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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Hosted Three Top Prospects for Dinner Before Alabama Pro Day



Pittsburgh Steelers Terrion Arnold

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is famous for wining and dining prospective draft selections before their team’s pro day, and he had a solid group of University of Alabama stars out to dinner before the Crimson Tide pro day last month.

Steelers scout Ike Taylor said that Tomlin had potential first-round picks Dallas Turner, Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry out to dinner the night before their pro day, during an episode of his Bleav in Steelers podcast with host Mark Bergin.

“The night before, that was my best moment,” Taylor said. “We was doing dinner with Coach T and Coach T was just holding court … That was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”

Turner is unlikely to be a Steelers’ pick, as a top-10 talent at a position the Steelers are unlikely to see as a top need with Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt set as starters, but Tomlin likes to take the time to get to know even the top prospects, and has often used the knowledge he gains at pro days later on, when those players became available in trade or free agent markets.

Arnold and McKinstry, though, are top defensive back options for the Steelers in the first round. Along with Clemson’s Nate Wiggins — who the Steelers also took out to dinner — Iowa’s Cooper DeJean and Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell, there are a handful of top defensive backs that could be available to the Steelers at No. 20.

Arnold (6-foot, 196 pounds), played just two seasons at Alabama, moving from safety to cornerback, and could project to play inside cornerback, outside cornerback or free safety at the NFL level. He’s also apparently quite the personality.

“Terrion, you’re talking about a guy who needs a microphone in front of his face and a camera in front of his face, 24/7, that’s him, all day every day, and that’s just natural,” Taylor said. “He ain’t even trying. That’s just him.”

Taylor described McKinstry as more laid-back and a technician. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound outside cornerback is not as fast or athletic, but has more experience. He’s generally expected to go closer to the end of the first round, while Arnold is seen as less than likely to be available when the Steelers pick at No. 20.

RELATED: Which Alabama CB is Better 2024 Draft Fit for Steelers, Kool-Aid McKinstry or Terrion Arnold? (+)

Taylor also revealed that he also attended the LSU, Miami and Michigan pro days. Defensive backs that Taylor could’ve been scouting at those stops include Michigan slot cornerback Mike Sainristil and cornerback Josh Wallace, Miami safeties Kamren Kinchens and James Williams and cornerback Jaden Davis and LSU safety Andre Sam.