Home Steelers 2023 Season SCB Steelers 2023 Training Camp Preview – Cornerbacks

SCB Steelers 2023 Training Camp Preview – Cornerbacks

by Steeldad

It may seem like the Pittsburgh Steelers were just putting the cap on their 2022 season but believe it or not Training Camp is right around the corner. As the Steelers prepare for their trip East to Latrobe, we’re getting ready too. We’ll be previewing the 90 players participating at St. Vincent College position by position. In this article we look at the cornerbacks.

Currently on the Roster

James Pierre – 4th year
Luq Barcoo – 2nd year
Madre Harper – 2nd year
Patrick Peterson – 13th year
Joey Porter, Jr. – Rookie
Cory Trice, Jr – Rookie
Chandon Sullivan – 6th year
Levi Wallace – 6th year
Chris Wilcox – 1st year
Tre Norwood – 3rd year

James Pierre

Pierre has consistently been a ‘feast or famine’ type of DB. He seems to make one big play but then turns around and gives one up. He’s been incredibly durable playing in every game during his first three seasons and has started six times. He is very much valued by Danny Smith as a Special Teams contributor but will that be enough to keep him on the roster?

2022 stats:
29 tackles

Luc Barcoo

Barcoo hasn’t seen game action since 2020 in Jacksonville. He’s been on the Practice Squads in Philadelphia, Washington and Tampa Bay. He checks a lot of boxes in terms of things the Steelers like in their DBs, but the odds are long on him  making it.

Madre Harper

Harper played 2020 with the NY Giants and 2021 with the Carolina Panthers. Spent last season on the Panthers’ Practice Squad. Was dismissed from Oklahoma State for team violations and then landed at Southern Illinois. Definitely fits the Steelers’ CB profile with good size and length. Outstanding athlete who ran sub 4.3 at his Pro Day. He’s incredibly raw and there’s no doubt the Steelers are hoping to strike gold with him.

Patrick Peterson

Pat Pete will be a Hall of Famer when he decides to hang up his cleats, that much is certain.  What isn’t quite so certain is how exactly the Steelers plan to use him. He’s already admitted he will see time in the slot and on the boundary but some believe he could play some safety. I think that’s only likely in very specialized packages. Peterson’s experience and leadership will be massive for the younger guys on this defense.

2022 stats:
66 tackles
15 passes defensed

Joey Porter, Jr

It seemed to be destiny throughout the pre-draft process and it cam to fruition as the son of Steelers’ linebacker Joey Porter made his way to the Black and Gold. He has incredible length and athleticism that works in tandem with the willingness and ability to support against the run with physicality. You likely already know the concerns with him. He can get very grabby and can get beat deep so there are plenty of things to work on. There are also concerns that his limited interceptions will translate to the NFL. Regardless, pencil him in at starting CB.

2022 stats (at Penn St):
10 games
27 tackles
11 passes defensed

Cory Trice, Jr

Most draft experts had Trice as a third rounder but injuries pushed him down until the Steelers could scoop him up late on day three. He brings awesome size (6’3″ 205lbs) and length to the table. He’s really physical in coverage but could stand to improve that in run support. His fortunes will almost exclusively rest on his ability to stay healthy. If he can, he could be a real steal for the Steelers.

2022 stats (at Purdue):
34 tackles
2 tackles for loss
10 passes defensed

Chandon Sullivan

This was a curious signing by the Steelers. Sullivan played almost exclusively in the slot for the Minnesota Vikings last year. Good news? He’s got solid experience. Bad news? He joins Patrick Peterson as another guy coming over from one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL last season. Sullivan is incredibly durable. He’s played in every single game the last four seasons starting 30 of those. Sullivan is a highly intelligent player, but has limitations. He can hang in short areas but long speed gives him trouble and he has to be a better tackler from the nickel spot.

2022 stats:
60 tackles
7 passes defensed

Levi Wallace

Here’s a guy that just seems to be never too high and never too low. He’s shown some flashes of excellence and has also been beaten badly too. The former walk-on at Alabama is a competitor and that’s what Mike Tomlin likes. He’s willing to do whatever it takes and is an excellent teammate. Unless there’s a major switch with what the Steelers want to do I expect he’ll anchor the side opposite Porter, Jr.

2022 stats:
15 games
48 tackles
9 passes defensed

Chris Wilcox

Drafted by the Buccaneers in seventh round of the 2021 Draft, he’s yet to get a hat for an NFL game. He has lots of ability and potential but he’s also very raw. Didn’t collect a single interception, fumble recovery or sack in his BYU career. Wilcox is definitely a project entering Camp.

Tre Norwood

This guy has been a very pleasant surprise since being drafted in the Steelers in the seventh round of the 2021 Draft. He has position flexibility smoothly moving from nickel to safety at times. I think he’s best at safety where he can see things happening in front of him. He’s a better run supporter than open field tackler and he’s also prized as a Special Teams player too. His versatility continues to make him a guy who sticks with the club.

2022 stats:
15 games
23 tackles

Roster Projections

Peterson, Porter,Jr, Wallace, Trice, Norwood(likely safety), Sullivan

Harper, Barcoo – Practice Squad

Wilcox, Pierre – Cut

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