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Vanderbilt's Cunningham among pre-draft visitors to Steelers

| Friday, April 7, 2017, 12:18 p.m.
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Outside linebacker Zach Cunningham of Vanderbilt participates in a drill during the NFL Combine on March 5, 2017, in Indianapolis.

The SEC's leading tackler in 2016 and a one-year starter in the Big Ten were brought in for official pre-draft visits Friday by the Steelers.

Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham and Illinois' Carroll Phillips were at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex to meet with team officials.

Cunningham and Phillips are linebackers with differing skill sets.

Cunningham led the SEC with 125 tackles, 16 12 for a loss, last season. He also recovered four fumbles and forced two. He is projected to be taken in the first or second round and some scouts view him as being more productive in a 4-3 defense.

Phillips, an outside linebacker, didn't become a full-time starter at Illinois until 2016. He spent two years at Illinois after attending Cincinnati and a community college. Last year, he hit his stride, recording nine sacks and being named first-team all-conference. His 20 tackles for a loss ranked ninth among FBS players. Phillips is projected to be taken in the third or fourth round.

The Steelers have used 13 of their 30 allotted pre-draft visitors. They also have hosted Pitt's James Conner and Gateway graduate Montae Nicholson, who do not count against that list because they are local players.

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