Leading up to the NFL Draft, current and former Steelers' players will be sharing their Draft Day Memories, from the time they went to the NFL Scouting Combine, through the moment they were drafted. In this installment, former defensive tackle Carlos Davis shared his story.
"It was huge that we had the combine in 2020. If you are a guy on the back end, trying to raise your stock, you need the combine, you need the pro day. I was very thankful to get that combine in. It helped.
"To me it was all a job interview. The way you prepare. The coaches see it. They know how you prepared, even if they see you stretch before. The interviews, how you conduct yourself, how you are acting. Every bit of it was an interview.
"I didn't meet with the Steelers at the combine. I met with them afterwards, following my pro day. It was good. It was over Zoom. I remember Coach (Mike) Tomlin being in his backyard during it. I had on a suit and tie for the interview. I felt like I was too formal for the occasion, but they liked that I did that. It was Coach T, (GM) Kevin Colbert and (assistant coach) Denzel Martin. It's still intimidating even if not in person because you are talking to high level people wanting to give you a job. It was unnerving, but it was comforting because it was just the four of us.
"I was able to get my pro day in. They started cancelling all of them right after mine, which was March 12. It was huge. I was able to show them my skillset again, talk to a lot of the teams that were there.
"I wish I would have had the opportunity to make a visit to teams. I had a few scheduled but didn't get to do them because of COVID. That would have helped too.
"Leading up to the draft I didn't know the Steelers were really that interested. I saw a board when I was in Nebraska that said they were going to take me, but I just kind of blew that off because you never know.
"Having my twin brother, Kahlil, also get drafted in the same year as me really helped. We were able to break things down. We talked about things. We were going through the same thing. Most of the interviews we had, we both had interviews with the teams. I would have an interview, then give the phone to him and he would do the interview after. We did that with the Steelers one and both wore suits. Teams asked if we wanted to do our interviews together, but we wanted separate. That was the time we were going our own way, so we wanted to do them individually.
"On draft day I had my immediate family, we both had our girlfriends there, I had my trainer there. It was a small group. I watched the entire draft. Being able to sit down and watch the whole draft was more fun. The second day I was at home and I fell asleep, woke up and my brother got drafted. I got drafted shortly after. We both took naps watching it all.
"When my brother got the call to be drafted it was surreal. To see my brother succeed, it was one of the best days of my life. Once he was drafted, I started to get drafted. It was only 20 minutes between, but it felt like an hour. I was definitely sweating a little bit.
"I remember it vividly when I got the call. It said '412' and Pittsburgh. I was like, wow. Mike Tomlin was on the phone. He talked quick. Then Kevin Colbert got on. After that defensive line coach Karl Dunbar got on. It was fast. The last thing I remember was talking with Coach Dunbar and my brother tackled me and it hung up the phone. I had to call him back and he just said congratulations, we will talk more tomorrow.
"It was so wonderful. It's a day you will remember forever. You are so grateful to see your name on the television and an NFL team actually choose you. For both of us, it was a surreal feeling. It's very emotional."