Three draft options for the Steelers to replace CB Mike Hilton
Draft option mirroring Sutton’s ability to play multiple positions
And lastly, interchangeability. An element of the NFL that is progressing year-by-year, coaches desire their players to be able to do more than what they may be traditionally assigned to do. Realizing the creativity & interjecting of the spread offense, defenses are having to react structurally, the Steelers being a great example.
Nowadays, “3-4 or 4-3” represents loose terms for base defense as teams are shifting into the nickel/dime. The value for players being multifaceted on-field is trending at an all-time high & players in college such as CB Asante Samuel Jr. of Florida State will be coveted by many.
Not to set the trend of smaller DBs for the Steelers, players such as Molden & now Samuel are just hard to pass up from what they offer. Although he weighs a bit less than Elijah at 184 lbs, the son of former NFL All-Pro, Asante Samuel, stands at 5’10 but performs unlike it.
Tape that makes you fall in love with the player he is, one word to summarize it all is fearless. From covering to tackling, he accepts the challenge. Whenever the ball is in the air, Samuel is going up to high point the ball. Whenever a ball carrier is in his vicinity, he is coming up to make the stop.
He possesses a high football IQ in diagnosing routes & essentially uses his size as an advantage in how quick he can be. He’s athletic, does well in man coverage with how smooth his feet are & has the added ability to close/recover on WRs.
The apparent problem with Samuel’s game is that as he enters the league, the talent will generally be better & bigger WRs will create issues for him, particularly when having to cover downfield. Thankfully, he has the intangibles that should allow a smooth transition to slot CB & experience on the outside, making him an early contributor in his NFL career.