Home Steelers DraftDraft Analysis SCB Steelers Draft Position Profiles 2023: Cornerbacks

SCB Steelers Draft Position Profiles 2023: Cornerbacks

by Steeldad

Welcome to our Steelers Draft Profiles. What we’ve done is create lists of top prospects with our take on their abilities based on what we’ve seen of them. Once published, we will continue to update these very articles on a regular basis as new information comes in about the players. In today’s article, we feature the Cornerbacks.

Christian Gonzalez – SO. – Oregon – 6’2″ 200lbs

Played first two seasons at Colorado before spending his last season at Oregon… Three-year starter… Unbelievable footwork… Really instinctive player who sees things happening ahead of time… He’s definitely a man cover guy but he excelled in zone coverage as well… High points the ball and will win more than his share of 50/50 balls… Length can be quite irritating for receivers… Really good open-field tackler… I’d be stunned if this guy isn’t the first CB off the board…

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.38
Vertical: 41.5″

Notes: Pro Day was March 14th.

Devon Witherspoon – JR. – Illinois – 6′ 180lbs

Three-year starter… Highly competitive and aggressive… Seems to always find himself around the ball and will often make plays on it… Has solid experience in both man and zone coverage but I think he’s better suited to man coverage systems… Very reliable tackler… Will lay a pretty mean lick on ball carriers for a guy his size… Won’t be limited to boundary/Should be able to play nickel… Could stand to add weight to his frame…

Notes: Pro Day was March 10th.

Joey Porter, Jr. – JR. – Penn State – 6’2″ 190lbs

Long and athletic… His length frustrates receivers consistently… Son of former Steeler Joey Porter… Took major steps forward in the last two seasons… Strong hands… Does a very nice job of re-routing receivers at the line of scrimmage and down the field as well… No hesitancy when he comes forward on short passes or for run support… High football I.Q… He can get ‘grabby’ at times in coverage resulting in holds or interference… I’m not sure how universal he is/Might be limited to specific defenses like press man…

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.46
Vertical: 35″

Notes: Pro Day is March 24th.

Kelee Ringo – SO. – Georgia – 6′ 2″ 205lbs

Elite speed (10.43 100) but in a big body… Two-year starter for the Bulldogs… Will not ever get beat deep due to his speed… Above average ball skills… Despite limited experience in college, his ability to play in man or zone coverage is quite good… While straight-line speed is tremendous, his change of direction is lacking… Would like to see him be more aggressive in run support… Thought he would have more interceptions…

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.36
Vertical: 33.5″

Notes: Met with the Steelers at the Combine and will make a private visit to Pittsburgh as well. Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were at the UGA Pro Day on 3/15.

Emmanuel Forbes – JR. – Mississippi State – 6′ 180lbs

Highly competitive player… Plays well in both man and zone schemes… Slim build that could stand some weight but he plays very aggressively… He gets beat when he gets overly aggressive so this is something he’ll need to work on… Highly successful return man… Comes up quickly on screens and throws to the flat… High effort in run support… I think he’s locked in as a boundary corner…

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.35
Vertical: 37.5″

Notes: Pro Day is March 28th.

Cam Smith – JR. – South Carolina – 6′ 185lbs

Confident and competitive player… Aggressive and physical run stopper… Can sometimes be “too physical” and will miss tackles… Plays the ball very well in the air… Very instinctual player who reads things well as they develop… Stays composed throughout each play… Could stand to add some weight to his lean build… Above average man cover guy… Has produced some quality ball skills…

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.43
Vertical: 38.5″

Notes: Pro Day was March 13th.

DJ Turner – JR. – Michigan – 6′ 180lbs

Wicked fast as evidenced by his performance at the Combine… Really solid in both man and zone coverage… Above average football I.Q. … Not a ‘hammer’ in the run game but he’s more than capable… Top rate explosion often catches receivers off guard… One of the more technically sound CBs in the Draft… Heavy man coverage teams will covet him… Surprisingly low number of turnovers… Overall size is a concern… Could stand to add some strength and weight…

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.26
Vertical: 38.5″

Notes: Pro Day is March 17th. Met with Steelers.

Julius Brents – SR. – Kansas State – 6’4″ 205lbs

Can’t beat his size and length at the position… Extremely aggressive run stopper who blows through receivers to make plays… Good forward explosion when he’s playing off and has to come up quickly… Is consistently physical with receivers… His length can really frustrate pass catchers… Lacks the speed you normally like at the position… Will need time to become better in man-to-man coverage.

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.53
Shuttle: 4.05
Vertical: 41.5″

Notes: Pro Day is March 31st.

Kyu Blu Kelly – SR. – Stanford – 6’1″ 190lbs

Track and Field background is evident in his style of play… Has tremendous experience having started games dating back to his freshman season… Highly competitive player… Enjoys being locked on to receivers in man coverage… Looks far less confident in zone coverage or when forced to play off… Very positive ball production… Likely a boundary corner but I can see teams using him in the slot…

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.52
Vertical: 36″

Notes: Pro Day is March 22nd.

Deonte Banks – JR. – Maryland – 6’1″ 200lbs

Big, physical corner with good athleticism… Has relied heavily on his overall ability… Technique must get more consistent… Strong in run support… Able to make quick transition from back peddle to forward speed… Can be a tad over-aggressive at times in terms of jumping routes… Battles receivers well for the ball… Can get a little too grabby at times…

Key Combine Stats:
40-yard Dash: 4.35
Vertical: 42″

Notes: Pro Day is March 29th.

Others to Watch: Riley Moss – Iowa, Tyrique Stevenson – Miami, Clark Phillips III – Utah, Jaylon Jones – Texas A&M, Jakorian Bennett – Maryland

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