6 reasons why Steelers should go free-agent route for DBs

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Allison Koehler
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It took the Steelers several draft busts before a secondary worth fielding came together, and now it’s coming apart.

The Steelers secondary was a nightmare draft after draft for years — they just didn’t have an eye for spotting young talent, particularly at corner.

You may remember names like Curtis Brown, Shamarko Thomas, Shaquille Richardson, Doran Grant, Senquez Golson, Artie Burns — 158 games between these six defensive backs (jury is still out on former first-rounder Terrell Edmunds and Marcus Allen, but he converted to linebacker last offseason). These six guys are reason enough to go the free-agent route when looking for an impact defensive back.

List

2021 NFL free agency: 5 free agent CBs the Steelers could use

Golson is the standout in the group, and not for a good reason. Selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft, Golson never played a down for Pittsburgh — or any team for that matter. Whatever the Steelers saw in him collegiately didn’t translate to the pros, even when healthy. Golson’s first two seasons were spent on injured reserve, and he was cut the week before the 2017 season began.

Pittsburgh scored a gem with street free agent Mike Hilton, temporarily had something with free agent Steven Nelson, and won in a trade with the Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick.

The Steelers are now hoping that 2017 third-round pick Cam Sutton can carry the cornerback position along with (the soon-to-be) 32-year-old Joe Haden.

Colbert and company have had more luck signing street free agents or packaging a trade for defensive backs.

Please do not waste a precious draft pick on a guy you’re only going to cut.

List

Ranking the Steelers offensive positional units after free agency