The Steelers were able to fix their depth issue at edge defender with Melvin Ingram. Here are three other names they could explore before training camp.
Most fans are thrilled that the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to land Melvin Ingram in free agency. While going into the season with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith as their starters seemed like a solid pairing, the depth was desperately lacking. Ingram’s presence not fixes that issue, but provides excellent security in the event of an injury and should give Pittsburgh’s pass rush a boost.
The Steelers shouldn’t stop here. While they have helped make up for the losses of many players this offseason, there is still plenty of work to do. The team still has plenty of cap space to make a few more moves. If this team is really serious about going all out in a rapidly closing Super Bowl window, here are three other players they should pursue after landing Melvin Ingram.
FS Malik Hooker
Malik Hooker has been a fan favorite from the getgo, and it’s not hard to see why. The former first-round draft choice was an electrifying prospect coming out of Ohio State with incredibly rare playmaking ability at the safety position. In 13 games a redshirt freshman in 2016, Hooker wowed with 7 interceptions for an outrageous 181 INT return yards – taking three of them back to the house for scores.
It appeared that Hooker was on track to continue his remarkable success in the NFL. After recording 3 interceptions in just 7 games, Hooker landed on IR in Week 8. Injuries have been the story of Hooker’s career ever since, but the young safety has still managed 7 interceptions in his first 36 NFL games.
For the Steelers, Hooker would likely find a way to get on the field early. Though he has always been a free safety (the same position as Minkah Fitzpatrick) Pittsburgh wouldn’t be opposed to playing them together – especially if Terrell Edmunds started to struggle. The Steelers would likely find ways to get Hooker on the field in three-safety sets or use him as an extra defensive back in their dime defense. This, of course, would be contingent upon his health and whether or not all of his medicals check out.