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2022 NFL Draft

Steelers Met Penn State OLB Jesse Luketa at Combine



Jesse Luketa

INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State edge rusher Jesse Luketa met with Steelers assistant outside linebackers coach Denzel Martin at the 2022 NFL Combine, he said to the media Friday.

Luketa is an edge rusher and off-ball linebacker hybrid that has played both positions in his career at Penn State. He replaced Micah Parsons in his unique role with the Nittany Lions. That role can be replicated in the unique 3-3-5 look the Steelers give with three outside linebackers. With plenty of ties to Penn State as well, Luketa would be more than happy to head to Pittsburgh and play for Mike Tomlin.

“I’m going to go wherever they select me, but playing in that type of defense would be tremendous,” Luketa said. “They have some very talented ballplayers in Pittsburgh.”

His meeting with Pittsburgh occurred on Wednesday. Luketa met with the Steelers in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. The meeting on Wednesday was in an informal capacity, but he was able to talk more than just football with Martin. He was able to develop a connection.

“We hit it off,” Luketa said. “We were able to talk about scheme, talk life, my story. That would be a great fit and a great place to play football.”

The Steelers need both edge rusher depth and an inside linebacker. With Luketa’s ability to do a little bit of both, it would not be a surprise to see him be selected to Pittsburgh. With connections to the Steelers like Marcus Allen and Pat Freiermuth, Luketa should know plenty about the Steelers and their organization. With his ascending football intelligence and versatility, he would fit well into an evolving Steelers defense.

Brian Flores will come in and likely alter the blitz schemes to a degree. With that in mind, Luketa can fit in well with his diverse skill set.