Steelers’ Tre Norwood Named One Of 8 Late-Round Draft Picks Exceeding Expectations In NFL

When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected defensive back Tre Norwood out of Oklahoma in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft, expectations were rather low regarding the young defensive back who played multiple positions with the Sooners over three seasons in the Big 12.

Since then, Norwood has grabbed the bull by the horns and quickly become a top contributor in the Steelers’ secondary so early in his career.

To date, Norwood has been the top rookie defensive back in the entire league, according to Pro Football Focus.

That’s quite impressive, considering the list of names that were drafted ahead of him, including Carolina’s Jaycee Horn, Denver’s Patrick Surtain II, Cleveland’s Greg Newsome, New Orleans’ Paulson Adebo, and more. Norwood had been better than all of them so far this season.

With his impressive start to his career, Norwood is starting to garner more attention, more playing time, and is earning more trust from the Steelers’ coaching staff, including head coach Mike Tomlin, defensive coordinator Keith Butler and secondary coach Teryl Austin.

Ahead of the Week 8 matchup with the Cleveland Browns, Norwood earned more attention, being named one of eight unheralded rookies across the NFL that are already exceeding expectations by Bleacher Report.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers had to develop talent in their secondary after the departures of cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton,” B/R’s Maurice Moton writes. “Seventh-round pick Tre Norwood has logged most of his defensive snaps in the slot, but the coaching staff isn’t afraid to line him up in center field as a deep safety or close to the line of scrimmage. Norwood has made 15 tackles (14 solo), one for loss, without missing any attempts. He also broke up a pass and allows an 82.7 passer rating when targeted in coverage. The Oklahoma product hasn’t allowed big plays, and he’s on the spot to make stops with clean tackles. As Norwood continues to earn trust, the coaching staff will find ways to put him on the field in critical situations.”

Norwood is coming off of a game in which he made three critical third-down stops against the Seattle Seahawks, including a huge open-field tackle against DK Metcalf and a pivotal pass break-up on a crossing route intended for Tyler Lockett.

Though he is starting to earn more playing time and more trust from the coaching staff, it’s important to keep overall expectations in check with the seventh-round draft pick. He’s been a really solid player overall for the Steelers and appears to be getting better and better each week, but he’s also putting more tape out there for opposing offenses that could see him placed in tougher situations and matchups in Dime.

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