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Ryan Wilson Sees WR Malachi Corley As Day-Two Fit For Steelers

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The Pittsburgh Steelers opened up a hole as wide receiver by trading away Diontae Johnson, but the draft offers them a wide variety of opportunities to fill it, including Malachi Corley. The Western Kentucky standout has garnered attention from the team, not limited to a recent pre-draft visit. Draft analyst Ryan Wilson believes he is a fit in Pittsburgh on Day Two, saying the Steelers “should” take him if he is available in that range, and believes he can do more than he showed in college as a somewhat limited slot receiver.

“I think [Malachi Corley] can play outside. He showed at the Senior Bowl that he can run more routes than what they asked of him at Western Kentucky”, he told Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller on 93.7 The Fan yesterday. “He ran much more of the route tree than what we saw in one-on-ones at the Senior Bowl. He’s not gonna be a separator in terms of stacking these defensive backs, but he’s gonna win with physicality, with good hands away from his body, and then he’s gonna run over guys on the second and third level”.

Corley often garners comparisons to San Francisco 49ers standout Deebo Samuel, and not without good reason. Corley is shorter but the two have a similar build and often win in similar ways. They both profile as yards-after-the-catch generators, Samuel already proven in that regard at the NFL level.

The Steelers want to continue to improve on their YAC, which was a stated area of focus last year. Corley can certainly help with that. They did show some progress, growing from 4.0 YAC per reception in 2022 to 5.4 last year. George Pickens in particular leapt from just 2.0 to 6.2. Johnson also boosted his numbers from 2.7 to 5.1.

Still, Wilson suggested that he favors Georgia’s Ladd McConkey, who has elite route-running traits. “I’m still holding out, hoping against hope that Ladd McConkey is somehow there at 51, because that would be a layup, but I think he’s gonna be long gone at that point”, he said.

Outside of George Pickens, the Steelers’ wide receiver room is looking pretty modest after the Johnson trade. They need a player like Corley who can create his own offense in that room, because nobody else can.

Calvin Austin III is a holdover going into his third season, who has great speed but remains underdeveloped. The Steelers added veterans Van Jefferson and Quez Watkins on modest one-year contracts in free agency. A couple of veterans, Denzel Mims and Marquez Calloway, return after spending time on last year’s practice squad.

Virtually everybody who follows the draft expects the Steelers to take a wide receiver on Day Two. They have three selections on the day with the addition of a late third-round pick, so the odds favor a receiver being among them. Corley is a distinct possibility as a player offensive coordinator Arthur Smith can scheme open.

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