All-American Cornerback Named Dream Draft Target for Steelers

pittsburgh steelers nfl draft

Getty Kool-Aid McKinstry was named the dream draft target for the Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers could go in many different directions with their first round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

They will absolutely need to add a center this offseason after letting go of Mason Cole.

Center isn’t the only spot on the offensive line that needs an upgrade as they could also use a tackle.

There still seems to be some chance that they could go after a quarterback at pick 20 after a disappointing couple of seasons from Kenny Pickett.

Cornerback should also be a focus for the franchise this offseason as they need somebody they can pair with Joey Porter Jr. in 2024.

Bleacher Report’s Ryan Fowler believes that is the direction the Steelers should go with their first-round pick.

He named Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry as the “dream target” for the Steelers in this year’s draft.

McKinstry’s Draft Stock

At this point in 2023, McKinstry was expected to be the top corner prospect in the Class of 2024.

That no longer seems to be the case.

This year’s cornerback class is loaded with talent and now McKinstry is projected to be selected later in round one, potentially even behind one of his own teammates.

The drop down the rookie ranks didn’t have much to do with his play during the 2023 season, though.

McKinstry didn’t record an interception this past season, but he also only allowed 19 completions and opposing QBs completed less than 50% of their pass attempts when throwing his way.

Thanks to his stinginess, McKinstry earned a spot on the All-SEC First Team for his second consecutive season and was named a First Team All-American for the first time.

Now he could be a target for a Steelers team that really needs an upgrade at the position even after drafting another lockdown corner last year.

Steelers’ Cornerback Situation

The Steelers definitely need to add a corner this season.

They don’t really have somebody they can reliably line up alongside Porter Jr. and it showed during the 2023 season.

While the team’s pass defense had some positives, like one of the league’s lowest completion percentages allowed, they also had some issues.

The most notable was that they were among the worst teams in the league when it came to yards per reception allowed.

Unfortunately, McKinstry might not be the right player to fix that issue.

Steelers Now’s Nick Farabaugh recently pointed out that one big problem Pittsburgh’s secondary faces is that they just aren’t fast enough.

According to Farabaugh, Patrick Peterson and Eric Rowe are the only defensive backs on the team that have run a 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds or less and they both did it at least nine years ago.

Porter Jr. and Minkah Fitzpatrick both just missed that mark. Both ran a 4.46 during their pre-draft processes. However, it’s clear that the team needs to add some speed.

McKinstry certainly isn’t slow, but he doesn’t possess the kind of top tier speed the Steelers need to fix this particular issue.

That could make Quinyon Mitchell or McKinstry’s Alabama teammate Terrion Arnold better fits for the Steelers, but Kool-Aid would still be an upgrade for the Steelers.

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