The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted three front-seven defenders for tryouts at UMPC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side on Thursday.
Outside linebacker Marcus Haynes, inside linebacker Jonathan Jones and defensive end Terrance Lang all took parts in the Thursday workout, which is likely the team scouting for players to sign to reserve/future contracts for 2024.
Haynes, 25, signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion this spring. The 6-foot-4, 233-pound rookie was with the Broncos all through preseason, then was released and spent the entire 2023 season on the Denver practice squad until his release on Nov. 28.
A Bowie, Maryland native, Haynes played for six seasons with the Monarchs. He redshirted in 2017 and played mostly as a reserve in 2018 and 2019. After sitting out 2020, he became a co-starter at defensive end in 2021, leading Old Dominion with 5.5 sacks and was second on the club with six tackles for loss.
In 2022, he started all 12 games, setting career highs in tackles (47) and tackles for loss (7.5). He was tied for the team led with four sacks.
In pre-draft testing, Haynes showed explosiveness with a 34.5-inch vertical and a 9-foot-11 broad jump. He posted an overall Relative Athletic Score of 7.39 out of 10. He is similarly sized to Steelers rookie outside linebacker Nick Herbig.
Jones, 26, has spent the last two summers with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. The 5-foot-11, 230-pound Toledo alum played 24 games and has started 12 over the last two seasons for the Argos, and was on the team for their 2022 Grey Cup championship. In 24 games, he has 59 tackles, eight sacks and three interceptions.
A native of Ocoee, Florida, Jones first matriculated to Notre Dame, but saw little playing time in three seasons with the Fighting Irish. He transferred to Toledo in 2020, when he played in six games in a COVID-19-shortened season before become a full starter in 2021.
That year, he played in 12 games and started 11, recording 97 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, three passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He went unsigned coming out of the draft and waited until the following spring to sign in the CFL.
Lang, who will turn 25 later this month, is also in his first pro season. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound defensive lineman is closer in profile to what the Steelers have in DeMarvin Leal, more of a 3-4 defensive end than a pure edge rusher.
The Colorado alum signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent last spring, and played in two preseason games, playing end in the Chargers’ 3-4 defense. He was released after training camp and has not been with another club since.