2023 NFL Draft

CBS Sports Has Steelers Drafting One Of Best Cover Corners In New Mock Draft

When the 2023 NFL Draft gets underway, the Pittsburgh Steelers will have a need at cornerback. Even if the team re-signs Cameron Sutton, with a division that is filled with elite quarterbacks and some special wide receivers, having lockdown corners is important. It’s one of the reasons a new CBS Sports mock draft has the Steelers selecting Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon with their first pick.

Kyle Stackpole has Witherspoon going to Pittsburgh at 17 as the second cornerback picked in the draft

“The Steelers need a No. 1 cornerback, and Devon Witherspoon, coming from one of the best defenses in all of college football, has the fundamentals, physicality and instincts to thrive in Mike Tomlin’s secondary,” Stackpole wrote.

Witherspoon has rarely fallen to the Steelers at pick 17 in mock drafts so far. The 6’0″ 180 pound cornerback was productive on an elite Illinois defense which has made him go top 15 often in mock drafts.

Witherspoon finished his senior season with three interceptions, 14 pass breakups and made 42 tackles. He even finished his senior season with a PFF grade of 92.0 and at one point in the season his cover grade was 91.0.

For Pittsburgh, there are question marks in their cornerback room. If Sutton is re-signed it helps a bit, but he isn’t athletic enough to stay with some of the elite receivers such as Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals. While Witherspoon isn’t the biggest cornerback, the hope would be that when drafting a cornerback in round one you expect him, to be able to matchup with other teams WR1.

A cornerback tandem of Sutton and Witherspoon with one of them kicking inside when Levi Wallace in on the field would likely make for a much better cornerback room than Pittsburgh currently has. With already having an elite pass rush when everyone is healthy, making sure their defensive backfield is also very good will be important in a conference filled with elite quarterbacks.

If you would like to read more about Witherspoon, our own Josh Carney did a draft profile on him around a month ago.

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