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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Show Minimal Interest at Penn State Pro Day, Day Three Options Remain



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Penn State C Hunter Nourzad

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers sent an uncharacteristically small contingent of scouts to the Penn State pro day at Holuba Hall on Friday, with director of college scouting Dan Colbert the lone representative of the scouting staff and no coaches present, despite a handful of Nittany Lions that are poised to be selected in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Part of the reason for that is likely that the Steelers have already seen most of the Nittany Lions draft prospects up close and personal.

Tackle Caedan Wallace and center Hunter Nourzad were at the East-West Shrine Bowl, tight end Theo Johnson, edge rusher Adisa Isaac and cornerbacks Johnny Dixon and Kalen King were at the Senior Bowl.

Those six players, tackle Olu Fashanu, edge rusher Chop Robinson, linebacker Curtis Jacobs and slot cornerback Daequan Hardy were all at the 2024 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

That left relatively little else to go scout with the Lions. Running back Trey Potts and Keaton Ellis, both unlikely to be drafted, are the top two prospects at Penn State that the Steelers haven’t already seen.

The Steelers are also not really in position to take many of the Lions. Fashanu will be gone before they draft in the first round. The Steelers don’t need another edge rusher like Robinson or Isaac, and while the Steelers have interest in Theo Johnson, they don’t currently have a need at tight end.

Hardy and Nourzad are interesting Day Three options for the Steelers, but Hardy participated minimally in the pro day, and Nourzad is dealing with an injury.

“I have a stress fracture in my fibula,” Nourzad said. “It’s a very short term thing. I was in a boot for a little bit. Anybody who saw me at the combine saw I was in a boot. I got out of the boot [Thursday]. Then once I get it cleared through imaging, I’ll be good to go train and build myself. I’ll hold a private pro day after this workout before the draft. So I’ll be 100% in a few weeks.”

The Steelers are expected to participate in that workout, and could bring Nourzad in on a top 30 visit.

A 6-foot-3, 317-pound lineman, Nourzad likely projects to be a center at the next level, but played all five positions in college, something the Steelers love in their reserve linemen.

Nourzad got his college career starter at Cornell, where he played left and right tackle in 2019 and 2021, before transferring to Penn State, where he played left guard for the Lions in 2022 and center in 2023.

The Steelers currently have one natural center on their active roster in former practice squad player Ryan McCollum. They will likely add to center in a more significant way than a late pick, but it’s a position they could look to address twice in the upcoming weeks, and Nourzad is a player to watch.


King, considered by some a first-round pick at cornerback, improved his 40-yard dash time from the combine. He ran a 4.61 in Indianapolis, and dropped that to 4.55 at Penn State, according to a time obtained from by scout. A source told Steelers Now that King hoped to run a sub-4.5 time.

The small drop is unlikely to stop the slide of his stock. King was once considered a top 20 pick. His NFL Mock Drat Database average is now the lowest it’s been, at No. 125 in the fourth round.

Johnson is a player going the other way. His mock draft average on the first of the year was around 250. It’s now at 100, and could continue to rise. Several scouts gave positive impressions of his workout on Friday, and he could easily find his way into the second day of the draft at this point.

Robinson is generally considered to be a late-first-round talent, but there appears to be a wide spread in opinions about how early he’ll be drafted. Some teams, particularly 4-3 teams in search of a strong-side end, won’t consider Robinson, while others see him as a first-round lock.