NFL Draft

Study: What The Steelers Look For In Drafting Cornerbacks

Browns' first-round pick Greg Newsome

Nearing the end of our 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers “what they look for” draft thresholds. Today, we’re looking at this class of cornerbacks to see what names check every single box the Steelers have typically looked for and drafted in the Mike Tomlin era.

As we do for all these articles, here’s the list of Steelers’ corners drafted since 2007. It is, sadly, an unimpressive list. Below that will be our criteria and the prospects who fit.

2019: Justin Layne

Height: 6016
Weight: 192
Arm Length: 33″
Hand Size: 9 1/4″
40 Time: 4.51
Vertical: 37.5″
Broad Jump: 11’2″
Short Shuttle: 4.09
Three-Cone: 6.90

2017: Cam Sutton

Height: 5110
Weight: 188
Arm Length: 30″
Hand Size: 8 1/4″
40 Time: 4.52
Vertical: 34″
Broad Jump: 10’0″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three-Cone: 6.81

Brian Allen

Height: 6027
Weight: 215
Arm Length: 34″
Hand Size: 10″
40 Time: 4.43
Vertical: 38″
Broad Jump: 10’7″
Short Shuttle: 4.34
Three-Cone: 6.64

2016: Artie Burns

Height: 5117
Weight: 193
Arm Length: 33 1/4″
Hand Size: 9 1/2″
40 Time: 4.46
Vertical: 33″
Broad Jump: 10’4″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three-Cone: N/A

2015: Senquez Golson

Height: 5085
Weight: 176
Arm Length: 29 3/4″
Hand Size: 9 3/8″
40 Time: 4.46
Vertical: 33.5″
Broad Jump: 10’0″
Short Shuttle: 4.20
Three-Cone: 6.81

Doran Grant

Height: 5102
Weight: 200
Arm Length: 30 1/4″
Hand Size: 9 3/8″
40 Time: 4.44
Vertical: 35.5″
Broad Jump: 10’5″
Short Shuttle: 4.33
Three-Cone: N/A

2014: Shaq Richardson

Height: 6001
Weight: 194
Arm Length: 32″
Hand Size: N/A
40 Time: N/A
Vertical: 38.5″
Broad Jump: 10’7″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three-Cone: N/A

2013: Terry Hawthorne

Height: 5116
Weight: 195
Arm Length: 31 1/4″
Hand Size: 8 7/8″
40 Time: 4.44
Vertical: 35.5″
Broad Jump: 9’8″
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three-Cone: N/A

2012: Terence Frederick

Height: 5100
Weight: 187
Arm Length: 31 1/8″
Hand Size: 9 1/8″
40 Time: 4.54
Vertical: 35″
Broad Jump: 10’1″
Short Shuttle: 4.03
Three-Cone: 6.59

2011: Curtis Brown

Height: 5115
Weight: 185
Arm Length: 32 1/4″
Hand Size: 9 1/2″
40 Time: 4.54
Vertical: 39.5″
Broad Jump: 10’6″
Short Shuttle: 4.00
Three-Cone: 6.59

Cortez Allen

Height: 6012
Weight: 197
Arm Length: 32 1/4″
Hand Size: 8 5/8″
40 Time: 4.53
Vertical: 37.5″
Broad Jump: 10’9″
Short Shuttle: 4.01
Three-Cone: 6.76

2010: Crezdon Butler

Height: 5116
Weight: 191
Arm Length: 32″
Hand Size: 8 3/4″
40 Time: 4.49
Vertical: 39.5″
Broad Jump: 10’1″
Short Shuttle: 4.23
Three-Cone: 7.08

2009: Keenan Lewis

Height: 6007
Weight: 208
Arm Length: 32 3/4″
Hand Size: 9 3/4″
40 Time: 4.55
Vertical: 38.5″
Broad Jump: 10’10”
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three-Cone: N/A

Joe Burnett

Height: 5093
Weight: 192
Arm Length: N/A
Hand Size: N/A
40 Time: 4.62
Vertical: 35.5″
Broad Jump: 9’10”
Short Shuttle: 4.25
Three-Cone: 6.68

2007: William Gay

Height: 5101
Weight: 187
Arm Length: 31″
Hand Size: 9 1/2″
40 Time: N/A
Vertical: 38.5″
Broad Jump: 9’10”
Short Shuttle: N/A
Three-Cone: N/A

With the Steelers not drafting a CB in 2020, our criteria remains the same. Here it is.

Height 5’10+ (12 of 14)
185+ pounds (13 of 14)
31+ inch arms (10 of 13)
4.55 40 or lower (11 of 12)
33+ inch vertical (14 of 14)
10’0″+ inch broad (11 of 14)
4.35 short shuttle (6 of 7)
6.90 three cone (6 of 7)

There were four corners from the 2021 class who checked all of those boxes.

Name/School Height Weight Arm Length 40 Time Vert Broad SS 3 Cone
Paulson Adebo/STAN 6010 198 31 1/2″ 4.45 36.5″ 10’1″ 4.13 6.69
Greg Newsome/NU 6002 192 31 1/8″ 4.39 40″ 10’3″ 4.26 6.90
Robert Rochell/C. ARK 5116 193 32 3/8″ 4.41 43″ 11’1″ 4.08 6.84
Keith Taylor/WASH 6022 187 32 1/8″ 4.54 33.5″ 10’7″ 4.27 6.85

 

All four of those corners played on the outside in school. Newsome is a first-round corner while the others could be taken on Day 2/early Day 3. Rochell is a sleeper and someone worth considering after College Scouting Director Phil Kreidler attended his Pro Day. Rochell also was able to play in 2020, something most small-schoolers didn’t get to do.

One Box Away

Thomas Graham Jr./Oregon: Three-Cone (7.08)
Kelvin Joseph/Kentucky: Three-Cone (7.21)
Aaron Robinson/UCF: Arm Length (30 1/4″)
Benjamin St-Juste/Minnesota: Broad Jump (9’11”)
Brandon Stephens/SMU: Three-Cone (6.99)
Eric Stokes/Georgia: Three-Cone (6.96)
Chris Wilcox/BYU: Three-Cone (7.19)
Rachad Wildgoose/Wisconsin: Three-Cone (7.09)
Rodarius Williams/Oklahoma State: Three-Cone (6.95)
Marco Wilson/Florida: Arm Length (30 3/4″)

Couple interesting names there. We know the team showed some interest in St-Juste early in the pre-draft process. Stokes is a sleeper candidate early in the draft while Robinson could be a slot option on Day 2. His lack of length would be less of an issue inside.

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