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Resetting the Steelers Draft Board Ahead of Day 3 of the NFL Draft

The Steelers have addressed their primary positions of need on offense, but what about the defense? Will the Steelers draft a cornerback or defensive lineman on Day 3? In this article, we will be resetting the Steelers draft board, looking at the best potential targets for the Steelers in Rounds 4, 6, and 7.

If you would like to check out our official draft board and check out the best remaining players overall, you can click on the link below.

2024 FFSN NFL Draft Big Board: Final Top 200 Rankings

My top 10 available players entering Day 3 are as follows:

  1. Sedrick Van Pran | C | Georgia
  2. Jeremiah Trotter, Jr. | ILB | Clemson
  3. Jaylen Wright | RB | Tennessee
  4. Jaden Hicks | S | Washington State
  5. T.J. Tampa | CB | Iowa State
  6. Malik Washington | WR | Virginia
  7. Mohamed Kamara | EDGE | Colorado State
  8. Mason McCormick | OL | North Dakota State
  9. Troy Franklin | WR | Oregon
  10. Theo Johnson | TE | Penn State

Here are my ideal targets for both Round 4 as well as Rounds 5-7:

Targets in Round 4

61. Jaden Hicks | S | Washington State | 6’ 3”, 202 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Late 2nd
2023 Stats: GP 12, T 79, S 2.5, Int 2, PD 4.
Jeremy Betz: If you like football, you’ll love Jaden Hicks’ tape. Hicks is a big strong safety, but he also brings incredible range and versatility to the defensive backfield. He boasts great length and good athleticism, allowing him to close on the ball quickly in coverage and track down ball-carriers on the ground. At his size, you’d love to put him in the box and let him patrol the middle of the field, but he’s a better coverage safety than a run defender at this point in his career, so teams would be wise to give him more of a Kyle Hamilton-like role, moving him around the field. He can cover TE’s and bigger-bodied receivers in the slot, and shows plenty of instincts to anchor down the center-fielder role as well. Should be a starting caliber safety in Year 1.

63. TJ Tampa | CB | Iowa State | 6’ 2”, 190 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Late 2nd
2023 Stats: GP 12, T 44, S 0, Int 2, PD 7.
Andrew Wilbar: Tampa is not the fastest corner in this class, but he is a good football player who always seemed to put himself in good position to make clutch plays. His straight-line speed is sufficient, but far from elite, and his length allows him to close on opposing receivers quickly, especially in zone coverage. He is a little tight in the hips and not the most agile athlete, but with NFL coaching and better technique, we may see improvement in that area down the line. What I do like about him is his tenacity and physicality as a tackler. He plays with an old-school mindset against the run and is not afraid to impose his will. He loves getting involved in run defense and does not shy away from contact. If he had run below 4.5 in the 50, I think he would have likely been a first-round pick, but he is still likely to be off the board by the end of Round 2.

95. Malik Mustapha | S | Wake Forest | 5’ 10”, 197 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Late 3rd
2023 Stats: GP 12, T 80, S .5, Int 1, PD 2.
Andrew Wilbar: Mustapha has become one of my favorite mid-round prospects in this class. I love natural strong safeties with plus athleticism and an old-school mindset, and that defines Mustafa’s game. While he does not have elite size, he knows how to lay a hit on a receiver. A sound tackler in the open field, Mustapha displays great technique and takes smart tackling angles, and he also possesses good reaction speed in coverage. He lacks elite instincts, and that would probably be my biggest knock on him. However, With someone who can cover and tackle as consistently as he does, I believe he can overcome that. He almost reminds me of a smaller Terrell Edmunds, as he thrives in man coverage, consistently assists in the run game, and matches up extremely well against tight ends. If Mustapha falls to Day 3 of the draft, I believe teams could be getting a true difference maker at safety at an incredible value.

104. Quan’tez Stiggers | CB | Toronto Argonauts | 5’ 11”, 204 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Late 3rd
2023 Stats: GP 16, T 56, S 0, Int 5
Nolan Keck: 2023 Canadian Football’s Most Outstanding Rookie Quan’tez Stiggers posted a 36.5” vertical, 10’ 8” broad jump and a 4.45 40 yard-dash at his Pro Day in Atlanta, of which 29 out of 32 NFL teams visited. He’s trying to be only the 3rd player in the common era to be drafted without any collegiate experience, and he’s on track to join Eric Swann and Moritz Boehringer. His standout ball skills and athleticism helped Toronto win their 18th Grey Cup Championship, and he has the explosiveness to make the jump to the NFL.

110. Dadrion Taylor-Demerson | S | Texas Tech | 5’ 11”, 195 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Early 4th
2023 Stats: GP 13, T 73, S 1, Int 4, PD 8.
Jeremy Betz: Taylor-Demerson is a fun watch at Safety, with an aggressive approach and good athleticism to make plays anywhere on the field. More of a Nickel safety than anything, DTD is a solid zone coverage defender with enough physicality and speed to handle man responsibilities even against bigger pass catchers in the slot. He also plays well in Cover 2 responsibilities and displays impressive ball skills on tape. He doesn’t have elite size and he’s not the most physical tackler, but overall Taylor-Demerson has an NFL skillset that will make him a valuable prospect in the middle portions of this draft.

