We’ve explained how important Pro Day visits and dinners are to finding out the Pittsburgh Steelers first round picks. Wake Forest free safety Jessie Bates just checked another box. According to Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert dined with Bates tonight before tomorrow’s Pro Day.
“The Wake Forest pro day does not take place until tomorrow but sources tell me fast rising safety Jessie Bates III, who’s moved into the second day of the draft, was seen having dinner this evening with Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin.”
Bates had a solid Combine workout. Declaring as a redshirt sophomore, he’s one of those “risers” who climb after coaches and GMs find out more about an underclassmen group that’s largely ignored until they declare. Bates, a two year starter, picked off six passes in his career. Five of those came in 2016.
A full scouting report on him is ready to be posted bright and early Tuesday morning. It’s hard to say at this point but Bates can’t be ruled out in the first round conversation for Pittsburgh. They clearly need a safety after their decision to release Mike Mitchell.
Every Steelers first round pick since 2010 has had Tomlin, Colbert, or both attend that players Pro Day. Last season, the Steelers sent the house to Wisconsin’s Pro Day and ultimately selected T.J. Watt in the first round. As the only big name prospect at Wake Forest’s workout tomorrow, the Steelers aren’t hiding their interest in Bates.