2023 Stock Watch – CB Cory Trice Jr. – Purchased

With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we have turned our attention to the offseason. One thing that it means is that some stock evaluations are going to start taking on broader contexts, reflecting on a player’s development, either positively or negatively, over the course of the season. Other evaluations will reflect only one immediate event or trend. The nature of the evaluation, whether short-term or long-term, will be noted in the reasoning section below.

Player: CB Cory Trice Jr.

Stock Value: Purchased

Reasoning: The Steelers double dipped at the outside cornerback position by adding Cory Trice Jr. in the seventh round. Many viewed his talent level to be much closer to a mid-round pick, but his stock reportedly dropped due to medical concerns.

It is unlikely, in my opinion, that the Steelers would have drafted another cornerback, at least an outside cornerback, late in the draft if it were not for the tremendous athletic talent value that the specific player represented, having already taken an outside cornerback 32nd overall in Joey Porter Jr.

The player in question is Cory Trice Jr. out of Purdue, a 6’3”, 206-pounder with a 4.47 40-yard dash and an 11’ broad jump with a 4.06-second short shuttle. He recorded five interceptions, including two pick-sixes, and 15 passes defensed for the Boilermakers in 30 career games.

According to Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, it was medical concerns that had him still available in the seventh round. Or at least he said that was the reason Trice was not invited to the Senior Bowl, adding that he thought the cornerback might fall out of the draft entirely. He ended up going 241st overall.

Most notably, Trice tore his ACL in 2021, and spent much of this past season playing with a leg brace, though he was able to shed it eventually. He had other injuries even going back to high school, during which he broke his ankle.

It appears as though he is healthy right now, however, and past injuries are often not an indicator of future ones. He still ran a 4.47 40 with a prior torn ACL, so that’s not too shabby, and as mentioned, his short shuttle was very good as well. The only figure on which he had a low Relative Athletic Score was in his 20-yard split, which probably just missed the cut for average. All that suggests is that he might take a bit longer to pick up a head of steam. Or he just had a slow start to that particular timed run, for all we know.

And he was just a seventh-round pick, so no harm, no foul if he doesn’t work out. Even’s draft profile projected him to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick. The Steelers didn’t have any picks in the fifth or sixth rounds, however, and they took outside linebacker Nick Herbig in the fourth, which was obviously a bigger need than outside cornerback. Alex Kozora had Trice going in the third round.

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