Mike Tomlin didn’t draft Chase Winovich, but he has ‘lot of respect’ for TJ graduate
Not only did the Pittsburgh Steelers find their first-round draft pick, inside linebacker Devin Bush, on Michigan’s campus, they heavily scouted another Wolverines defensive player, one with WPIAL ties.
Thomas Jefferson graduate Chase Winovich met with the Steelers in the predraft process, but any chance of a homecoming was dashed when the New England Patriots selected him in the third round with the No. 77 overall selection.
After the Steelers selected Bush, they took wide receiver Diontae Johnson in the third round (No. 66 overall). By the time their second pick of the third round arrived, Winovich already had been taken by the Patriots.
Coach Mike Tomlin will get to see Winovich again Sunday night when the Steelers and Patriots open their NFL schedules at Gillette Stadium.
“I have a lot of respect for him,” Tomlin said. “He’s a quality edge rusher.”
Winovich had an impressive preseason. He had nine tackles, 21/2 sacks, three tackles for loss and four quarterback hits. He also chipped in two tackles on special teams.
Tomlin compared Winovich to T.J. Watt, whom the Steelers selected in the first round of the 2017 draft.
“He’s mature beyond his years in terms of his skills relative to his position,” Tomlin said. “His hand usage, his awareness in terms of his rush, his overall in-game awareness, his motor. He has a lot of positive attributes.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .