Steelers Try out Self-Proclaimed ‘Best Corner’ in Rookie Class

Bryce Watts

Grant Halverson/Getty Images Bryce Watts of the Virginia Tech Hokies defends a pass to Chris Taylor of the Duke Blue Devils on September 29, 2018.

On a day in which the Pittsburgh Steelers made several roster moves, they set the stage for another. On Tuesday the team held a tryout for rookie cornerback Bryce Watts, this according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.

Watts was one of 10 undrafted rookie free agents the Steelers signed in the wake of the 2022 NFL Draft. But he didn’t get much of an opportunity to show what he could do, as he suffered an injury during rookie minicamp and was waived shortly thereafter.

But it’s safe to say that the University of Massachusetts product doesn’t lack for confidence. In February 2022 he proclaimed himself the “BEST CORNER” in this year’s draft class.

Indeed he has near-prototypical size (6-feet-tall) and speed (4.4 40-yard dash). And some NFL analysts believe he has a realistic chance to make it in the NFL, including Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic, who labeled him as Pittsburgh’s undrafted “player to watch” shortly after he was signed.

NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein likes him too, noting that Watts possesses “good athleticism and above-average speed for the position…. He’s both athletic and tough enough for the pro game….”

On the downside, Watts didn’t have the opportunity to play much football in college (just 12 games and eight starts since 2018), having transferred from Virginia Tech to North Carolina to UMass, while opting out in 2020 due to COVID-19.

But the Steelers have had success with undrafted free agent cornerbacks, with Mike Hilton being the most notable example and current Steelers backup James Pierre being another success story.


Steelers Bring Back Punter Jordan Berry

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Pittsburgh signed punter Jordan Berry to its practice squad. Berry was the Steelers’ punter for six seasons — from 2015 to 2020 — until he lost his job to 2021 seventh-round pick Pressley Harvin III.

There’s a good chance that Berry will get elevated for Sunday’s home game against the New York Jets, as Harvin is suffering from hip inflammation.

To make room for Berry on the practice squad the Steelers terminated the contract of outside linebacker Delontae Scott, as per the NFL’s daily personnel notice.

Scott, 25, spent much of the last season on Pittsburgh’s practice squad before making his regular-season debut against the Chargers in November of last year. This season he again joined the practice squad and was elevated for games against the Patriots and Browns, playing a total of 16 snaps on defense, according to Pro Football Reference.


Ex-Steelers LB Derrek Tuszka Claimed on Waivers

In other news from Tuesday, the Los Angeles Chargers claimed outside linebacker Derrek Tuszka, a day after he was waived by the Tennessee Titans following what has been described as a “completely ineffective” start.

Tuszka — a former MVFC Player of the Year — was waived by the Steelers on Sept. 1, 2022, having been replaced by fellow outside linebacker Jamir Jones.

Last but not least, former Steelers inside linebacker Joe Schobert finally caught on with another team, signing to the practice squad of the Tennessee Titans.

Schobert recorded 112 tackles for the Steelers in 2021 but was released on March 17, 2022, after the team signed Myles Jack to replace him.

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