The Steelers could convert a safety to a ‘cover’ linebacker
Tanner Muse, the safety out of Clemson, not only ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, he did 20 reps at 255 lbs in the bench press. He also improved his draft position in the process. It’s not every day that a 6′ 2″, 227 lbs safety who runs a 4.41 40 yard dash lasts until the later rounds of the draft, but that could happen.
Currently, the Steelers do not possess a third-round pick, so the best-case scenario is that Muse drops to us in the fourth round, maybe the fifth round. Personally, I do not see Muse playing safety in the NFL. In my opinion, his cover skills as a pure safety leave a little bit to be desired, so I see him as a ‘sub-package’ linebacker.
If the Steelers decide to move on from Mark Barron, whom the Steelers signed as a free agent before the 2019 campaign to presumably be the ‘cover’ linebacker, a replacement could fall to us in the form of Muse. Even if the Steelers decide to retain Barron, Muse could provide legitimate competition for the ‘sub-package’ linebacker role. Remember that Barron played safety in college and was drafted as a safety, but was subsequently moved into the linebacker role
What is the difference, you may be wondering, in coverage as a linebacker as opposed to a safety? If the Steelers defense is in ‘cover 2’, for example, each safety splits the field and covers the deep part of it with a linebacker perhaps covering the middle. Muse, in my opinion, would be best at covering a TE or an RB as a linebacker as opposed to covering a receiver deep as a safety.
Let’s see who else might drop to the Steelers.