3 Players For Steelers Fans To Watch During The College Football Playoff

Pittsburgh Steelers

Getty 3 players for Pittsburgh Steelers fans to watch in the college football playoff

After Pittsburgh Steelers fans watch their team continue to fight for a playoff spot on Sunday, they’ll have the opportunity to see college football’s best teams in their Playoff on Monday.

With so much talent on the field in the College Football Playoff, there will be many players in Monday’s matchups who find themselves on an NFL field next year.

Some of those players could end up hearing the Steelers call their names in April.

While many Steelers fans might not currently be familiar with those players, Monday’s matchups give them a great opportunity to familiarize themselves with these prospects.

Here are 3 players for Steelers fans to watch on Monday that could end up wearing black and yellow in 2024.

CB: Kool-Aid McKinstry

The Pittsburgh Steelers headed into last year’s draft knowing that they needed to address the cornerback position. They didn’t wait very long to do it, selecting Joey Porter Jr. with the first pick of the second round.

That pick is already paying off as they have been able to entrust Porter Jr. with shadow coverage on some of the league’s best receivers in his rookie season.

Unfortunately, they still need to get him some help . Despite the rookie’s strong play, the team’s pass deference is still below average.

Drafting Kool-Aid McKinstry would help with that. Not only does he have one of football’s best names, he has also turned into one of college football’s best corners over three years at Alabama.

The Crimson Tide corner boasted the 12th-highest PFF grade at the position in 2023 and boasts a combination of size and explosiveness that should translate well at the next level.

McKinstry and the rest of the Alabama secondary will be tasked with stopping JJ McCarthy in the semifinal. If they get past the Wolverines, then that secondary will really be tested.

They’d either get Washington or Texas in the championship game. Texas has two receivers who are projected to be drafted in the first two rounds.

Washington has Rome Odunze, who is one of college football’s best receivers.

If McKinstry gets drafted before the Steelers get their chance to pick, then his teammate, Terrion Arnold, could also be an option for the Steelers.

LB: Junior Colson

For the next player to watch, we’ll head to the other side of the Alabama-Michigan matchup.

An interior linebacker is a clear need for this Steelers squad. Elandon Roberts has played well for them this season, but they don’t have much else at the position.

Mykal Walker hasn’t been good. Cole Holcomb is out for the season and could be cut during the offseason. Kwon Alexander isn’t under contract beyond this year.

Now Roberts is expected to miss Week 17 and the Steelers are looking at turning to Blake Martinez. Over the last year, Martinez has been better known for getting banned from Whatnot than for anything he’s done in football.

They need options in the middle of the field.

This unfortunately isn’t a particularly strong class at linebacker. However, there is a player that is worth a look for the later rounds.

Michigan lineabcker Junior Colson could be a good fit for what the Steelers need.

He has good athleticism and instincts. He has been a strong tackler for the Wolverines.

He even showed the kind of toughness the Steelers are known for by playing through a broken hand for part of this season.

He could help a Steelers run defense that has had room to improve this season and would likely only cost them a third or fourth round pick.

The matchup against Alabama will tell Steelers fans a lot about him. Not only will he have to deal with Roydell Williams in the Tide run game, but also quarterback Jalen Milroe.

A successful game against a tough Alabama team would go a long way toward showing he belongs with the Steelers.

Edge: Bralen Trice

If they don’t end up grabbing a corner with their first pick in this year’s draft, the Steelers could find their first rounder in the other semifinal game.

The Steelers have needs against both the pass and the run. They are currently 20th in the league in yards per carry allowed.

They are also only 12th in the league in sacks this season despite having the league’s best pass rusher and Alex Highsmith playing opposite him.

The Washington Huskies have a player that could help them on both fronts.

Bralen Trice has been an absolute standout for the Huskies during their undefeated run through the 2023 season.

He is a physical pass rusher that could be very disruptive at the next level. Last season, he racked up 10 sacks for the Huskies. This year, that number dipped to 5, but the effort to get to the quarterback has still clearly been there.

For a team that will need to lean heavily on their defense, an impressive player with a high level of effort who can help the team in more ways than one sounds perfect.

If the Huskies are going to be successful against Texas, they will need Trice to pressure Quinn Ewers and make sure that there isn’t space for Jonathan Brooks to succeed on the ground.

With quarterback not really an option for the Steelers in this year’s draft, strong picks on defense are their best option to improve for 2024. Trice would fit well and could help the Steelers get back to being one of the NFL’s best defenses.

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