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REPORT: Pittsburgh Steelers has been warned to avoid……



Pittsburgh Steelers has been warned to avoid All-American cornerback in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Kool-Aid McKinstry of Alabama is one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine argued that he should not be considered for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round.

Ballentine lamented that the Steelers should target a player to improve their offense at No. 20 overall. So he named McKinstry as the one prospect the Steelers “must avoid” in the draft.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers may be tempted to pair the Alabama product with Joey Porter Jr. if he’s still on the board at No. 20,” Ballentine wrote in an email.

“However, the Steelers were 10th in passer rating allowed last season, with Porter, Patrick Peterson, and Levi Wallace at cornerback. Meanwhile, the offense finished 28th in scoring and 23rd in EPA per play, thanks in part to a subpar offensive line.

“The Steelers could improve at left tackle and center. Given the caliber of this draft class at both positions, it would be poor resource management to pass up Amarius Mims or even Jackson Powers-Johnson in favor of McKinstry.”

McKinstry was one of college football’s top cornerbacks in 2023. He was named first-team All-America by multiple media outlets, including the Associated Press.

Over his career at Alabama, McKinstry recorded 23 pass defenses, 2 interceptions and 93 total tackles, including 5 tackles for loss. He also had 2 sacks.

Steelers ‘Must Avoid’ CB Kool-Aid McKinstry: Analyst

Kool-Aid McKinstry - Football - Alabama Athletics


The crux of Ballentine’s argument for why the Steelers should avoid McKinstry isn’t about him. Instead, he simply stated that Pittsburgh should address its offense at No. 20.

Based on the team’s recent offensive performance, it’s difficult to argue against that. The Steelers have not finished higher than 23rd in total offense since 2018.

Ballentine identified offensive tackle Amarius Mims and center Jackson Powers-Johnson as preferred targets for the Steelers. Other offensive line prospects who could help Pittsburgh include Graham Barton, J.C. Latham, and Troy Fautanu.

If the Steelers find a starting right tackle at No. 20 overall, they could move 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones back to his natural left tackle position. That would demote incumbent left tackle Dan Moore Jr., who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, to the bench.

However, the Steelers could use a top-tier center. Pittsburgh has no centers on its current 2024 roster.

McKinstry Dealing With Foot Injury

Ballentine didn’t mention McKinstry’s foot injury. However, one could argue that the injury is another reason why the Steelers should avoid the Alabama cornerback.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, doctors at the NFL Combine discovered a Jones fracture in McKinstry’s right foot. As a result, McKinstry did not perform well at the combine.

Jones fractures are typically caused by increased training or pressure on the feet. The fracture is on the pinky toe side of the foot.

The good news is that, as of April 10, Rapoport reported that McKinstry is on track for a full recovery, which typically takes 6-8 weeks. Because McKinstry’s surgery was in March, he could be fully recovered by rookie minicamp.

Even so, if Ballentine was picking for the Steelers, he made it clear that he would not choose the Alabama cornerback.


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