By Jeremy Hritz
Tre Norwood Links
Overview of Tre Norwood
The Steelers have never had success in drafting cornerbacks, and this year, they did not burn a pick in the earlier round on one. Instead, they waited until the 7th round at pick 245 to select Tre Norwood out of Oklahoma, a player who is more a tweener than an exclusive corner, as he has played multiple positions in the secondary, and ultimately, this is how he will be utilized in Pittsburgh should he make the team. While there are holes in the secondary depth chart, especially at corner, Norwood possesses the utility that the Steelers value, and he will not be expected to compete for a static role on the defense; instead, he will be used by coaches to meet specific outcomes as connected to weekly game plans and the personnel on the field of their opponents. If his ball skills can translate to the NFL and if his skill set meshes with the Steelers defensive philosophy, he has a chance to make the team and contribute on special teams in year one.
Strengths of Tre Norwood
Norwood is a versatile player, having played both cornerback and safety at Oklahoma, though scouts indicate his home in the NFL will more than likely be safety. He has some size, at nearly 6’ and 200 pounds, to hold up against NFL offensive players, coupled with ball skills that resulted in 5 interceptions in the abbreviated 2020 season. In addition to his ability to make plays on the ball, he can also diagnose running plays and provide the run support to prevent the big gain.
Areas for Growth for Tre Norwood
The biggest hiccup in Norwood’s game is his coverage and ability to mirror receivers’ routes, and this was evident especially in Senior Bowl practices. If he had difficulty in college in coverage, that does not forecast well against NFL receivers, which is why Norwood will more than likely be a safety or a role player in subpackages that capitalize on his strengths.
Not a tremendously physical tackler, and needs to wrap up square with balance, as opposed to going for the ankle tackle, which will not hold up in the professional game. There are also some concerns about durability, as Norwood injured his knee in training camp in 2019 and missed the entire season.
How Does Tre Norwood Fit Into the Steelers Depth Chart?
Norwood will have to compete for a roster spot, and his projection right now is for depth at both the corner and safety positions. He will be a long-term project who will have to find his niche in the defense and carve out a role, or he will not make the team.
What Will Tre Norwood Contribute in Year One?
The ceiling for Norwood in year one is a few snaps on defense in a blowout, while the floor would be making the team and contributing on special teams.
Steelers Comparable Player
Ricardo Colclough. At nearly exact measurables (5’11, 194), Colclough was selected in the 2nd round by the Steelers as was drafted to play corner; however, his similar times/athleticism to Norwood limited his contributions to the defense. Recorded only 1 career interception and bounced around the NFL and other now defunct leagues.
What Did This New Steeler Study?
Norwood pursued a degree in Health and Exercise Science at Oklahoma. You can learn more about that program HERE.
Yay, Nay, or OK?
OK. Ceiling is a role player on the defense, but what can you expect from a 7th round pick? Maybe he is a pleasant surprise!