Steelers roster: What is Pittsburgh getting in CB Lavert Hill?

  • Steelers make a swap with cornerback depth
  • Does Lavert Hill have a chance to stick around?

Steelers, Lavert Hill
Steelers, Lavert Hill / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers have an infatuation when it comes to former Michigan football players. Recently, the team waived injured cornerback Duke Dawson as well as CB Isaiah Dunn to make room on their roster for newcomer, Lavert Hill.

Hill played four years at Michigan from 2016 to 2019 and was a three-year starter. The former four-star recruit recorded 6 interceptions for the Wolverines -- half of which came during his senior season, via Sports Reference.

Hill isn't the biggest cornerback. At the 2020 NFL Combine, he measured in at just 5'10'' with 30 7/8'' arms, per Mockdraftable (though his 190-pound frame is good for his size). Despite his college production, Hill wound up going undrafted in 2020. Over the past three years, he has bounced around roster and practice squads on teams like the Chiefs, Eagles, Cardinals, and 49ers. Most recently, Hill signed with the Browns in 2022 but never dressed for a game.

In fact, after all this time, Hill has not logged a single snap yet in his NFL career. So what are the Pittsburgh Steelers getting with this signing?

Steelers get slot CB depth, but Hill is unlikely to make the final roster

It's true that the battle for Pittsburgh's slot cornerback is wide open -- especially now that Duke Dawson has been waived. So far, it appears that it might come down to Chandon Sullivan or Elijah Riley at the position. Lavert Hill will now throw his hat in the ring for a chance at this role, but landing on the Steelers 53-man roster won't be easy.

Though we expect Hill to show up to Steelers training camp in excellent shape, he's going to be well behind the learning curve. Unlike Sullivan and Riley, Hill has not been with the team since April (or earlier) like these two guys have. Instead, he will be asked to catch on very quickly and will play in his first preseason game with Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Because of the trust and chemistry other players have already been building, it would likely require some very impressive performances for Hill to stick around in 2023. Still, this signing offers depth at the position for Pittsburgh and a possible fall-back plan if their choice at slot cornerback fails.

Hill has some roots with Mike Tomlin and the organization dating back to the pre-draft process. He will have just a few weeks to put everything on display. If he's unable to stick around and carve out a role on the roster, he may be able to prove why he should become a practice squad candidate.