Ranking the Steelers biggest needs heading into the draft

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Joe Haden #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /


Cornerback was a need before Steven Nelson was cut, but now there is a huge hole at the position heading into the draft. While Cameron Sutton has both inside and outside flexibility, the team still needs a third corner to play in nickel and dime defenses. On top of this, Joe Haden is likely entering the final season of his Steelers career, so the team will have even more questions here next year.

The Steelers do have two potential in-house replacements for Nelson in Justin Layne and James Pierre, but both are unproven and can’t be counted on to start without any competition next year. Instead, the team would be wise to target a rookie early and look for them to enter the fold as well. Luckily, the Steelers could target both outside corners and slot corners given Sutton’s flexibility.

No matter what, the Steelers can’t go into next season with their cornerback room unchanged. The loss of Nelson is a tough one, and the team has to be proactive in replacing him. Luckily, this draft class is stacked with corners, so the team should have plenty of options if they look to the draft to find their successor. This need is prevalent both now, as they don’t have a clear third corner, and beyond, as they have no clear plans for life after Haden.