The Steelers signed rookie tight end Darnell Washington, the third-round selection from Georgia, and defensive back Cory Trice Jr., the seventh-round pick from Purdue, to four-year contracts.
Washington, the 93rd overall pick in the draft, had 28 receptions for 454 yards and two touchdowns in 2022. During his time at Georgia he played in 36 games and had 45 receptions for 774 yards and three touchdowns.
Washington is 6-7, giving the Steelers a huge target at the tight end position, and also a player who loves to block.
"Really excited about what he can bring to the table," said offensive coordinator Matt Canada. "Versatile guy that can block. How physically he plays. Really excited about it.
"He is a giant human being that takes pride in blocking. He enjoys being a blocker. He has been quoted saying he is a sixth offensive lineman. He understands what his body can do. He is definitely a blocker. He is a really good person. Likes football. Really excited about him.
"He is a huge human being."
Washington gives the Steelers options at the tight end position, and he is excited for whatever is asked of him.
"I'm not sure how I'm going to be used, but any way possible I'm all for it," said Washington. "If it starts off with special teams, whatever it may be, whatever it is man, I'm all for it. I just recently came from a great tight end room at the University of Georgia. I'm just going to continue to do that and just continue to play my role."
Canada knows he could be used in multiple roles and it's now just a wait and see game.
"He could be anything," said Canada. "Obviously, his size comes into play. We've got a lot of good weapons right now. I do believe because of the weapons they had on their team his pass catching total might not be as impressive to some when you look at just stats, but that's what a lot of people do. He does make plays on the ball. He has some run-after-the-catch. He has a couple real impressive highlights running through guys, running over guys. So, yeah, he can be a weapon in different parts of the field."
Take a look at photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 3rd round pick, TE Darnell Washington
Trice, who played at Purdue, was taken with the 241st overall pick.
"He played a lot of press coverage and that's huge," said secondary coach Grady Brown. "Just the way that he plays press, being able to go down and not play a motor technique, not back up, really just use that frame to just take up a lot of space and make guys work on the line of scrimmage.
"Really excited about getting him in here. He has some toughness. He started his career off as a safety. A high school basketball player. So just a lot of good things just from a coaching standpoint to work with and we're looking forward to getting him in here."
Trice appeared in 34 games, starting 24, during his time at Purdue. He finished his career with 105 tackles, 89 of them solo stops, five interceptions, 20 passes defensed and four tackles for a loss.
Trice started 13 games in 2022, recording 34 tackles, 28 of them solo stops, two interceptions and a team-high 12 passes defensed.
"We want to take what he does well and maybe better it," said Brown. "Just continue to develop him from that standpoint. Anytime you're dealing with a longer defensive back, there may be some issues in space and off coverage. And a lot of times in college, you really do what you're best at doing as often as you can. We'll find out exactly what it is that he needs to get better at but right now we want to focus on what we do have."
Take a look at photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 7th round pick, DB Cory Trice Jr.