For several years now, I have kept a personal running spreadsheet during the draft process. The goal for me was to learn about the players, gathering information that I have tweaked along the way as I’m sure I will continue to do in the future. I will share a visual and some takeaways from the data points I create each year, simply called interest and athletic scores with explanations to follow.

As Dave Bryan and Alex Kozora discuss regularly, the Steelers have a type of player they look for, and what the scores attempt to achieve is seeing who checks many of those boxes, or vice versa. You will notice many of the inspirations for these scores come from their studies of draft trends over the years for Pittsburgh, and have fared well in who Pittsburgh has ultimately drafted.

While there is no perfect way to predict what selections the Steelers will make in the 2024 draft at the end of the month, I feel great about what the data points measure and of course would love to hear feedback as I’m always looking to improve the points system. Also, there is only so much time in the day and additional things I’d like to measure, so I focus on the crucial and/or practical choices in my opinion.

Now for more explanation to how the scores come together. The biggest point I want to make is this is not a big board or round projection view, rather trying to pinpoint names the Steelers may select regardless of when they are drafted. After I get a healthy pool of names that I hear about or research, I begin the scoring.

Interest Score: Here I configured a points system for the following important factors. College performance, body type, experience, age, position, competition level, Pro Day attendance, pre-draft meeting(s), and Senior/Shrine Bowl invitations/participation.

This matches up nicely to the Athletic Score: simply 11 combine metrics excluding wingspan, and whether or not they were within a threshold in each metric of any player drafted at their position by the Steelers since 2013.

Clear as mud? Here are the wide receivers (WR) that were combine invites:

NOTE: If you don’t see a name please ask, I have many more non-combine players compiled but excluded them for a cleaner chart.

Several athletic prospects at the deep and talented position group, with some familiar and expected names topping the 2024 WR draft prospects.

The top interest score is Roman Wilson of Michigan (10.6), ranking seventh in the entire 2024 draft class. Highly attended Pro Day with HC Mike Tomlin and GM Omar Kahn, reported Pro Day meeting, Senior Bowl participant, experience, age (22), performance, and body type all fit the interest box checking well. Nine athletic score, with two DNPs (vertical and broad jumps), meeting the thresholds in all the drills he participated in. Primarily slot snaps the last two seasons, along with outside experience. Projected round two selection.

Florida’s Ricky Pearsall is second with a 10.3 interest score. Multiple meetings (pre-draft, combine), a perfect 11 athletic score that also fits our Alex Kozora’s popular “What The Steelers Look For List”, Senior Bowl participant, and Pro Day attendance. Still solid, but lower marks were performance last season and age (23). Great alignment experience, with plenty of outside and slot snaps. Seemingly a second round/day two prospect.

Adonai Mitchell of Texas ranks third with a 10.2 interest score. Multiple meetings (pre-draft, combine), Pro Day attendance including WRs coach Zach Azzanni, age (21), and body type highlight that number. While still solid, lower marks were performance last year and experience. Outside receiver mostly in college, with increased slot reps last season. Eight athletic score, meeting all thresholds he participated in, with three DNPs (bench, shuttle, three cone). Likely day one/two pick.

Georgia’s Ladd McConkey has a 10.1 interest score, ten athletic score. Highly attended Pro Day (with Tomlin and Kahn), pre-draft meeting, Senior Bowl participant, age (22), body type, and performance are strengths, with experience his lowest, but good interest mark. Worked out fully, barely missing the athletic threshold in hand size (8 5/8”). Outside alignment primarily, with slot experience, particularly early in college. Seemingly a day two candidate.

Fellow Bulldog Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (9.5 interest score, eight athletic score). The highly attended Pro Day gets an asterisk (slew of talent including McConkey). Senior Bowl participant, experience, age, and body type all fit the bill. Notably no meetings, and performance last year were his lower scores. Full athletic testing, but his 4.81 40-time, 1.66 10-split, and 7.35 three cone would set new precedents in Pittsburgh. Outside receiver primarily. Seemingly will go early on day three.

Brian Thomas Jr. of LSU (9.2 interest, nine athletic scores). Pro Day attendance, combine meeting, age (21), and body type top his interest score. Solid, but 2023 performance and experience were lower comparatively. Checked all the athletic boxes he participated in, with two DNPs (shuttle, three cone). Wide alignment primarily. Consensus first rounder.

Jordan Whittington of Texas (9.0 interest). Perfect 11 athletic score, along with making Kozora’s list too. Azzanni was at his Pro Day, but likely more interest in Mitchell. Senior Bowl, body type, and experience were stronger scores, while no meetings, age (24), and 2023 performance were on the low end. Only measured and benched athletically, meaning six DNPs. Slot alignment primarily, with good snap variety in 2022. Late day three seems likely.

