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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Interest in First Round Cornerbacks is Very Real

The Pittsburgh Steelers are putting in too much work into first round cornerbacks for the signal not to be strong that they could take one.



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Alabama CB Kool Aid-McKinstry

The Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick could go a few different directions. Indeed, they could take a wide receiver, offensive tackle, or center, but cornerback is a genuine possibility, too. Tracking the movements and interest for the Steelers, cornerback seems like a very real possibility.

For one, let’s start out with the most recent visitors, Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins. Wiggins checks all of the boxes from the team for their interest level, too. The team met with him formally at the NFL Combine. Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin were at his pro day, and they took him out to dinner the night before his pro day. Lastly, Wiggins is now in Pittsburgh for an official 30 visit.

In other words, he checks every box the Steelers have long held regarding their first-round picks. And he fits the mold of what they would want since Wiggins is an absolute speed demon with some high-level tape. And cornerback is still a need. Wiggins has the frame that could see him as versatile inside-out, though he did not play on the inside as much as someone like Terrion Arnold. But it feels like he could do that.

Speaking of Arnold, both he and Kool-Aid McKinstry have checked off most of the boxes, aside from the 30-visit, to this point. Tomlin and Khan took them out to dinner at their pro day and formally met with them at the NFL Combine. That’s not surprising, as those guys go to Alabama every year, and both players pop off the tape as Steelers-type players.

Lastly, Mitchell’s track record of interest goes back further. The Steelers scouted him at least three times this season, and Tomlin hounded him during the Senior Bowl all week. Even without the NFL Combine formal and the pro day visit, their interest in him as continued. Pittsburgh has put a ton of legwork into these cornerbacks. But Grady Brown has not been on the trail, either, so perhaps the signals they will wait. This class has enough slot cornerbacks to do just that. But if the player is the guy they like at 20th overall, it sure feels like they will jump at that.

The value at cornerback makes sense for the Steelers, even with pressing needs at wide receiver and center. It seems like a lot of legwork is being put into this cornerback class, so all of these guys above are considered top candidates. The question would just become what they would do to address other spots. An active post-draft free agency period or maybe another move coming down the pipeline before the draft could change that all.