Ranking all 8 of the Steelers signed undrafted free agents
By Andrew Falce
1. Shakur Brown
The Steelers had an inherent need for a slot corner (or really any cornerback for that matter) that went mostly unmet during the draft. The team their best to add as many slot-capable options on the roster as undrafted free agents, but none look like better fits on paper than Shakur Brown from Michigan. Seen as a conscientious fourth-fifth round pick, Brown shockingly went undrafted before the Steelers quickly scooped him up.
His negative traits are cut and dry; Brown isn’t an overly physical slot defender like the now-departed Mike Hilton was, his athletic testing was horrible, and he only has one season as a starting player under his belt. That said, five interceptions he recorded in his lone year as a starter showcased some serious ball skills. His coverage was good as well, as he continued to take steps in his senior year that indicated growth as a player. Oh, and he is an underclassman, meaning that his best football should be in front of him.
I don’t mean this likely, but Brown is currently the best slot cornerback on this roster that isn’t named Cameron Sutton. While I expect the Steelers to use James Pierre on the outside and Sutton on the inside for sub-package defense, Brown could work his way onto the field. Even if he stays mostly on the bench this year, he has the ability to develop into a long-term solution at slot cornerback.
The Steelers attacked the defensive backs hard during the undrafted free agency period, and it seems to have paid off. Most of the options brought in have some serious potential both in the short and long term. No matter what you thought about the draft, the team should be lauded for the undrafted free agents they brought in after the draft.