Pittsburgh Steelers: Exploring potential cornerback options before trade deadline

Steelers, Jaylon Johnson
Steelers, Jaylon Johnson / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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2. Donte Jackson, Carolina Panthers

Like the Patriots, the Carolina Panthers are not ready to contend with the roster in the shape it currently is in. Sitting at 0-6 with a rookie quarterback, the Panthers have time to rebuild and have the cornerstone pieces potentially already in place with Bryce Young, Derrick Brown, Jaycee Horn, Brian Burns, and Ikem Ekwonu anchoring both sides of the ball. However, despite having five building block pieces on the roster, the team has holes littered across the rest of their roster and needs to stockpile as many picks as possible.

Trading away veterans in order to revamp the roster next season would be a wise move for the Panthers. One veteran that several teams may call on is cornerback Donte Jackson. Like, Jones, Jackson is an undersized corner who possesses elite speed, however, he only turns 28 in November. Jackson could be a piece that Carolina still views as a part of their long-term plans due to his age, but due to their plethora of holes, prioritizing a slot corner is likely not something they would do. He is a good player who would benefit any team he joins, and is likely expendable in Carolina, who likely will listen to anyone other than the aforementioned building blocks.

Jackson would be an excellent addition for the Steelers as they would be getting a great athlete to put in the slot, but who once again is versatile enough to play outside. Jackson is 2 years younger so would likely cost a little more to acquire than Jones, but would also be able to be a key piece of the defense for even longer. The LSU product possesses great ball skills, and the ability to return punts as well. He was held in high regard out of the NFL Draft and has lived up to the billing of a second-round pick since entering the NFL.