3 reasons the Steelers should sign Cam Sutton over Mike Hilton

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) and cornerback Mike Hilton (28) Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) and cornerback Mike Hilton (28) Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) and cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers can win now, but Sutton sets them up better in the future

Sutton will probably be cheaper than Hilton in the offseason. Mike Hilton is garnering a lot more attention league-wide with playing almost like a fast linebacker in the nickel position. Part of the reason they were so stout at defending the run, even in the Nickel formation, was that Hilton’s incomparable ability to find the right gaps and angles as a cornerback. Even if Hilton misses the tackle, he still slows down whatever runner he is pursuing enough for the rest of the defense to finish the job.

With that being said, there will be quite a few teams that are willing to pay highly for such a unique talent. However, the Steelers should look forward to developing Sutton even more. He has the kind of potential in coverage, by refining his technique to become what Joe Haden is right now. That is a very smart, and savvy player that uses his incredible technique to make up for his lack of speed. Sutton is already pretty sound technically, yet he has room to improve that area, and he has shown the kind of ball skills to be able to do something with passes as he is finding more ways to stay with his man.

As I previously stated, this isn’t a super young group of cornerbacks, and the best coverage corner right now is 31 years old. Steven Nelson has been holding steady with some moments both good and bad in 2020. However, Sutton has the coverage skills to take over on the outside if something were to happen with either of the outside cornerbacks injury-wise. Hilton just doesn’t have the size or skills in coverage to hold up on the outside against slightly better-than-average receivers. Not only injury-wise but if Haden starts trending down quickly in the next season or two, it may be worth switching to Sutton. However, if Justin Layne continues to excite coaches as he has been, the Steelers could keep Sutton at his best position on the inside, and have what will be one of the best nickel corners in the league in terms of coverage.

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Mike Hilton has already established himself as one of the best nickel corners in the league, yet Sutton has shown a ton of improvement and potential. More importantly, Sutton fits what the Steelers are going to need more of in the future. That is huge when talking about a team that has to pick and choose what players have to be re-signed to remain competitive.