4 reasons Justin Layne should be Steelers replacement for Steven Nelson

Justin Layne Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Justin Layne Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Justin Layne has been waiting for an opportunity to showcase his skills. Here are four reasons why he should replace Steven Nelson for the Steelers.

Steelers Nation was shocked earlier this month when it was reported that starting cornerback, Steven Nelson, would be released from the team if Pittsburgh could not find a trade partner for him. This obviously came to fruition, and now the Steelers are left with a gaping hole at the cornerback position.

Fortunately, Cameron Sutton was retained on a two-year extension this offseason, but with both Nelson and Mike Hilton gone, there are many questions surrounding Pittsburgh’s depth at the cornerback position. One player who doesn’t seem to be drawing enough attention is Justin Layne. Layne was once considered to be a borderline first-round talent coming out of the 2019 NFL Draft, but he ultimately fell to the Steelers in the third round.

As a special teams stud with limited snaps on defense, Layne should be given every opportunity to showcase his skills early in the 2021 season. Here are four reasons why Layne should be the replacement for Steven Nelson this year:

Layne on the outside gives Steelers their best lineup

While many Steelers fans are pointing to undrafted free agent, James Pierre as an option to fill the void, I think Layne gives Pittsburgh their most threatening lineup. Pierre flashed very late in the season, but with just 27 career defensive snaps, he shouldn’t exactly be counted on as the answer this season.

Cameron Sutton has showcased the ability to play both outside and in the slot over his first four seasons with his most impressive tape coming over the past two years. However, having the shifty veteran manning the nickel position with a long and rangy Justin Layne outside likely gives the Steelers their best lineup, at least in sub-packages.