5 new AFC North players Steelers should be concerned about

Mike Hilton #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Mike Hilton #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Mike Hilton #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Mike Hilton

A name all of Steelers nation should be familiar with, and frankly, mourning the loss of, Mike Hilton is set to play in the slot for the rival Bengals this season. Similar to Owusu-Koramoah, he needs to be schemed properly, as Hilton’s strengths are his run-stopping ability and pass rush while his coverage is a bit weaker than the traditional slot cornerback. That said, he showed clear coverage improvement last season and could continue to make strides there this season.

Hilton was one of the best underdog stories for the Steelers, as he was signed as a futures guy who worked his way to starter after just one offseason. He plays with a tenacity that any defensive coordinator would love to have, and his loss will certainly be felt by the team. The Bengals have a dynamic weapon here that they will have to learn to use properly.

If they can though, having Hilton in their secondary would be a huge win for them. Getting to play the Steelers twice a year, he should know some of the offensive weaknesses and match up well against his former team when the two meet up. It comes down to the Bengals using him properly, but if they do, he could be the biggest weapon against the Steelers. It stung to lose him, and the wound may continue to bleed if he proves dynamic against his former team.

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The AFC North had a busy offseason as each team took steps to try and improve their overall rosters. For some, their free-agent additions may prove fatal. Others nailed a draft pick that could haunt the team for years to come. These five new faces all have something to prove on their new team but could be a thorn in the Steelers’ side for the 2021 season.