Steelers Rookie Opening Eyes at OTA Workouts

Cory Trice

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cory Trice has impressed early at the team's offseason workouts.

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Joey Porter Jr. in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft. They also signed Patrick Peterson, Chandon Sullivan and Keanu Neal in free agency this offseason.

All of that was in an effort to upgrade a secondary that lost arguably its best cornerback in Cam Sutton to the Detroit Lions.

But the Steelers may have another cornerback they can add to the mix to help replace Sutton. Seventh-round pick Cory Trice is turning heads, as he continues to perform well at the team’s offseason workouts.

“Trice has impressed his veteran teammates during his first two weeks of practice, learning the defense and beginning to make plays for the secondary,” wrote Noah Strackbein of SI’s AllSteelers. “It’s been a good start for a player hoping to land a spot on his first NFL team.

“Trice hasn’t shied away from the action at OTAs, and since walking in the door, believes he’s capable of being a valuable part of the Steelers defense.”

The Steelers drafted Trice with the No. 241 overall selection in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL draft. In five seasons at Purdue, Trice posted 5 interceptions, 15 pass defenses and 106 total tackles.

CB Cory Trice Intercepts Two Passes at Practice

Trice began earning more attention after recording two interceptions at an OTA workout on June 1. Strackbein reported the two picks came on the same drive to end practice.

Strackbein wrote that “there was some controversy” about the first interception — Trice may have committed pass interference on the play. But Strackbein implied the second pick was completely clean.

Those interceptions may come as a surprise to draft experts and fans who are expecting Porter to be the rookie cornerback shining in offseason workouts for the Steelers. But it’s not surprising for Trice, who told reporters at OTAs that he has arrived at the team’s workouts with a chip on his shoulder.

“I’ve definitely come here ready to prove myself,” said Trice.

“Really, all my life, I’ve always had to prove myself. So it’s just one of those things. I gotta prove myself once again, and I don’t mind doing it.”

Trice intercepted 2 passes in 13 games at Purdue last year. He also had 3 picks during the 2019 season.

Bleacher Report Named Trice Named ‘Draft-Day Steal’

Trice has earned himself some national recognition with his performance from the Steelers’ second week of OTAs.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine included Trice on a list of six NFL rookies who already look like draft-day steals.

“Eyes are going to naturally gravitate toward Joey Porter Jr. in Pittsburgh,” Ballentine wrote. “The second-round pick and son of former Steelers great Joey Porter has a lot of reasons to generate hype.

“But seventh-round pick Cory Trice is garnering some attention for himself too.

“If he continues to do that he’ll be a no-brainer to make the roster and become a tremendous value as a seventh-round pick.”

Trice will compete with Madre Harper, Duke Dawson, Luq Barcoo, and Chris Wilcox for a roster spot at cornerback. Those five players currently sit behind Peterson, Porter, Sullivan, Levi Wallace and James Pierre on the team’s cornerback depth chart.

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