Replacing Sean Davis: Ranking the Steelers backup safety options

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LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 06: Karl Joseph #42 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during the NFL match between the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 06, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

The cream of the crop:

  1. Karl Joseph, Las Vegas Raiders
  2. Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois
  3. Ashtyn Davis, California

It was hard to determine a top tier with this list, as while the Steelers are looking for a player that will see playing time next year as a sub-package player, they don’t need a player that will push for a starting role. Thus, I’ve looked past free agents that would likely start for a new team (say Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix or Vonn Bell) and draft picks that would have to be taken at pick 49.

Atop the list is Karl Joseph, and he seems like an ideal fit. Athletic, young, and a player they showed a lot of interest in during the pre-draft process, Joseph would be a catch in free agency. While Spotrac projects his AAV to be around 6 million, his play hasn’t always been stellar and injuries have held him back the past couple of years while the free-agent market has been saturated with talent, leading to lower contracts. Considering he would be a role player and has starting experience in case of injury, Joseph is a prime free agent the Steelers should consider.

As for the rookies, both would have to be targeted in the third round. Jeremy Chinn is an athletic marvel, testing at a high level and having near-perfect measurables as a safety. Year one he would be able to cover TE’s as a dime backer and overtime could fight for a starting role at SS.

His small school status does ding him, but his size and athleticism are worth the risk in the third.

Ashtyn Davis is a bit more of a do it all safety, being able to play close to the line of scrimmage while also playing deep. His value is all over the early portion of the draft, but his average position falls closer to an early third-round pick. He would be a chess piece and insurance for the starters going forward.

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