Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt, and offensive coordinator Matt Canada all made the trip to Chapel Hill for North Carolina’s pro day to see quarterback Sam Howell on Monday.
The Tar Heels gunslinger was once thought of as the crown jewel of the class, but a rough go of things over the past season and a half have lurched his stock back slightly. Still, he is in first-round consideration. This is another pointing to Pittsburgh potentially going after a quarterback. They have now attended Howell’s pro day on top of seeing Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis, and Matt Corrall all up close and personal.
Howell went through a 66-throw routine on Monday in front of scouts and general managers, and though head coach Mike Tomlin was not there, the interest for all quarterbacks and at least vetting them as potential options is clear on Pittsburgh’s part.
For example, in Tar Heel Illustrated’s attached video above, at around the 21 second mark, Colbert and Canada can be seen talking to Howell. The trips are just as much about getting to see the player on the field as they are about getting to know the person, it seems.
Colbert traveled to Carolina for a practice to scout Howell during the season, and was in attendance for his game in Pittsburgh at Pitt. The Steelers also met with Howell at the Senior Bowl and again at the 2022 NFL Combine.
Tomlin said on Sunday that he was upset about missing the North Carolina pro day, but his presence was required in Palm Beach, Florida, as he serves on several important committees that hold session during the NFL winter meetings.
For those that were in attendance in Chapel Hill, other key players to watch at the event were running back Ty Chandler, offensive lineman Josh Ezeudu, linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel, and edge rusher Tomon Fox. But the Steelers not sending another position coach suggests that Howell was their main attraction.