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Steelers look at defensive linemen on Day 3 of the upcoming NFL Draft

There will be several options on the table for the Steelers this coming draft weekend.

The ideas about adding an offensive line and wide receiver help are so prominent that it’s almost a consensus that these will be the Steelers’ two priority positions when Roger Goodell steps to the lectern Thursday in Detroit to win the 2024 NFL Draft to open. The Steelers’ options with the 20th pick are numerous, with a deep offensive line and wide receiver classes to choose from.

But the real money Omar Khan will make comes on Day 3 next Saturday afternoon, when the Steelers will make three picks. The Steelers have pick No. 119 in the fourth round and picks Nos. 178 and 195 in the sixth round and have some depth to go with those selections.

That includes the defensive line, which benefited from the addition of Keeanu Benton in last year’s draft. Khan, Mike Tomlin and the rest of the front office have been doing their best in the trenches, and the interest is clearly there regarding expansion along the defensive line.

Among the Steelers’ 30 assigned prospect visits to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex were five defensive tackles. Along with Pro Football Focus’ big board, no project could be taken in the first round. Florida State’s Braden Fiske is the highest projected defensive tackle to be drafted by the Steelers with a ranking of 38th on PFF’s big board.

The remaining four defense prospects view Day 3 selections as likely. Along with Fiske, the Steelers hosted Northern Iowa’s Khristian Boyd (PFF Rank 145), LSU’s Maason Smith (148), Iowa’s Logan Lee (151) and Mississippi State’s Jaden Crumedy (260). They did not meet any of these five formally at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, but Lee met with the Steelers there on an informal basis. They met projected first rounder Byron Murphy (Texas) and projected second rounder Ruke Orhorhoro (Clemson) in Indianapolis, but did not pursue invitations to the South Side.

Instead, the invites went to those who could add quality depth on Day 3.

At 6-foot-4 and 329 pounds, Boyd was a Football Championship Subdivision All-American at UNI and profiles closely as a nose tackle in the 0-technique or 1-technique. At his pro day, Boyd put up 38 reps on the bench press, which would have beaten his position mates at the NFL Combine by four and would have been the second-most reps of anyone benching in Indianapolis.

In 2023, Boyd had 43 total tackles, 6.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks.