Over the course of the combine, Pittsburgh can interview up to 60 players and learn anything from their football knowledge to off-the-field topics.
Though we will not learn what was discussed during these interviews, they do provide insight as to where the Steelers may be heading with their draft board.
Here is a look at the prospects that the Steelers have reportedly expressed interest in.
Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider reported that the Steelers met with Pitt product Lucas Nix.
Nix is a hometown prospect who was raised a Steeler fan and went on to play both tackle and guard at Pitt.
Offensive line coach Sean Kugler interviewed Nix and Nix felt that it "went pretty well."
Nix has a big body but does not have elite athleticism. Despite that, he does have the ability to pull from the guard position and his strongest attribute is run blocking.
The Steelers could find themselves a quality starter with Nix, who will be a work in progress and will take some time to develop in the NFL.
Nix figures to be a fourth round selection.
Pead was a productive running back at Cincinnati, rushing for 2,288 yards over the last two seasons and finished his career with an average of 6.0 yards per carry.
Pittsburgh has some questions at running back with Rashard Mendenhall recovering from an ACL injury and a back like Pead could add some much needed speed.
Pead is a multi-dimensional back who had 12 touchdowns and 39 receptions last year. He returned 10 punts last year and could be asked to participate in the return game, particularly with Antonio Brown focusing primarily on his receiver role this year.
The Steelers would have to look at Pead in the third or fourth round.
Joe Reedy of the Enquirer reported that Cincinnati defensive lineman Derek Wolfe met with the Steelers.
Pittsburgh is thin on the defensive line with the potential retirement of Aaron Smith, and will probably like to add depth at defensive end in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft.
Unless a stud drops to them, the Steelers will not spend an early selection on defensive end after taking Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward in the first round in two of the last three drafts.
Wolfe, who will play end in the Steelers defense, had an excellent senior season. He is very good against the run and finished last season with 70 tackles and an impressive 21.5 tackles for a loss.
Beyond his run defense, Wolfe has shown some skills as a pass rusher and had 9.5 of his 19.5 career sacks as a senior.
Wolfe, like all defensive ends, would be slowly developed in the Steelers system if they draft him. He ranges from a mid-to-late round prospect.
Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has indicated that Casey Hampton will return next season, but given Hampton's injury Colbert acknowledged that if the Steelers want a replacement, it will have to be an early pick (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
You can't get to third down if you don't stop them on first and second...Anybody you take in the first round, you want to be three-down players. But nose tackles, chances are you aren't going to get them if you don't take them high, if they're worth anything. Can you take a guy that's not a three-down player high? Absolutely. But it's got to be unique, and they've got to be special, and nose tackle is a special part of our defense.
The most special player in this year's draft is Memphis' Dontari Poe.
Poe is a huge body at 6'4" 346 pounds and is a tremendous force in the weight room which can translate to the field.
Pittsburgh would expect Poe to anchor the center of their defensive line and he can; he commanded two blockers at the college level. He also has a favorable comparison with Haloti Ngata, but identifies Hampton as his favorite nose tackle in the league (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
I've always followed him. Being one of the best, as he has been for a long time, I've followed him for a long time...He's one of the more aggressive defensive tackles this league has seen. His hand strength, once he gets his hands on you, he controls you. That's what I admire most about him.
Poe may be available for the Steelers in the first round.
Other possibilities include Washington's Alameda Ta'malu and Alabama's Josh Chapman.
Ta'malu is a second round prospect who has plenty of experience, but lacks the upside that Poe has, and Chapman is a pure run stuffer in the mold of Hampton who will fall in the draft due to an ACL injury. He is slated to go anywhere from the second to the fourth round.
Pittsburgh always looks for outside pass rushers so it is no surprise that Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider reported that the Steelers have shown interest in West Virginia's Bruce Irvin.
Irvin is a pass rushing specialist who had 8.5 sacks last season, but a very impressive 14 sacks in 2010.
As with most college pass rushing specialists, Irvin's skill set is limited right now, particularly when it comes to pass coverage. He will have to transfer his pass rushing abilities into the stand up position as an outside linebacker in the Steelers defense and develop his coverage abilities.
Another issue with Irvin is his liability against the run. Last season teams were able to run at Jason Worilds who had trouble defending the run, whereas both James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley are very strong run defenders.
Irvin is an interesting pass rushing specialist who would need time to develop. At best he is a third round pick, but would be a better option for the Steelers in the fourth or later.
Pittsburgh has a clear need at inside linebacker and Dont'a Hightower could be the man to fill the position.
"Talked to a couple of [Steelers] scouts since I’ve been here, they’re interested in me, looking forward to talking to coach Tomlin," Hightower said (via Ken Laird).
The Steelers should be interested. Hightower is one of the top inside linebackers in this year's draft and had a productive career at Alabama.
One knock on Hightower is that he is a liability in coverage, but he did line up as a rush end on passing downs, so he can be a three down player.
At 265 pounds, Hightower provides a stark contrast to the undersized linebackers James Farrior and Larry Foote. However, with that size comes the lack of speed.
That should not make the Steelers shy away if Hightower is the best available player in the first round. He has great instincts and is a near perfect fit for their defense.
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