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Steelers GM Omar Khan Has ‘Picked’ Kenny Pickett’s Brain About Pitt Prospects

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Pittsburgh Steelers will take a look at the Pitt prospects in attendance at the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis, but it certainly won’t be a first look.

There’s a level of familiarity between the Steelers and Panthers that other cities with college and professional football teams cannot boast. A shared South Side facility has allowed Steelers general manager Omar Khan to monitor Pitt’s NFL hopefuls in much closer proximity.

Khan hasn’t even had a chance to watch Pitt’s contingent of players in Indianapolis yet, but he has high praise for the group as a whole.

“It’s a strong Pitt class,” Khan said Monday at the Combine. “We obviously love those guys being next door. There’s some football players. There’s a handful of guys that are going to be Sunday contributors, sooner than later.”

It’s a group of former Pitt stars that includes Calijah Kancey, Israel Abanikanda, Habakkuk Baldonado, Carter Warren, SirVocea Dennis and Brandon Hill — and this week will be important for each prospect in a variety of different ways.

The group is headlined by Kancey, who has worked himself into first round consideration for many draftniks. He’s a prospect that will likely test well at the Combine this week, which offers him another chance to endear himself to NFL front offices. And he’s not alone.

If Abanikanda can show off a 40-yard dash time that slips into the 4.3s, he’ll be in good shape. A strong week of testing for Baldonado, Dennis and Hill would go a long way.

And there is a path to follow when it comes to making it to the next level. Kenny Pickett was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft last year, making the long, long walk across the parking lot to the Steelers’ side of the facility. And Khan has definitely talked to Pickett about his former teammates.

“A little bit,” Khan admitted. “I’m not going to tell you we haven’t picked his brain a little bit.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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