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Mike Tomlin’s spring dinner schedule tips off Steelers’ draft strategy

When dining with a draft prospect around a pro day, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike cheap nfl jerseys chinaTomlin often lets the player pick the place. He figures the selection might reveal a little something about the person he’s considering in the draft.

He’s been everywhere from local barbecue spots to Red Lobster, but the food is an afterthought.

“I love getting out and meeting a young player in his environment,” said Tomlin from the NFL owners meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes.

The Steelers are leaving a crumb trail spanning thousands of miles, and it just might affect the Steelers’ first-round pick for the third straight year.

Two years ago, Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert buttoned up with cornerback Artie Burns at Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach. They drafted him 25th overall.

Last spring, they dug in at The Great Dane Pub and Brewing Co. in Madison, Wisconsin, with linebacker T.J. Watt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst. Watt went 30th overall to Pittsburgh.

Joining them at the table next week is LSU running back Derrius Guice, who will dine with Colbert and Tomlin in Baton Rouge before the Tigers’ pro day.

To be sure, sharing a meal is not a prerequisite to get drafted by the Steelers. But it can definitely help, especially because of Tomlin’s affinity for the process.
Tomlin will eat with any prospect even if they aren’t expected to be on the board when the Steelers draft — like running back Saquon Barkley, a projected top-five pick.authentic nfl jerseys Tomlin proves this by revealing he dined with cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the No. 4 pick in 2016, the week of that year’s draft. The Steelers had no chance of getting Ramsey but that’s not the point for Tomlin, who’s building a file on a player for now and for years down the road.

“It’s team building,” Tomlin said. “If you’re in our business, team building is exciting. The position is exciting. We’re all undefeated and scored upon. There’s optimism associated with that. I love getting out and meeting a young player in his environment.”