At pick number 245 the Steelers added to the defensive backfield with Tre Norwood. Mike Tomlin defined him as a Swiss Army knife and as a safety. He played in 39 games with 24 starts, and missed the 2019 due to a non-contact knee injury sustained in the preseason.
Norwood is listed as 5115 and 192 pounds with 29 3/8″ arms. He had a 4.58 40-yard dash, 12 reps on the bench and a vertical of 33.5″. Norwood totaled 111 tackles in his career with 75 solo tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, six interceptions (five in 2020) and 14 passes defensed. He was also a Senior Bowl participant.
Here is where he was ranked by some draft outlets.
He was not listed on the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah’s top 150.
He was not listed on Pro Football Focus’ top 300 boards.
Jordan Reid at The Draft Network projected him as a developmental nickel corner in a Cover 1 press-man scheme and shared his thoughts, saying, “Following suffering a torn ACL prior to the 2019 season, Norwood returned in 2020. Serving primarily as a nickel defender for the Sooners, he displayed plenty of fluidity at the position. A patient player, he has a smooth backpedal that marries up well with his body movements throughout. With plenty of ball production, he translates as an eventual depth nickel defender on the next level.”
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com gave him a grade of 5.60 (Chance to make end of roster or practice squad) and had a priority free agent projection on him, and summarized him by saying, “Despite his size and ball production at the end of the year, there is too much tape (including the Senior Bowl) that put his struggles on display as it pertains to fluidity and stickiness in coverage. He lacks recovery speed and open-field athleticism to deal with NFL man coverage, but his 2020 experience at safety could open the door for a position change at the next level. He wasn’t asked to do much more than basic two-deep drops, but he clearly has the coverage experience to adapt to more than that. However, he will have to become both tougher and more consistent as a tackle finisher in order to make that switch a full-time job opportunity.
Tony Pauline had him as a Day 3 player and profiled him as, “With his playmaking ability alone, Norwood brings definite appeal. And at around 6-foot-0, 192 pounds, his size isn’t a trump card for his productivity. Additionally, Norwood’s experience on the boundary, in the slot, and at safety will be invaluable for his draft stock. Versatility in the secondary is more important than it’s ever been, and Norwood has the potential to be a chess piece with his wide-ranging experience and athleticism.”
We will have our report up shortly.
Overall, based on the grades of the evaluators listed above, this pick has a solid grade value. There was depth needed in the defensive backfield with the departures of Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson. Norwood has experience playing in the slot and was announced as a safety, so it sounds like he has some versatility and they will use him where they need him as well as on special teams.