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Steelers Best Options At Cornerback In The 2023 NFL Draft

The Steelers are currently slim at the cornerback position. They have been for years, to be honest, but this draft is a chance to turn that around. So many good cornerback prospects are in the pool this year. After signing Patrick Peterson, whoever the new cornerback is, will have a great mentor and teammate. The pool is deep and with the Steelers short at cornerback, you may even see them double-dip and take two. This draft has corner talent well into days three and four.

The Steelers don’t have a great track record drafting cornerbacks, unfortunately, but this is the Omar Khan Era now, so maybe things could change. In recent memory, the only two corners the Steelers drafted that panned out were Cam Sutton and Mike Hilton, who both have walked in Free Agency. This draft is a huge opportunity to start this new regime on the right foot when it comes to drafting corners.

Brian Branch

This is the dream pick at 17. Brian Branch has played all over the place for Alabama, including corner, safety, and punt returner for a stint. has said his pro player comparison is current Steelers All-Pro safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick. Surely that is music to Mike Tomlin’s ears. In his three years at Alabama, Branch has gathered 172 total tackles, three interceptions, and 23 passes defended in 35 games. He finished fifth in the SEC in solo tackles last year with 58. Branch is a versatile guy, who would fit great in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers seem to be building a liking for these Alabama guys. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Najee Harris, and Levi Wallace are all Alabama Alum. The Crimson Tide and Coach Nick Saban are always successful, so not a bad addiction to gain. Branch ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine and will be a hot commodity in April.

Joey Porter Jr.

The pick the fans would love. Joey Porter’s son to Pittsburgh is a real possibility at 17 it seems, but who really knows? Joey Porter Jr. went to Penn State too, which makes another connection, The Steelers love the local players. Kenny Pickett from Pitt in the first round last year, now a chance to take Porter Jr. from Penn State? YinzerPalooza.

Porter Jr. was Penn State’s Defensive MVP in 2022 in a season where he played ten games. He made 27 tackles and had 11 passes defended to go with a fumble recovery. Porter Jr. had essentially created an island that didn’t get thrown at much it felt like. The long and physical corner was Second Team All-American and First Team All-Conference in 2022. At the NFL combine, he ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash which isn’t bad at his size of six foot two and a half and 193 pounds.

Devon Witherspoon

The 2022 Big Ten Defensive Back Of The Year Devon Witherspoon didn’t allow a touchdown all year for Illinois. Witherspoon went from not playing football until his junior year of high school to a Consensus All-American in 2022. Playing 12 games, Witherspoon amassed 41 total tackles to go with three interceptions and 14 passes defended. He finished second in the Big Ten in passes defended and is 18th in Conference History. Not bad for a kid who picked it up late. Sounds like another Witherspoon the Steelers have.

Witherspoon didn’t get to test at the combine or his pro day due to an injury he’s been dealing with. scouts gave him the pro player comparison of Levi Wallace, current Steelers corner. Not testing at the NFL combine or pro day may let him slip to Pittsburgh.



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