4 important notes from Day 1 of Steelers training camp

  • A surprising name earns starting snaps at slot CB
  • Steelers may have found a new upback

Steelers, Calvin Austin III
Steelers, Calvin Austin III / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Duke Dawson earns first-team reps at slot cornerback

Another important note from Day 1 of Steelers training camp is that Duke Dawson earned reps with the first-team defense at slot cornerback. Farabaugh notes that it was veteran Patrick Peterson who kicked inside to the slot first, with Joey Porter Jr. replacing him on the boundary in nickel. However, Dawson suddenly becomes a name to watch at the position.

The former Florida cornerback was a second-round pick by the New England Patriots back in 2018. He lasted just one year with the team that drafted him before seeing his first NFL action in Denver with the Broncos in 2019.

Despite his former draft status, Dawson has only appeared in four NFL regular-season games so far despite entering the league over five years ago. Dawson is a decent athlete with a compact frame, but he hasn't been able to catch on at the professional level.

At least early in Steelers training camp, he certainly becomes a name to keep an eye on. With little competition at the slot cornerback position, Dawson not only stands a shot to make the roster, but he could even carve out a role on defense if he impresses in camp. Stay tuned to see which other cornerbacks could potentially be in the mix for this role.