10 realistic replacements Steelers could find for CB Steven Nelson

Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Justin Layne (31). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Justin Layne

For those of you that have read my piece on Justin Layne, I am very low on the former third-round pick. Seemingly, this was the reason he was drafted. Either of the outside options would be replaced by the athletic marvel in Layne. He did need some development before being counted on as a starter though, and it appears as though that isn’t going as well as the team would have liked.

Layne barely played his rookie year, which was expected given the depth the team had. Last year was a different story though. Layne was penciled in as a special teams starter from the get-go, and he eventually worked his way onto the field due to injuries. His play was bad though, and it doesn’t seem like the team has much faith in him. In fact, they allowed rookie Antoine Brooks Jr. and an undrafted corner (more on him later) to see the field over Layne during games.

This wasn’t unjustified either, as Layne was a liability in coverage when playing on defense. He allowed 10 of his 12 targets to be completed as well as allowing a quarterback rating of 138.5 when being targeted. He only played 117 snaps on defense, showing that he was being picked on when on defense. Frankly, I’d rather the team try and trade him than start him next season. Given the draft investment and sudden need at the position, Layne has to make this list. That said, he is the last option, as starting him for a season seems like a bad idea right now.