Why Steelers should prioritize cornerback help over wide receiver

Trade speculations swirl around the wide receiver position, but Pittsburgh should prioritize adding a cornerback to their roster.
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The talk of the offseason and post-draft period is centered on which wide receiver the Pittsburgh Steelers might make a blockbuster trade for. Names like Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and Courtland Sutton have been mentioned.

However, an even more questionable position group is the cornerback room.

Omar Khan and Andy Weidl have done a great job building depth across the roster in their two seasons together, but the one area that has been lacking is cornerback depth, especially with a daunting 2024 schedule featuring some elite QBs, the secondary needs as much help as possible.

Brandon Aiyuk is a high asking price

A trade for a player like Aiyuk would be costly, requiring a high draft pick and a new contract. With Justin Jefferson just signing a $140 million extension, the market for wide receivers is skyrocketing. Aiyuk has even mentioned he wants a deal similar to Detroit Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, which is over $30 million per season.

If a trade for Aiyuk happens, it almost entirely rules out an extension for George Pickens, who is entering the third year of his rookie contract. For a team that wants to run the ball, allocating a lot of money for a wide receiver is a tough decision.

Steelers current cornerback depth is concerning

The Steelers' current cornerback room is quite concerning. While they have two starters in Joey Porter Jr. and Donte Jackson, an injury to either would be devastating. There is no reliable slot corner option, leaving them to rely on Josiah Scott, undrafted free agent Beanie Bishop, or developmental piece Darius Rush to step up.

Additional outside corner help is also questionable, with Cory Trice coming off a torn ACL and needing to make up for an entire missed rookie year. These are a lot of questionable pieces to rely on in case of injury.

There have been rumors of New Orleans Saints Marshon Lattimore being a trade or cut candidate. Making a move for him would make sense, especially since Donte Jackson hasn't been super reliable during his time in Carolina.

Regardless of how the rest of the roster shapes up throughout the offseason, the cornerback depth desperately needs to be addressed. For a defense poised to be one of the better units in the NFL, the downfall will be the secondary if it isn't bolstered.

Choosing between CB or WR

When you examine the roster, the wide receiver room boasts significantly more NFL talent than the cornerback group. The recent draft pick, Roman Wilson, has bolstered the passing game, adding a much-needed presence.

However, if the season started tomorrow, I'd be much more confident in the depth of the wide receiver room than in the cornerback depth.

While adding a high-talent wide receiver is the flashier move for fans, the overall makeup of the team requires more help in the defensive backfield.