Northern Iowa edge rusher Elerson Smith said he met with the Steelers last weekend via Zoom
(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
Along with the Steelers having meetings set up with Spencer Brown and having representation at the Northern Iowa pro day on Monday, Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now also reports that Northern Iowa edge rusher Elerson Smith met with Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert last weekend via Zoom.
Smith told Farabaugh that the meeting went well and said it was a "smell the roses" moment. Smith's also said that his first memory of NFL football is when the Steelers beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, 27-23.
Smith has a long frame at 6-foot-6, 262 pounds. His weight is a concern, however, since he played around 15 to 20 pounds lighter when he was in college. He'll have to keep that up at the next level going up against bigger offensive lineman than what he faced at the FCS level.
In 2019, Smith recorded 63 total tackles, 14.0 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, four pass deflections and two blocked kicks.
With is his breakout year in 2019, Smith could have declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. However, concerns about his size and competition level played a hand in leading him to come back for another year. He intended to play this past fall but Northern Iowa's season was postponed to the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smith had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, according to Pro Football Network.
“Elerson Smith was subtly one of the most consistent linemen at the Senior Bowl based on my National Team practice reports, Pro Football Network wrote. "He flashed several times every day, and displayed impressive athleticism, twitch, and hand speed to go with his 6-foot-6, 262-pound frame and 83-inch wingspan. Going up against a talented group of linemen, Smith passed his first test of the offseason. It still remains to be seen if he has enough density and play strength to be a consistent threat in the NFL. That said, his physical foundation lends him a lot of natural upside, and that upside shined through in a favorable setting.”
Pro Football Network has Smith projected to be at best a Round 4 pick, but he'll most likely get selected on Day 3. The Steelers are in need of a No. 3 outside linebacker to give T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith relief when needed. Ola Adeniyi signed with the Titans today, so all they have currently behind Watt and Highsmith is Christian Kunitz, who signed a futures contract in January and whose first position is actually long snapper.