Former Steelers CB Reveals Tomlin’s Pro Day Dinner With 3 Alabama Stars

pittsburgh steelers alabama

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had dinner with three Alabama stars before their Pro Day.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft needs have changed throughout this offseason, but it seems they could still be interested in some players they were linked to early in the pre-draft process.

Just about every cornerback with a first round projection was seen as a possibility for the Steelers before free agency.

Since then, they’ve made some moves at the position, but it seems they may have some interest in two of the top prospects at the position.

During the April 1 episode of the “Bleav in Steelers” podcast, former Steelers corner Ike Taylor revealed that the night before Alabama’s Pro Day, the Steelers had a dinner that was attended by Mike Tomlin and included Alabama stars Terrion Arnold, Kool-Aid McKinstry, and Dallas Turner.

“Well, the night before was, that was my best moment. So we wound up doing dinner. Like, was doing dinner with Terrion, Dallas, and Kool-Aid a couple other teammates. So we was doing dinner with Coach T and Coach T was just holding court.”

3 Defensive Stars for Alabama

Over the course of Nick Saban’s tenure as Alabama head coach, the Crimson Tide regularly found themselves among college football’s best defenses.

McKinstry,  Arnold, and Turner made sure to keep them in that group over the two years they played together.

In 2022, the Tide finished the year allowing the ninth-least points in the country with only 18.2 allowed per game.

The 2023 season saw them drop to 16th in that category while still impressively only allowing 19 points per game.

That was due in large part to the contributions from these three.

Turner set career highs with 14.5 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks to help make up for the departure of Will Anderson Jr.

Arnold set career bests of his own with 64 total tackles, 12 passes defended, and 5 interceptions.

McKinstry didn’t post gaudy numbers in 2023, but he was a nightmare for opposing QBs in coverage. He held opposing quarterback to a 48.7% completion percentage in 2023 while defending 7 passes.

Together they’ll make up the next crop of first round picks for Alabama and there’s a chance that the Steelers could end up being the team that takes one of them.

Their Fits With the Steelers

Even after all of the moves the Steelers have made this offseason, they still have some clear needs for their roster.

Turner doesn’t really fit with those needs.

He was an outstanding edge rusher in college who would be an asset to just about any pass rush in the NFL.

The Steelers just don’t really need that with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith already on the roster.

He is also very unlikely to drop all the way to pick 20.

Either of the other two would be a much better fit for the Steelers.

The Steelers set themselves up nicely at one cornerback spot in last year’s draft. They started the second round by selecting Joey Porter Jr. and that pick looks like it is going to pay off in a big way.

Their other corner spot isn’t set up quite as well. This offseason, they traded for Donte Jackson, but he isn’t exactly a huge upgrade over what they got from Patrick Peterson in 2023.

He is also only under contract for the 2024 season.

That could leave corner as a position the Steelers are looking at in round one.

Corners were popular picks for the Steelers in mock drafts early in the offseason and adding Jackson, no matter how expensive he is, doesn’t necessarily need to change that.

If there isn’t a tackle or a center still available that they want after the first 19 picks, then there are worse things the Steelers could do than try to pair Porter Jr. with another talented young corner.

Read More