Realistic best and worst case scenarios for the Steelers rookies

Georgia tight end Darnell Washington (0)
Georgia tight end Darnell Washington (0) / Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Steelers best/worst case scenario for Cory Trice

Best case scenario

Laying out the best and worst-case scenario for a seventh-round pick is no easy task, but Cory Trice isn’t your typical seventh-round pick. He has the talent of a day-two pick in a typical cornerback draft but almost fell out of the draft due to the depth at cornerback as well as his injury concerns.

No, there is no path for Trice to start early in his rookie season, but he stays healthy in camp and flashes the ability we know he has in coverage. More importantly, he settles in as a gunner on special teams, using his athleticism to make plays there during camp and the preseason.

He is a healthy scratch for the first seven weeks but gets a helmet when Patrick Peterson misses a game due to health. He plays no defensive snaps, but he does force a fumble on a punt return. He continues to be active on game day following. He is mostly reserved to special teams, but occasionally gets a shot as the outside cornerback.

The Steelers are locked into the fourth seed of the playoffs during the final game, so the Steelers decide to rest some starters and get their backups some snaps. Trice plays 70 percent of the snaps at outside cornerback and looks the part, only allowing one reception and snagging an interception.

He isn’t overly impactful in year one, but he stays healthy and develops as a special teams player. There are bright spots and plenty worth being excited about, and Trice appears to have a shot at being a starter in the near future at cornerback.

Worst case scenario

Trice enters camp as one of the most hyped seventh-round picks in recent Steelers history. He looks all right but doesn’t set the world on fire as so many wanted. For every strong play in coverage, he has a bad rep, looking stiff and struggling to keep up with receivers.

The talk quickly surfaces on if he should return to safety. This becomes heated after multiple poor coverages in the preseason. Unfortunately, Trice is injured in the final preseason game, so the team fails to have him log any snaps at safety.

They do carry him on the active roster and plan to have him return. He clears his medical window and returns to the roster, but he reaggravates his injury shortly afterward and returns to injured reserve for the season. All in all, he fails to flash anything significant and spends most of the season injured.