What would Kwon Alexander offer the Steelers in 2023?

Steelers, Kwon Alexander
Steelers, Kwon Alexander / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As soon as ESPN reporter Adam Schefter announced that the Pittsburgh Steelers were bringing in Kwon Alexander for a visit, the reaction of the fanbase was overwhelmingly positive on Twitter. Alexander was a former Pro Bowler way back in 2017, and he's earned a reputation as a quality NFL linebacker.

That's not how I felt when I first heard the news. Watching Alexander over the past several years, it's easy to see that he's not the same player he was early in his NFL career. While the veteran linebacker still offers some things to like about his game, this somewhat reminds me of the Myles Jack signing all over again.

When the Steelers signed Jack last year, the fanbase was ecstatic. In their minds, Pittsburgh was getting a Pro Bowl-level linebacker who was going to be a big improvement over Joe Schobert. However, that didn't prove to be the case. Jack was cut after just one season, and the splits showed that the results weren't good when he was on the field.

Even entering his age-29 season, I think that Alexander will be better than Jack was last season, but that's not a particularly high bar to clear. There are both things to like and things to be concerned with. So what would he have to offer the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023 if signed?

Steelers would be getting a safe veteran presence in Kwon Alexander

Based on how he has played over the past several years, it's extremely unreasonable to expect Kwon Alexander to return to Pro Bowl form if signed by the Steelers. This is a player who has had a lot of wear and tear over the years, and he hasn't graded out as a top-35 NFL linebacker since way back in 2017.

Last year, in his most recent sample of play, Alexander was respectable, but the results were nothing to write home about. On the New York Jets, Kwon started 12 of 17 games but didn't create much splash on defense. Of his 559 defensive snaps (49 percent of the team's total) Alexander recorded just 0.5 sacks, 1 pass defended, and 1 forced fumble without managing an interception or fumble recovery, via ESPN stats. In this regard, he wasn't all that dissimilar to Myles Jack last year on the Steelers.

Despite pedestrian production and an average overall grade via PFF, there are still some things to like about Alexander. For starters, the experience at the position will come in handy, as the veteran linebacker has started 86 of 95 NFL games he has participated in.

Alexander is also still a good athlete -- even at this stage in his career. The former LSU standout ran a 4.55 coming out of college. Kwon doesn't have that type of speed anymore after multiple season-ending injuries, but he's still quick to the football.

Though Alexander isn't considered elite in coverage, he did record 132 snaps from the slot last year (which is a ton for an off-ball linebacker). He has showcased the ability to stick with tight ends, and he hasn't allowed a touchdown in his coverage since 2020.

Next. Intriguing positional battles for Steelers in 2023. dark

Overall, Alexander is a quality depth option at linebacker who could probably start alongside Cole Holcomb for the Steelers and carve out a significant role. He's probably only average compared to other NFL starters, but compared to what Pittsburgh was working with in 2022, Kwon Alexander would still be an upgrade.