3 things Steelers must do after cutting CB Steven Nelson
By Tommy Jaggi
Steelers must see if Justin Layne is up to the task
Justin Layne didn’t show nearly as much as I would have hoped for in 2020, and fans are starting to lose hope that he will develop into a starting-caliber outside cornerback. I was high on Layne entering the 2019 NFL Draft, and he certainly doesn’t lack any of the athletic traits he needs for the position.
However, I was surprised to see undrafted free agent, James Pierre, surpass Layne on the depth chart late in the season last year. Still, I haven’t given up hope on the former third-round pick, and the Steelers need to at least give him the opportunity to see if he is up to the task.
Layne is significantly longer and more athletic than Pierre, and he has all the traits in the world to be an outside starter at cornerback. While I still think the team should look to sign a free agent with experience and target cornerback in the draft, I do think that Layne deserves a shot to showcase his skills in 2021. If he can prove to be that guy for the Steelers, it could really help this team stomach the losses of both Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson moving forward.
The Steelers have their work cut out for them this offseason, and they are not going to want to go into the season without a plan at the cornerback position. Pittsburgh values defense as much as any team in the league, and I expect them to explore all of these options at cornerback after cutting Steven Nelson.