Steelers hunting for LB depth before the NFL Draft

Omar Khan isn't done adding to the LB room; Here's the latest free-agent linebacker to visit the Steelers.

Washington Commanders v Indianapolis Colts
Washington Commanders v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

In a surprising move, the Pittsburgh Steelers forked up to land the biggest linebacker on the market in 2024. Former Ravens linebacker and first-round pick, Patrick Queen, inked a three-year, $41 million deal with Pittsburgh in free agency.

With Kwon Alexander (Achilles) no longer on the roster, there were concerns that Cole Holcomb would not be ready to start the season after suffering a gruesome knee injury in 2023. Queen gives the Steelers a budding young linebacker who will be an every-down player on defense.

But Omar Khan isn't finished adding to the linebacker position.

The Steelers are still looking to add depth at linebacker ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. Recently, Aaron Wilson reported that Pittsburgh hosted former Washington Commanders LB Khaleke Hudson for a visit.

Hudson was a former fifth-round pick by the Commanders in 2020. After taking a backseat to Cole Holcomb in a part-time role from 2020 to 2022, Hudson saw a significant uptick in usage during the final year of his rookie contract in 2023.

Last season, Hudson was credited with starting 8 of 17 games -- logging 405 snaps. He recorded 74 tackles 5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, and 2 passes defended in 2023.

Steelers could use a LB like Khaleke Hudson on special teams

Hudson proved to be a capable linebacker when called upon, but his biggest asset remains as a special teams player. In his first four seasons, Hudson has racked up 1,222 special teams snaps in 58 games, per Pro Football Reference. This type of linebacker depth could be exactly what Pittsburgh is looking for.

Ironically, Khaleke Hudson was the linebacker who started next to Devin Bush on Michigan's defense and he was drafted one year after the former Steelers first-round pick. At 5'11'' and 224 pounds, Hudson shares a similar size profile to Bush. He's also a quality athlete -- clocking a 4.56 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine to go with a 10'0'' broad jump and 30 bench press reps.

The fatal flaw when it comes to Hudson's frame is his severe lack of length. With just 29 3/8'' arms, Hudson's arm length is in the 1st percentile among linebackers entering the league since 1999, according to Mockdraftable.

Pittsburgh's visit with Khaleke Hudson shows they are not done adding to their linebacker room. If Hudson signs with the Steelers, Omar Khan may not feel the need to spend a valuable draft pick on a linebacker during the 2024 NFL Draft.