3 young players the Pittsburgh Steelers should have held onto
By Tommy Jaggi
Lions CB Mark Gilbert
Pittsburgh got a taste of Mark Gilbert in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions as the former Steelers cornerback recorded 3 tackles, deflected a pass, and came up with a huge forced fumble. Though Gilbert is a situational cornerback on one of the NFL’s worst teams he has graded out quite well this season.
The sky is the limit for Gilbert’s upside. The former Duke product had a 7-interception season as a sophomore before injuries plagued the remainder of his college career. Still, at 6’0” and 186 pounds with terrific athletic traits, this is the type of developmental cornerback every team should keep around.
Gilbert didn’t do anything to warrant getting cut this summer, in my opinion. He had a very solid training camp and impressed in his first preseason. After being released, Pittsburgh found it necessary to go out and trade a fifth-round pick for another big, athletic cornerback (Ahkello Witherspoon) who can’t even earn a helmet on gameday.
I’m not claiming that Mark Gilbert is guaranteed to turn into a quality starting outside cornerback in the NFL, but he was a rookie with upside and a strong camp that the Steelers just pitched to the curb. This is one they would like to have back.