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 Cameron Sutton (20). Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Cameron Sutton is an ideal nickel cornerback

As much as I like Justin Layne’s potential on the outside, I like the idea of Cameron Sutton in the slot even more. While Sutton has done a serviceable job filling in for Steven Nelson and Joe Haden in the past, he is well-suited to line up inside against slot receivers.

Unlikely Layne, Sutton doesn’t have elite size or athletic traits. What he does have, however, is quick feet and the ability to mirror wide receivers inside the hashes. Most of Sutton’s best play over his first four years has come at either nickel back or the dime backer, and there is plenty of reason to believe that this will be his best role for the team moving forward.

At just 5’11” and 188 pounds with 30” arms (7th percentile), Sutton does not have great or length to match up with bigger wide receivers on the outside, and it’s possible that he could struggle in these situations. Keeping him in a position where we already know he can dominate would be beneficial to Pittsburgh in 2021.

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There are plenty of reasons to believe that Justin Layne could still develop into the guy the Steelers were hoping for when they drafted him in 2019. Layne is an incredibly gifted athlete with extremely rare length for the position. If he can make a third-year jump, he could be the best replacement for Steven Nelson at right cornerback opposite Joe Haden for Pittsburgh in 2021.