Connect with us

2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Still Showing Interest in Draft DTs after Signing Dean Lowry



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Target LSU DT Maason Smith
LSU defensive tackle Maason Smith (0) battles Grambling State offensive lineman Shontrail Key (65) during an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to terms on a contract with veteran free agent defensive tackle Dean Lowry this week, bringing their numbers back up to par with where they ended last season.

The Steelers had six of their regular 2023 defensive lineman under contract for this upcoming season: Cam Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi, Keeanu Benton, Isaiahh Loudermilk and DeMarvin Leal. They re-signed Montravius Adams to a new two-year deal, and signed Lowry to replace Armon Watts, who left for the New England Patriots in free agency.

So, is the team done with the defensive line? Not necessarily.

The Steelers have already brought in or scheduled two defensive tackles to have pre-draft free agent visits: Braden Fiske from Florida State and Khristian Boyd from Northern Iowa.

RELATED: Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

They also sent defensive line coach Karl Dunbar to the LSU pro day this week to work out Day Two draft prospect Maason Smith. 

Smith is a 6-foot-5, 306-pound defensive tackle from Houma, Louisiana. He ran a 50.1-second 40-yard dash at the 2024 NFL Combine and put up 21 reps on the bench at LSU’s pro day.

Smith is currently projected to go early in the third round, with his NFL Mock Draft Database average at No. 75 right now. He could be an option for the Steelers if he slides a bit to their third round picks, at No. 84 and 98.

But the bigger story is not the Steelers’ specific interest in Smith, but that they are still interested in defensive tackles at all after locking up Lowry. Much like at linebacker, where the Steelers have still been seeking players in the 2024 NFL Draft after signing Patrick Queen, they do not appear to be done at the position.

Heyward is entering the final season of his contract, Ogunjobi struggled in 2023 despite being healthy, and the team has yet to find a consistent role for Leal, despite his status as a former third-round pick. So it makes sense for them to continue to be seeking help along the line.