5 bold predictions for Steelers 2021 Hall of Fame game
By Andrew Falce
Steelers Brooks shines
One of the biggest surprises of the offseason so far has been the Steelers’ expectations of second-year defensive back Antoine Brooks. Drafted in the sixth round last year, most expected him to make the conversion to linebacker given his size and run-stopping ability. In his lone game that he saw a surplus of snaps, he actually played in the slot and he didn’t look out of place. That said, most expected him to be more of a dime backer type if he remained in the secondary.
That was until he reportedly lost between 15-20 pounds this offseason, meaning his playing weight will be closer to 200 pounds. This makes him much more of a realistic slot option in the mold of a Mike Hilton; a corner that is more known for their blitzing and run defense. That doesn’t mean that that is all Brooks can do though. He could still see some snaps at strong safety and in that dime backer role.
With so many potential roles for Brooks in his second year, I expect to see him play all over the defense for the majority of the Hall of Fame game. He could start in the slot, take over at strong safety, and fill in that sixth defensive back/hybrid linebacker role in dime later on. Due to this, I think he is the shining star of the day for the Steelers. Don’t be surprised to see some tackles for a loss, a potential pick, and a slew of tackles. All in all, he could easily be one of the hottest players after the team’s first game.