Pittsburgh Steelers: This Could be the Year of Senquez Golson


The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted what many believed was one of the best cornerbacks of the 2015 draft, but are yet to see how well he can perform in the NFL.

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With the 56th pick in the 2015 draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers took former Ole Miss star, Senquez Golson. The speedy ballhawk made himself known in the SEC, finishing his career with 16 interceptions and 130 tackles.

The Steelers haven’t seen what the Ole Miss product could do in the pros, though. Being placed on injured reserve during his first two seasons, Golson has yet to play a down in the NFL. With the struggles Pittsburgh has had in their secondary, they’re hoping Golson can make 2017 his first step in a successful career.

At 5’9, Golson isn’t much of a threat to bigger wide receivers. He isn’t the undersized corner with just speed. Although his 4.46 40-yard dash time helps stay in front of receivers, he’s also known to be much stronger than most players his size. Add that to his incredible ball skills, and you can see why he was so highly touted coming out of college.

Golson has some of the best coverage skills in the league. His ability to open his hips and run with a receiver than break down for the ball is second-to-none. Add his sense to somehow always know his opponents route and he becomes a threat no quarterback wants to take a risk on.

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No one knows how well he’ll be able to shake off shoulder and foot injuries, but chances are he’s going to compete for the starting gig. Put him opposite of Artie Burns or Ross Cockrell and the Steelers’ secondary will take a significant step towards improving. Even if he fits in as the nickelback, he’ll use his untouchable skills to be a force covering the slot.

Even if Cockrell and Burns didn’t have the greatest year last season, they still earned their spots in this secondary. With Golson’s size, he’ll likely be a stronger nickelback than outside corner. Put him on some of the quicker receivers and he’d be able to use his speed to stay tight in slot routes. This will give him the opportunity to play the ball coming at him instead of having to out-jump taller opponents.

The concern outside of his injury-prone career is the mystery of what he can bring. The Steelers have no live game action to go off of when analyzing Golson. The only thing we can go off of is practice and his time at Ole Miss. You look at either of them, and you feel as though Golson could be a force in the NFL, without any experience that’s still just a guess.

You have to stay confident. Believing is half the battle when players deal with injury problems. Yes, he may seem like he can’t escape the injury bug, but when he does it looks as though he’s going to be great.

All it is is a waiting game. Golson comes back healthy, and Pittsburgh should give him the first shot at the starting job, whether it’s outside or at the nickel. If he brings the same skill set he had at Ole Miss, the Steelers are in for a major present to add to their defensive backfield.

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Stay confident. Golson could be the missing piece to the puzzle. With the hype he had coming into the league, it’d be no surprise if he helps turn this young defense back into the force it once was.