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1 undrafted free agent who will be on the Steelers’ 2024 roster

According to many analysts and experts, the Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted one of the best classes in this year’s NFL Draft. The team drafted several offensive linemen, along with some defensive specialists and a wide receiver. Pittsburgh also signed an undrafted free agent, who could be quite valuable to the team. This free agent will not only find a spot on the Steelers roster, but he will also find a way to make a difference in games for the team this season. Here is some information about this young man.

1 undrafted free agent who could make Steelers roster

West Virginia Mountaineers cornerback Beanie Bishop Jr.  (11) tackles North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Conner Harrell (15) during the first half at Bank of America Stadium.
© Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers didn’t look far to find an undrafted player to help the team. His name is Beanie Bishop, and he played his college football 75 miles away in West Virginia. Bishop is a cornerback who also saw some action on special teams. Bishop played one season at West Virginia and joined the Mountaineers after playing for Minnesota and Western Kentucky. In his lone season in Morgantown, Bishop made quite a lasting impression.

During his final college season in 2023, Bishop had a career-high 67 tackles, including 54 solo stops. He also picked up four interceptions, including a circus catch against Central Florida where he stripped the ball away from an opponent after it hit the player’s legs. Bishop also finished the season with 20 passes defended and built a reputation as one of the best defensive backs in the Big 12 Conference.

He wasn’t just a threat to the defense. Bishop also played spectacularly on special teams, which had all the Mountaineer fans talking. In WVU’s bowl game against North Carolina, Bishop returned a punt return 78 yards for a touchdown. West Virginia finished the season 9–4 and defeated North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, behind Bishop’s spectacular all-field play.

The Bishop’s accolades

The cornerback was rewarded for his play with a selection to the All-Big 12 Conference First Team. He shared the honor with teammate Zach Frazier, who was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the NFL Draft. Bishop was also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in college football. Although the cornerback lost out on the award to Payton Wilson, it is truly an honor to be a finalist. By the way, Wilson was also drafted by the Steelers.

With all these accolades, it’s fair to wonder why Bishop wasn’t drafted in the 2024 draft. It’s somewhat of a mystery, but the possible answer lies in its size. Bishop doesn’t have the typical size of an NFL cornerback.

Bishop is listed as 6-foot-1 and 184 pounds. He was viewed by many as too small and short to play in an NFL starting defense. His size kept teams from drafting him for the 2024 roster, but the Steelers were willing to take a chance on the young man. Steelers general manager Omar Khan praised Bishop’s performance at the NFL combine.

“Yes, Beanie Bishop. I can’t tell you how excited we were when we had the opportunity to sign Beanie Bishop after the draft. We had him visit here. When he was here, we talked about our defense and how he would fit into it. We really felt like he was a guy who could come here and compete,” Khan told WDVE Radio.

What Bishop may lack in size, he seems to make up for in heart. The stats from his college career are impressive. He finished his college career with 170 tackles, 7 interceptions and 29 passes defensed. This is despite playing at three different schools and three different conferences. Bishop buzzes around the field, and his heart and passion keep him competing for a spot in Pittsburgh. Some time in the weight room will help him build some muscle, and while he can’t bulk himself up that much, his quickness and speed seem to be able to compensate.

The Steelers drafted one defensive back in the sixth round of the 2024 event. Pittsburgh selected Ryan Watts, who also played in the Big 12 in Texas. Watts is also a cornerback, so Bishop will have some competition heading into training camp for a spot. Time will tell if Bishop can earn his spot on the roster.

The Steelers ended the 2023 season with a loss in the AFC Playoffs to the Buffalo Bills. The team finished the campaign with a 10–7 record.