Hopefully the Steelers warroom had some arts and crafts to keep everyone busy, because the Steelers didn't possess a single selection in the fifth or sixth rounds. I kept one eye on the draft coverage, just in the unlikely case that the Steelers traded back into either round. As expected, nothing happened. That made for an unusually long afternoon.
The Steelers actually had two picks in the seventh round; selections #241 and #251.
Seventh round selections are by definition longshots. Athletic prospects with interesting or intriguing potential. Oftentimes they are extremely raw, as they enter the NFL without a established position, or attempting the dreaded position switch at the highest level.
I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.
There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Purdue CB Cory Trice Jr with Steelers 241st selection of the 2023 NFL Draft.
To be completely honest, I have no idea why Cory Trice Jr lasted until the seventh round. Trice was projected to be selected anywhere from the fourth to the sixth round by many evaluators. He is an athletic prospect with intriguing potential, but he doesn't fit the other criteria.
Trice has ample experience playing cornerback at a Power 5 program, and he probably won't be making a position switch. Trice started his collegiate career at safety, but quickly moved to cornerback full-time as a sophomore.
Trice has a good blend of size, length, and speed. He is 6'3" and 206 lbs, with 4.47 speed. His explosive measurables were more than adequate, with strong agility scores. Trice proved his competitiveness against top competition in the Big Ten, and excels in press man coverage, where he can utilize his length to disrupt and delay receivers routes. Watch any amount of film on this guy and you immediately think he should be playing for the Seattle Seahawks.
So what's not to love? What am I missing here? How does that almost ideal height, weight, speed combination last until the seventh round? Some evaluations question his long speed, his footwork, his play recognition, and his enthusiasm for run support. Based solely on the extremely limited clips I have seen on Trice, he appears to possess intriguing potential. His NFL future will most likely come down to if he is willing to put in the hard work necessary to improve, and if the Steelers coaches can help him clean up his technique.
Based on the criteria mentioned earlier in this article, I give the Steelers seventh round selection of Cory Trice Jr an initial draft grade of B+.
Teams often select intriguing prospects in the seventh round who would possibly go undrafted, but they don't want to have to compete against the other franchises in a bidding war to get them signed. Based on all available criteria, Trice appears to be excellent value in the seventh round, and should team with Joey Porter Jr to give the Steelers two press corners with exceptional length.
Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.
I am pleased to welcome Cory Trice Jr to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC staff and community. Go Steelers!
What initial draft grade would you give the Steelers seventh round selection of Cory Trice Jr?
This poll is closed
A = Excellent selection
B = Solid selection
C = Average selection
D = Below average selection
F = Terrible selection