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2023 NFL Draft

Steelers Host Top OT and TE for Final Pre-Draft Visits



Steelers Draft Darnell Wright

The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their 30 allowed pre-draft visits on Tuesday by hosting Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright, Georgia tight end Darnell Washington and Houston quarterback Clayton Tune. Wright and Washington are two of the biggest players at their respective positions in this year’s draft. Wright, who plays with an edge and is downright nasty, stands at 6-foot-5, 333 pounds. Washington (6-7, 264) is the only tight end to visit the Steelers this year. Tight end isn’t really a big need for the Steelers since they already have Pat Freiermuth, Connor Heyward and Zach Gentry, but Washington’s size and speed is intriguing. He ran a blazing 4.64 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine. If things don’t workout for Washington at tight end, draft analyst believe he can add weight and transition to offensive tackle. That’s how good of a blocker he is.

Wright is considered by most as the fourth-best offensive tackle in the draft, and shouldn’t get outside of the first round. Wright played both right and left tackle at Tennessee, starting at left in 2021 and moving to right in 2022. His performance against consensus top-five pick Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama this past year really turned talent evaluators heads, as he completely shut him out. Wright also erased LSU edge rusher and potential first-round pick BJ Ojulari in the previous week. In back-to-back games against LSU and Alabama, Wright allowed a total of no sacks, no quarterback hits, and one quarterback hurry on 81 pass-protection snaps.

“My sophomore year to my junior year, he had gotten way better,” Anderson said of Wright. “Very athletic, can bend, [and] can re-trace with his steps. If he gets off balance, [he] can sit down on power[-rushes], so it was really exciting going against him this year. He was really great.”

Tune (6-3, 220) joined BYU’s Jaren Hall as the only quarterbacks to have a pre-draft visit with the Steelers this year. With drafting Kenny Pickett at 20th overall last year, quarterback is obviously not a pressing need for Pittsburgh. They still need a No. 3 quarterback, however, which explains why they’re poking around at some late-round prospects. Tune was a four-year starter at Houston and finished his career with a bang, completing 67.3% of his passes for 4,074 yards, 40 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran for 546 yards and recorded five touchdowns.

Including local visitors Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (North Allegheny High School) and West Virginia wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton, the Steelers hosted two quarterbacks, five wide receivers, one tight end, eight offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, three outside linebackers, six cornerbacks and two safeties.