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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Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Justin Layne (31). Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /

Remarkable physical tools

Strictly from a size and athletic standpoint, Justin Layne is the most impressive Steelers cornerback by a mile. While James Pierre is the only other cornerback currently on the roster that cracks 6-feet, Layne stands at 6’2” with a remarkable 80 1/4” wingspan (96th percentile) and 33” arms (93rd percentile). Apart from maybe offensive tackle and edge defender, arm length is most important for cornerbacks to help break up passes and get themselves between the receiver and the ball.

But length isn’t the only thing Layne has going for him. In addition to possessing prototype height and length for an outside cornerback, he tested as a terrific athlete – posting good speed to go with above-average agility testing. His explosion is amazing as his 134” broad jump puts him in the 97th percentile among NFL cornerbacks, according to Mockdraftable.com.

Layne has the physical tools that every other cornerback on the roster can only dream of. With the right coaching, it stands to reason that these tools could be used to benefit the team in 2021. Layne is a former college wide receiver, so we knew that this was going to take some time, but he should be given every opportunity to fill in for Steven Nelson this season.