Malik Jackson, Defensive Tackle
Malik Jackson would certainly be considered a free agency long shot for the Steelers. He’s rated as the No. 4 free agent in Pro Football Talk’s Hot 100 free agent list and after just winning a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos he’d certainly be looking for a big payday as opposed to settling for a modest contract to play for a potential Super Bowl contender.
Still, a girl can dream, can’t she? Let’s take a look at how Jackson could benefit the Steelers’ defensive line. Without having to re-sign either Steve McLendon or Cam Thomas Jackson could rotate with Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt to make the Steelers’ pass rush a force to be reckoned with.
With all due respect to corners like Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. for the Broncos, a stout front seven can make even the worst corners look like stars with the pressure they can put on the quarterback, limiting the amount of time he has to allow his receivers to run their routes and shake their coverage.
The Steelers have been historically a 3-4 defense for many years but in reality haven’t played a 3-4 base defense for a while. So the need for a true nose tackle isn’t as great as it once was. Jackson has 14 sacks over the last three seasons and along with Tuitt and Heyward could improve the defense and everyone behind them.
Just think of how much more Jarvis Jones could improve his pass rush if opposing offenses are busy worrying how to cover Heyward, Tuitt and Jackson. It could happen, right?
Next: Sean Smith