Three players that the Pittsburgh Steelers could potentially be interested in the 2024 NFL Draft had their offseason injury statuses updated on Friday.
Potential first-round cornerback Ennis Rakestraw is recovering from core muscle surgery to repair an injury that happened during his season at Missouri. The injury caused him to miss the regular-season finale against Arkansas and the Tigers’ Cotton Bowl win over Ohio State.
Rakestraw had accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl next week in Mobile, Alabama, but he will not be participating, according to a report by Matt Miller of ESPN. Rakestraw hopes to be able to participate at the 2024 NFL Combine next month.
4.4 or 4.3 going change narrative see you in INDY🙏🏾
— Ennis Rakestraw Jr (@EnnisRakestraw) January 26, 2024
Rakestraw is a 6-foot, 188-pound cornerback out of Duncanville, Texas. He has been considered a late first-round prospect, but his injury status has made for a tougher evaluation.
Center Zach Frazier is another early-round potential Steelers target. The West Virginia center is considered one of the top prospects at what is unquestionably a big-time need for the Steelers.
Frazier is generally considered a second-round pick and definitely could be an option for the Steelers at pick No. 51 in the second round. Frazier suffered a broken leg against Baylor on Nov. 25, and missed WVU’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl contest against North Carolina.
Friday at the East-West Shrine Bowl, Frazier was spotted running on a treadmill by Dane Brugler of The Athletic. Frazier will not be participating in the Shrine Bowl, but is also working toward a potential return.
Spent some time today at OL Masterminds with the great @BigDuke50 (story coming later).
Zach Frazier was RUNNING on the treadmill while I was there. The same Zach Frazier who broke his leg on November 25! Crazy recovery. He is the top center in the draft for several teams.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 26, 2024
Frazier is a 6-foot-3, 311-pound Fairmont, West Virginia native with an amateur wrestling background with a reputation for a notoriously high compete level, so it’s no surprise that he’s attacking his rehab aggressively.
Finally, Pitt tackle Matt Goncalves, a potential Day Two or Day Three option for the Steelers, is doing drills as the Shrine Bowl, but won’t be fully recovered from the injury that cost him most of his senior season until close to the draft. He’s also shooting for full participation at the combine.