Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

2024 NFL Draft Results: Pittsburgh Steelers select DB Ryan Watts with 6th round pick

Entering the 2024 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of draft needs that they needed to address. Unlike in 2023, the Steelers didn’t possess a full allotment of draft picks, and there were several positions which would be considered a glaring need on their roster.

With seven total picks, the following positions could be viewed as a priority entering the selection process: cornerback, safety and even running back. Those positions, and more, were positions of need to help the black-and-gold get to the next level in 2024. There have been numerous thoughts and debates regarding what the team will do in Round 6 of the NFL Draft.

When the dust settled, the Steelers selected Ryan Watts out of Texas with their seventh pick in the draft.

For some analysis of this selection, here is information from a scouting report on Watts, this from

“Based purely on the cornerback tape, it would be easy to dismiss Watts as an NFL prospect, but once we fit the pieces together and project him as a safety, it changes the evaluation. Watts simply doesn’t have the quickness and agility to stay at cornerback with much success in man coverage. However, he’s already built like a safety and possesses tremendous length with a willingness to lean into the aggression for the position change. Watts’ measurables and demeanor will work in his favor, but his impressive NFL Scouting Combine testing should create additional push for his draft stock and chances of becoming a backup safety with core special teams value.”


  • Outstanding size with rare length for a defensive back.
  • Has the traits and experience to transition to safety.
  • Capable of lining up over slot tight ends as a pro.
  • Booming striker once he locks in and hits it downhill.
  • Works around or through blockers with his run support.
  • Has an opportunity to play right away on special teams.


  • Below-average foot quickness and reactive twitch.
  • Long strider who struggles to match and squeeze route breaks.
  • Is frequently a step slow to turn his head and locate the throw.
  • Questionable deep speed to stay deeper than the deepest.
  • Could take time to recognize proper pursuit angles as a safety.

What do you think of the pick? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to check out the Breaking News Podcast in the player below with a more detailed look on the draft pick:

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