111. Tyler Owens | S | Texas Tech | 6’ 2”, 204 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Early 4th
2023 Stats: GP 10, T 37, S 0, Int 0, PD 2.
Andrew Wilbar: If you want to talk about a freak of nature, look no further than Owens. If not for having injured himself while running the 40 at the combine, his stock would likely be higher, as he would have impressed even more if he had been able to finish the workout. Owens is an explosive athlete who, despite his inexperience, will likely garner attention in the middle rounds. He has only started 12 games in college, and in those games, there was a lot of inconsistency. It all comes down to risk vs. reward, but when do teams feel as if the risk is outweighed by the potential reward. What I think could be his saving grace as it pertains to his floor is his ability to play special teams at a high level. Regardless, if you are taking this guy in the third or fourth round, you are doing it with the belief he will develop into a starter down the line. In order for that to happen, he will need to improve his recognition skills, especially in zone coverage. He will also need to learn how to take better tackling angles, as that is an area we did not see much consistency in this past year. He is one of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects in this draft.

130. M.J. Devonshire | CB | Pittsburgh | 5’ 11”, 185 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Mid 4th
2023 Stats: GP 12, T 32, S 0, Int 4, PD 10.
Andrew Wilbar: Devonshire was the number one corner for the Panthers in 2023, and his consistency improved greatly this past season. The biggest question will be whether or not he can play on the perimeter in the NFL. Although he was primarily a boundary corner in college, I believe his best fit in the NFL is the slot, where his lack of elite size will be as big an issue. From a play style perspective, I see similarities to Jason Verrett, a former first-round pick. However, Devonshire does not possess quite as much speed, twitch, and quickness as Verrett did. When he gets beat deep, he often results to holding the receiver and drawing a flag in the process, as he does not have enough recovery speed to make up ground on faster receivers. I would also like to see more consistency as a run defender. Having said all that, his long arms, fluidity, footwork, and ball skills are all impressive and good enough to make him a starter down the line. I could see a team in need of a nickel corner taking a chance on Devonshire in Round 3 or 4 if they miss out on Mike Sainristill.

115. Justin Eboigbe | DT | Alabama | 6’ 5” 285 lbs
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Mid 4th
2023 Stats: GP 14, T 64, TFL 11.5, S 7, PD 1, FR 0, FF 0.
Jeremy Betz: Despite being somewhat of a “tweener” along the DL, the Alabama defender is a quick-penetration artist up front. A blur off the ball, Eboigbe is a lean, mean, backfield wrecking machine. Unfortunately, if he doesn’t win quick, he is often easily overpowered by bigger, stronger IOL. At 6’5” and only 285 lbs, he has the frame to add weight and still maintain that elite quickness. A true upside pick, he could earn a look late on Day 2 for a team looking for a project with elite athleticism.

119. DJ James | CB | Auburn | 6’ 0”, 185 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Mid 4th
2023 Stats: GP 12, T 38, S 0, Int 2, PD 10.
Jeremy Betz: DJ James is an underrated prospect, with a well-rounded skillset and plenty of experience for both Oregon and Auburn. I see James as more of a Nickel CB prospect, but he has plenty of experience as an outside cover-man as well. Strengths include high-end quickness and fluidity, mirror matching ability in man coverage, good eyes, and good ball skills.

129. Kris Abrams-Draine | CB | Missouri | 5’ 11”, 179 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Mid 4th
2023 Stats: GP 13, T 51, S 0, Int 4, PD 13.
Nolan Keck: Kris Abrams-Draine and Ennis Rakestraw formed one of the best CB tandems in all of college football in 2023 for the Missouri Tigers. A former WR with elite ball skills, Abrams-Draine is a physical presence with keen eyes in zone coverage that allow him to process route concepts and jump in front of throws. His precise timing and quick diagnosis aid his tenacious mentality in stopping the run. Even though he’s competitive and tenacious, he still has a lighter frame with average size and decent length, and is more natural playing in off-man and zone. But he plays the ball well, all throughout the catch process, and his quick processing, accelerating speed and recognition, with the ball skills of a former WR will make him a great playmaker in the NFL, especially for a team that runs a lot of off-man and zone concepts.

Targets in Round 6

148. Beanie Bishop | CB | West Virginia | 5’ 10”, 184 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Early 5th
2023 Stats: GP 13, T 67, S 0, Int 4, PD 20.
Shannon White: Bishop is the definition of better late than never. Shannon ‘Beanie’ Bishop is definitely a late bloomer. A two time product of the transfer portal, Bishop graduated high school way back in 2018. At least he has aged well, like a fine wine. Bishop has the physique of a slot corner, but the physicality and mindset of a boundary corner. He came out of nowhere in his single season in Morgantown to earn first team All American status. Bishop led the nation in both passes defensed and pass breakups, and he added 4 interceptions. He was also first team Big 12. Bishop appears quicker than fast, but he ran a blistering 4.39 at the Big 12 pro day. Bishop is incredibly feisty and competitive, which I feel is his best quality. Bishop’s size may limit him to the slot, but I won’t be shocked to see him getting reps on the outside in the NFL one day soon. Bishop’s game plays bigger than his frame suggests possible. Bishop has went from likely undrafted free agent to possible fourth round consideration through hard work and tenacity. Keep working, young man. 

