Steelers Mock Draft 2023: Pittsburgh fills their biggest team needs

Steelers, Devon Witherspoon
Steelers, Devon Witherspoon / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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Steelers mock draft round 1: Cornerback Devon Witherspoon

1st Rd – Cornerback – Devon Witherspoon – Illinois - 5’-“11”, 183 lbs – There's a lot of buzz about the Lions drafting Witherspoon but they've got a bigger need at defensive tackle and offensive guard. Jalen Carter and Peter Skoronski will probably still be on the board. Either one of them would be hard to pass up.

Witherspoon is a feisty cover corner and treats all passes as if it they were meant for him. His timing on pass breakups is really good. When playing off-man he keeps his eyes on the quarterback and reacts instantly when he makes a read. He shows disciple in zone coverage and is very good at covering then handing off his assignment. Witherspoon tends to live on the edge of having penalties called and that might become worse at the next level. He’s a ballhawk and ballhawks need to be eased into the NFL. They can get burned and if they’re burned too much their confidence can tank.

Witherspoon can play both inside and outside. He could be broken into the starting lineup at slot. I’m guessing he’d handily beat Arthur Maulet. He can be very disruptive along the line of scrimmage and could be great bringing it on blitzes. He likes to thump and that shows up in his run defense. He drives his pads through almost every tackle.

Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 92.0 overall with 78.6 In run defense grade and in 92.5 coverage. Witherspoon put up 41 tackles with 2.5 for a loss, 14 pass deflections, and 3 interceptions in 2022. He couldn’t compete at the Combine due to a hamstring pull but he ran a 4.42 forty at his private workout. It’s obvious one of the things Patrick Peterson was brought in to do was mentor a new talented CB. I’m picking Witherspoon as that guy.