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Steelers host defensive players including pass rushers McKinley, Rivers

| Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 12:21 p.m.
UCLA defensive end Takkarist Mckinley runs a drill at the NFL Combine on March 5, 2017.

After hosting four offensive players one day earlier, the Steelers turned to the other side of the ball Tuesday.

With needs at outside linebacker and in the secondary, the Steelers hosted pass rushers Takk McKinley and Derek Rivers, plus cornerback Jourdan Lewis and safety Montae Nicholson, a Gateway graduate.

UCLA's McKinley is considered a first-round talent, but he had shoulder surgery in February that could push his availability back until the start of the season. He could be on the board when the Steelers pick at No. 30.

McKinley had 10 sacks last year at UCLA, but he waited until February to have surgery and the timetable for his return was four to sixth months.

Rivers attended Youngstown State and is considered the ninth-best defensive end in the draft and a second- or third-round selection, according to

Lewis, of Michigan, is considered a third-round pick and is ranked as the No. 15 cornerback, according to

Nicholson left Michigan State early to declare for the draft and was considered a late-round prospect until the NFL Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds, the third-fastest time among safeties.

In his final year with the Spartans, Nicholson had 86 tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery and two tackles for loss.

Given his local ties, Nicholson won't count against the Steelers' allotment of 30 pre-draft visitors.

On Monday, the Steelers hosted quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Josh Dobbs and wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Joshua Reynolds.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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