FRISCO, Texas — This early in the process, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not even fully mapped out their team needs and the plans to attack those needs. But since the Shrine Bowl is in January, it’s important for the team to have a rough outline on who to target. There seems to be one position that sticks out above the rest in Frisco — inside linebacker.
There seemed to be a solid interest in the linebacker position for the Steelers specifically. Now, everyone meets with everyone here, but many guys are stating the Steelers were either very interested in them or when you watch their movements during practice, the team keyed in on them. That tells me they came into this event wanting to hit that position hard.
Several players stick out to me as solid mid-round guys if they want to go that route. It wouldn’t hurt to add another young linebacker to the team, even if they address it in free agency. It’s just something I noticed and will note later in the NFL Draft process.
That’s not usual and reminds me of when Mike Tomlin telegraphs his first-round intentions at the Senior Bowl. This is not to say Pittsburgh will target inside linebackers in round one, but it would make sense for them to target it in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft.
I’m not Omar Khan, but if there was a guy among the group of the Shrine Bowl who I would target in this linebacker group, it’s Wyoming’s Easton Gibbs. And not just due to the logo but also because he has some similarities to Logan Wilson. Gibbs has a good burst off the line of scrimmage to fly downhill but has fluid enough hips to make the turns. In coverage, I think he’s got all the upside in the world. Others like Edgerrin Cooper, who is not participating in this week’s events, fit the mold well, too.