149. Shon Stephens | CB | Ferris State | 6’ 0”, 180 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Early 5th
2023 Stats: GP 11, T 25, S 0, Int 8, PD 4.
Andrew Wilbar: The cousin of Steelers cornerback Joey Porter, Jr., Stephens is an intriguing prospect with plus upside. Stephens displays feistiness from the beginning of the snap until the whistle is blown, but at 5’9”, 173 pounds, there is only so much he can do from a physicality perspective. He cannot simply impose his will against anyone, and because of his lack of size, he struggles against the run. Having said that, I do like his savvy in coverage. He doesn’t overreact, but he is sudden in his lateral movements, displaying a great combination of twitchiness, quickness, and speed. Players with NFL bloodlines I always find intriguing, but when bloodlines are combined with proven production, there is true substance. Stephens also possesses strong instincts and ball skills, which boosts his long-term ceiling in the NFL. He will definitely be limited to the slot, but if he can add a few pounds, maintain his speed, and make tackles more consistently, he can find significant playing time as a nickel corner in the NFL.

133. Dominique Hampton | S |  Washington | 6’ 2”, 220 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Mid 4th
2023 Stats: GP 15, T 109, S 0, Int 2, PD 7.
Andrew Wilbar: Hampton is another mid-round prospect I am excited about. Hampton spent six seasons in college while only playing significant time in three of them, and his true emergence came this season, when he recorded over 100 tackles and made more plays on the ball. While he still does not create an overabundance of splash plays, his ability to see and react to things quickly give him upside in that department down the road. There were times, however, that Hampton simply did not move the needle for the defense when they needed it, as their defense was completely atrocious at times down the stretch. He possesses the size of a box safety, and I believe he is capable of being a good enough run defender to fulfill such a role, but he is not a blitzing threat, and when dropping into coverage, he looks unbalanced at times and rather raw, especially for someone who played six years of college ball. He is an exciting prospect worth a flier on early Day 3.

106. Isaac Guerendo | RB | Louisville | 6‘ 0“, 219 lbs
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Early 4th
2023 Stats: GP 14, Att 132, Yds 810, Av 6.1, TD 11, Rec 22, Yds 234, TD 0.
Jeremy Betz: Maybe the most athletic RB to ever enter the draft, Guerendo is an impressive blend of speed and power, with the ability to take any touch to the house, but also the ability to grind out the tough yards at the next level. One of my favorite players in the draft, I believe the former Louiville back has 3-down upside at the next level. Team’s could also find a role for him early on as an impact return man, especially with the NFL’s new Kickoff rules. Guerendo needs to improve his field vision and patience to allow blocks to develop, but once he hits the hole, the defense is immediately on it’s heels.

143. A.J. Woods | CB | Pittsburgh | 5’ 10”, 186 lbs.
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Early 5th
2023 Stats: GP 12, T 15, SOLO 30, INT 1, PD 4
Jeremy Betz: Woods has good speed and closes well on routes when the ball is thrown. Drop in production in 2023 despite playing in the most games of his career. Woods doesn’t have elite quickness, but plays with good anticipation. Not long or extremely physical. Probably a NCB only at the NFL level.

174. Myles Cole | DL/EDGE | Texas Tech | 6‘ 6“ 266 lbs 
Wilbar’s Overall Grade: Late 5th
2023 Stats: GP 12, T 32, TFL 6.5, S 3.5, PD 1, FR 0, FF 0.
Andrew Wilbar: When you see that a draft prospect spent six seasons in college, you typically expect a highly productive, low-ceiling prospect who simply lacks the athleticism for the NFL. With Myles Cole, that statement does not apply one bit. Cole spent four years at Louisiana-Monroe before transferring to Texas Tech for the 2022 season, where he was primarily a situational role player that season. In 2023, Cole was awarded a much larger role on the defense, but we still only saw mediocre production from him. Posting only 3.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss in 2023, there is a good bit of projection teams will have to make in order to fall in love with Cole, but he is an ideal developmental prospect to take a chance on once we get to Day 3. His elite length, active hands, and quick get-off are all things I love about his game, but he can get a bit stiff and play too high against the run, and the few lineman he faced that possessed elite strength could overcome his athleticism and shield him away from the play. While not the most instinctual defensive lineman, Cole still provides teams with plenty of traits to fall in love with. He just needs to add more functional strength in order to enjoy success at the NFL level.

Others to Note:
Jaden Crummedy | DL | Missouri
Leonard Taylor III | Miami
Giovanni Manu | OT | British Columbia

Travis Clayton | OT | United Kingdom
Joe Milton | QB | Tennessee


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