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2024 NFL Draft

One Scout Describes Ricky Pearsall’s Fit with Steelers Perfectly

If the Pittsburgh Steelers want a receiver who can maximize his game in the Arthur Smith scheme, it might be Ricky Pearsall.

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2024. NFL Draft Prospect Florida WR Ricky Pearsall

The Pittsburgh Steelers have looked at all types of wide receivers in the NFL Draft process so far, but it seems they are settling on the second group to target. That includes Xavier Legette, Malachi Corley, and others, but Florida’s Ricky Pearsall feels like a legitimate option at 51st overall.

However, Tony Pauline has heard that Pearsall is flying up the board faster than any other wide receiver in the entire 2024 NFL Draft class.

“The receiver rising faster than any other is Ricky Pearsall of Florida. Several teams have placed an early second-round grade on Pearsall, another surehanded receiver who had a tremendous combine workout with times of 4.41 seconds in the 40 and 6.64 seconds in the three-cone and a vertical jump of 42 inches,” Pauline said.

Pearsall had an impressive performance at the NFL Combine, recording a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical.

After trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers last week, wide receiver has become a top priority for the Steelers in the draft. Pearsall is projected to be a late second or third-round pick.

Pearsall transferred to Florida from Arizona State in 2022. In his two seasons as a Florida Gator, he recorded 98 receptions for 1,626 yards (16.6 average) and nine touchdowns. At Arizona State, he caught 61 passes for 794 yards (13.0 average) and five touchdowns.

Overall, Pearsall is a vertical slot receiver that has nice speed and ball skills. Florida often deployed him from the slot and put him in motion. His pro comp is Kenny Stills. Pittsburgh held a pre-draft visit with him.

“Pearsall’s toughness, sure hands and blocking ability give him a trustworthy floor,” Derrick Bell of Steelers Now wrote in his scouting report on Pearsall. “It’s fair to acknowledge that other receivers in the class might have more potential but this is a player that’s ready to come in and contribute right away. It’s true that this receiver class is loaded, both at the top and from a depth standpoint, which could cause him to fall further than he would in a normal cycle. If the Steelers can plug some of their other holes prior to draft weekend, spending a mid-round pick on Pearsall makes a ton of sense and could prove wise very quickly.”

If the Steelers don’t address the wide receiver position in the first round with a top-flight prospect, Pearsall could be a solid option in the mid-rounds. Mainly because his strengths, such as blocking prowess and shiftiness in and out of his routes, would work well in Arthur Smith’s scheme. In fact, one offensive assistant basically described the scheme to Bruce Feldman.

“He reminds me of Ricky Proehl. He’s got the wiggle to him. The double moves. Turn the corner, but you can’t line him up in normal splits and think he’s gonna release and run by everybody. If you play in a Rams type of offense, where everything is motions, tight splits and stacks, he has more value,” the offensive assistant told Feldman.

That is what Smith’s offense is predicated on, too. Those tight splits, the motion, and stacks to help the receivers get open while working on crossers and into the middle of the field. In other words, it is not surprising the Steelers are interested in Pearsall, and he probably fits in their scheme like a glove.