306-pound defensive tackle from Houma, Louisiana. He ran a 5.01-second 40-yard dash at the 2024 NFL Combine and put 21 reps on the bench at LSU’s pro day. After suffering a torn ACL, Smith started to get into the groove of things down the season’s stretch. He is oozing with potential, and the Steelers have shown a ton of interest in defensive lineman, but specifically Smith.

Smith is currently projected to go early in the third round, with his NFL Mock Draft Database average at No. 75 right now. He could be an option for the Steelers if he slides a bit to their third round picks, at No. 84 and 98.

Washington had an intriguing journey, starting out at Memphis and then transferring to USC to play with Caleb Williams. A dynamic slot receiver, Washington has played with Calvin Austin III while at Memphis, and his familiarity could be something that the Steelers like, and helped put him on the team’s radar far before this season and draft cycle.

Washington’s tape is fun, and he’s got awesome explosiveness when he cuts on the inside of his foot and gets vertical. Some of the throws from quarterbacks at the Shirne Bowl fell short and Washington made them look good. For someone at his size, Washington has all the toughness needed to make combat catches in the slot. And he does a great job of vertically going up to get it. I knew what I was going to get in a guy like Malik Washington. For Tahj, I was interested due to the talent, but he has exceeded it. He runs crisp routes all over the field and checks the boxes.

Devonshire, a 5-foot-10 3/4, 186-pound cornerback, played almost exclusively outside cornerback in Pitt’s quarters scheme the last three seasons, but projects to play either inside or outside cornerback at the NFL level.

He had his best collegiate season as a redshirt senior in 2023, when he recorded 32 tackles, 10 passes defended and four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Devonshire had eight interceptions and three pick sixes in his three years with the Panthers.

A four-star prospect coming out of Aliquippa, Devonshire initially attended Kentucky, where he played sparingly in two seasons with the Wildcats. He transferred back home to Pitt in 2021, winning an ACC title with the Panthers that year.

A 6-foot-6, 330-pound lineman from Manorville, New York, Goncalves spent five seasons playing for Pitt, practicing right next to the Steelers at the South Side facility the teams share.

Goncalves redshirted in 2019 and after that played a little bit of everywhere as the team’s sixth lineman in 2020, seeing time at left tackle, left guard, right tackle and as a tackle eligible.

He moved into a starting role at right tackle midway through the 2021 season. In 2022, he started at right tackle and then flipped to left side after an injury to Carter Warren. 

Entering this past season, Goncalves was expected to be a one of the top tackles in the draft class, but a toe injury that required surgery shut down his senior year after just three games.

As a result, Goncalves’ draft stock has fallen. According to the NFL Mock Draft Database, his current average draft position is 125th overall, at the very end of the fourth round. He could project to be either a tackle or a guard at the NFL level, and said at the combine that some teams have been asking him about doing both.