Pittsburgh Steelers signing former draft crush in linebacker Tanner Muse
By Tommy Jaggi
Less than two weeks before the 2023 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers are adding another linebacker in Tanner Muse, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network Reports. This signing comes after the additions of veteran linebackers Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts during the 2023 free-agency period.
Muse was a former third-round pick by the Las Vegas Raiders back in 2020, but after failing to suit up with his first team, the former Clemson linebacker landed on the Seattle Seahawks where he appeared in 23 games over the past two seasons.
Muse has just one start in his career and played only 80 defensive snaps last season. However, he was a valuable asset on special teams -- contributing 425 snaps in this department over the past two seasons (325 in 2022 alone).
While his career path hasn't matched expectations as a former third-round draft choice, it's not too late for the fourth-year linebacker to make a name for himself. In limited action last year, Muse earned an 80.3 overall grade from PFF, and his 84.7 coverage grade on 60 snaps was at least enough to turn heads.
Tanner Muse is a player the Steelers have liked since the 2020 draft
The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly liked Muse coming out of Clemson in the 2020 NFL Draft. At 6'2'' and 227, Muse had blazing 4.41 speed, per Mockdraftable's database. However, he was somewhat stuck in between a safety and a linebacker. Now at 230 pounds, Muse has been a linebacker for the Seahawks.
With Devin Bush, Myles Jack, and Robert Spillane each gone, there's a strong chance that Muse could stick around in some capacity. Pittsburgh has not resigned Marcus Allen, and it's very possible that they could have his role in mind for Muse.
Perhaps there's a chance he could find his way onto the field on defense as well. Though the Steelers already added Holcomb and Roberts, they are still desperately lacking a coverage linebacker in nickel and dime situations. This isn't Mark Robinson's forte either.
The decision to sign Muse won't sway the Steelers from selecting an off-ball linebacker in the 2023 NFL Draft, and I would assume the player they target has three-down capabilities. With this move, Pittsburgh's linebacking corps looks almost completely different than it did a season ago. Let's hope it's for the best.