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Beanie Bishop Could be Steelers Standout Slot Cornerback

The Pittsburgh Steelers could have their slot cornerback answer in the fiery nickel cornerback Beanie Bishop from West Virginia.



Pittsburgh Steelers Beanie Bishop

The Pittsburgh Steelers signing West Virginia defensive back Beanie Bishop Jr. might be one of the more underrated moves they made in their draft process. He is one of those players who will be a slot cornerback for them. He can come in on day one and compete for that job. Bishop is known as someone who can bring the heat off the edge and play with a chip on their shoulder. You don’t have to ask anyone else, just ask Bishop.

“I’ve always been doubted,” Bishop said to Steelers Now at the Shrine Bowl. “You know, I feel like I’m just a dawg. I play with a chip on my shoulder to prove something every game.”

According to Chad Reuter of NFL Network, Bishop is considered the best cornerback among this year’s undrafted free agents.

Upon his arrival in Morgantown, Beanie Bishop instantly displayed a high level of confidence, but his spirit only increased after proving his true potential as a Mountaineer. He’s then put that on display at the East-West Shrine Bowl, as his focus is on impressing NFL scouts enough to be drafted. Bishop was one of the standouts at the Big 12’s Pro Day.

He ran a 4.39 forty and a 4.15 20-yard shuttle, which would have been among the best times at the NFL Combine. Given his projection in the slot, the Steelers had to take note of Bishop’s level of testing. But it was more than that. Bishop’s ball-hawking skills stood out on tape, too, and he earned an All-American selection as a result of that.

“I wanted to show that I’m elite when the ball is in the air. Whenever the ball is in the air, it’s just as much mine as it is theirs (the receivers),” Bishop said of his 2023 season.

And to that end, Bishop picked off four passes and wrecked games for opposing quarterbacks all throughout the year, most notably getting to Pitt quarterback Phil Jurkovec in WVU’s Backyard Brawl win and recording two interceptions on the road at UCF. He also helped keep the Mountaineers at the top of college football in ball-hawk rate with 20 pass deflections.

Steelers general manager Omar Khan recently discussed how the team is excited to have Bishop on the roster during an interview on the DVE Morning Show.

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan before the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept 10, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan before the team’s game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept 10, 2023. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“Yeah, Beanie Bishop. I can’t tell you how excited we were to have an opportunity to sign Beanie Bishop after the draft. We had him here for a visit. When he was here, we talked about our defense and how he would fit in. We really felt like he was a guy that could come in here and compete,” Khan said.

The Steelers have a glaring hole at slot cornerback right now, and Khan thinks Bishop could be a player who steps up in that role. Of course, they are sniffing around the free agency market as well, but Bishop has a fire to him that could make him uniquely equipped for making a roster push.

“We were able to do business with him after the draft. I think he’s going to have a great opportunity at nickel to help us this year. He has great special teams value.”

The Steelers have repeatedly noted how much they love these slot cornerbacks who can tackle, blitz, and stick their noses in the run game. Bishop prides himself on that. In fact, he often harps on how much he loves to tackle and stick his nose in the fan, which other defensive backs don’t want to do.

“And that I can tackle well. I finished the season with 60 tackles (67). Not a lot of DBs like to tackle. And I love to tackle. I’m a physical DB, can play inside and outside,” Bishop said.

For the Steelers, that could be the type of guy they want out of the slot that can give them versatility back at safety, too. So, Bishop will have a chance to compete in Pittsburgh. It will be up to him, however, to bring he has the all-around chops to become part of that slot cornerback answer. Pittsburgh is likely to sign someone to help fill that void, but Bishop’s tape shows that he might have a chance to make some noise.


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Jesus Christani
Jesus Christani
May 8, 2024 10:39 am

Could be… Receipts!

Jr Singh
Jr Singh
May 9, 2024 10:56 pm

I think the Steelers can be very dangerous. They have 2 stud RB’s in Harris and Warren. Pickens is a relative highlight reel. I think he can be even more amazing if he works on his route running. Patterson or Wilson [Roman] can play opposite of Pickens. And in a 3 receiver set you can put Wilson in the slot with his ability to run routes he’s a viable option in the intermediate and deep passing game. Not to mention they have Freiermuth at TE who I think was definitely underutilized in Matt Canada’s offense. Hopefully he can be better… Read more »