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2024 NFL Draft

Ballhawk CB Max Melton Fits Steelers Defense Perfectly

The Pittsburgh Steelers slot cornerback solution might not be that surprising if it is Rutgers cornerback Max Melton.

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Max Melton

The Pittsburgh Steelers love NFL bloodlines. And more than that, they love great athletes. When you combine the two at a position of need, look out, that guy might just be heading to the Steelers. And in this class at the cornerback position, it sure is easy to look at Rutgers cornerback Max Melton, who the team already hosted for a pre-draft visit. Steelers Now’s Derrick Bell described Melton well.

“Frenetic freak with superb straight-line speed to run stride for stride with even the fastest weapons. Melton is alignment versatile, shows urgency when driving on underneath throws, occasionally beating them to the spot altogether. At this point, he’s not overly consistent but rather a moldable ball of clay with starter-level traits to pair with an already established special teams’ acumen,” he wrote.

Melton, 21, is the younger brother of Green Bay Packers wide receiver Bo Melton. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound cornerback started for three and a half seasons for the Scarlet Knights, taking the starter mantle midway through his freshman season in 2021.

Over his last three seasons, Melton started 32 games for Rutgers, including all 12 games in each of his last two years. In that span, he recorded eight interceptions and 21 passes defended. He returned one interception for a touchdown. Melton was a three-time All-Big Ten selection at cornerback. 

The Steelers previously scouted Melton at the 2024 Senior Bowl and the 2024 NFL Combine, where he had a formal interview with the team.

Melton tested well at the combine, running a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, and posting elite explosiveness with a 40.5-inch vertical and an 11-foot-4 broad jump, for a 9.10 Relative Athletic Score.

The Steelers have a significant need in the slot, where Melton projects to play at the NFL level, after the team let 2023 regulars Chandon Sullivan and Patrick Peterson go via free agency.

Melton’s average draft position at NFL Mock Draft Database is currently 57th, just after the Steelers’s second pick of the draft in the second round.

But don’t bet against Melton even for that early stock. The Steelers have shown interest in many of those early cornerbacks and it sure does seem like that is a potential solution for them to make at the position. No one fits it much better than Melton does, and his talent shines on the field just as equal.

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