Michigan’s Cornelius Johnson (8.8 interest, ten athletic). High Pro Day attendance, with an asterisk (slew of talent, including Wilson). Body type and experience are higher marks, Shrine Bowl participant, age (23), and performance last season were lower in the scores. Athletically, hand size (8 5/8”) was the only threshold he missed (barely). Outside receiver primarily. Mid day three seems probable.

Malachi Corley of Western Kentucky (8.6 interest, four athletic). Pro Day attendance (including Azzanni), pre-draft meeting, Senior Bowl, age (22), performance, and body type are all strengths. Experience, and particularly level of competition were his lowest scores. Only measured in, hence the low athletic score. Vastly a slot guy in college. Day two seems to be his likely draft spot.

Washington’s Rome Odunze (8.4 interest, ten athletic). Excellent 2023 performance, age (21), combine meeting, body type, and Pro Day attendance highlight his interest score. Experience was his lowest (good) mark. Played outside receiver primarily, with slot snaps to his name as well. Checked all the athletic boxes he participated in, with a DNP on the bench. Top ten projected pick.

Xavier Legette of South Carolina (8.4 interest, nine athletic). Pre-draft meeting, Pro Day attendance, Senior Bowl, experience, performance, and body type scored strong interest wise, with age (23) his lowest result. Checked the athletic drills he did, with DNPs in shuttle and three cone. Outside alignment primarily, with slot snaps up-ticking last year in particular. Day two should be his draft slot.

LSU’s Malik Nabers (8.4 interest, nine athletic). Excellent performance and Pro Day attendance, along with age (20), and body type are attractive. Experience, and particularly no meetings are the other side to his interest score. Fits in the athletic drills he did, with DNPs in shuttle and three cone. Nice snap versatility the last two years, with slot winning out in totality. Projected top ten selection.

Devontez Walker of North Carolina (8.4 interest, nine athletic). Pro Day attendance (including OC Arthur Smith), Senior Bowl participant, age (22), and body type fit best. Informal combine meeting, experience, and 2023 performance were lower marks. Nine athletic score, with two DNPs (bench, three cone). Wide alignment, with some slot snaps too. Likely day two candidate.

Oregon’s Troy Franklin (8.3 interest, ten athletic). Combine meeting, age (21), performance, body type (barely in weight at 176 pounds), and Pro Day attendance, check the boxes. Experience was a lower mark. Meets the athletic thresholds, aside from a DNP (bench). Outside alignment most, with slot snaps as well. The buzz is second round largely.

Keon Coleman of Florida State (8.2 interest, eight athletic). Combine meeting, age (20), Pro Day attendance, and body type are strengths. More average in experience and 2023 performance scores. Athletic box checker outside of three DNPs (bench, shuttle, three cone). Outside snaps mostly, but saw an uptick in the slot last season. First, or more likely second round, seemingly.

USC’s Tahj Washington (8.1 interest, eight athletic). Pre-draft meeting, experience, and performance topped his scores. Pro Day attendance and age (22) are also good, and barely meets Pittsburgh’s draft history in body type (5096, 174) set by a comparable player in Steelers Calvin Austin III. Shrine Bowl participation a lower score. Athletically, one DNP (bench), and misses past Steelers standards in arm length (29 1/8”) and hand size (8 3/8”). Vastly a slot guy the last two seasons, along with nice outside experience prior to that. Mid or late day three option.

Seven WRs land in the seven tier of interest scores: Brendan Rice of USC (7.5 interest, perfect 11 athletic). Alabama’s Jermaine Burton (7.5 interest, eight athletic). Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State (7.4 interest, four athletic). Arizona’s Jacob Cowing (7.3 interest, nine athletic). Xavier Worthy of Texas (7.1 interest, seven athletic). Virginia’s Malik Washington (7.0 interest, perfect 11 athletic). Jalen McMillan of Washington (7.0 interest, ten athletic).

Among this group, Pittsburgh met with Cowing and McMillan, while Rice and Washington had perfect 11 athletic scores. Luke McCaffrey of Rice (6.4 interest, ten athletic) also had a pre-draft meeting. A non-combine invite with a meeting was UTSA’s Josh Cephus, and several had perfect athletic scores: Tyler Harrell of Miami (6.2 interest), California’s Monroe Young (6.1 interest), Noah Frith of Liberty (5.6 interest), Cortland State’s Cole Burgess (5.4 interest), Odieu Hiliare of Bowling Green (4.7 interest), Florida Atlantic’s Je’Quan Burton (4.5 athletic), and John Jiles of West Florida (3.9 interest).

Pittsburgh’s definitely needs to add talent atop the position room, along with depth. There’s clear interest and options for both, and it will be fascinating to watch unfold. One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait to see how it pans out.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here