3 reasons the Steelers should sign Cam Sutton over Mike Hilton
Both Steelers Cornerbacks generate splash plays, but Sutton fills in a more important need.
This is not to say that Joe Haden is no longer a viable cornerback in the NFL. However, he is aging and when he starts to decline, the Steelers will be left without someone who has the lockdown cover skills at as consistent of a basis as Haden has given them. Sutton is significantly superior to Hilton on a one on one coverage basis. A big part of that has to do with the size difference between the two. Teams like the Eagles have figured out that using a larger receiver and forcing the Steelers to cover him with Mike Hilton tends to garner a lot of production.
The statistics are significantly in the favor of Sutton. He allows a completion rate of 62.5% and a QB rating of 80.5 when it is thrown in his direction. Mike Hilton allows a completion rate of 71.4% and a QB rating of 90.8 when it is thrown in his direction. It may not seem like a huge difference right away. Yet, we have to consider the fact that up until Mike Hilton’s injury, Cam Sutton rarely saw the field. He played less than 40% of the snaps every game until Hilton’s injury. His first game over 40% of the snaps was the game that Hilton missed the whole second half with a shoulder injury.
It is a valid point considering that the cornerback position isn’t just one that relies on preparation before the game. It is the most reactive position in football. Great corners anticipate, but every corner needs to be able to react. Without as much time in these games to get a feel for their matchups and tendencies, it becomes a lot harder for these players to be able to react. Hilton is invaluable in the box, especially against the run, but the number one responsibility of a cornerback is to be able to cover other players. Sutton clearly has the edge on that one.