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At certain positions the Steelers might like the depth they have

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team with gaps on their current roster. Ranking those team needs, as well as just putting them in some type of order depends on the person who is doing the organizing of team needs. However, something anyone doing this exercise should keep in mind is the depth already on the current roster.

Let’s take a look at one particular position as an example of how the way fans view a position might not be the same as the organization, based on current depth.

Cornerback (CB) would be a prime example of a position which many fans have as a Top 5 team need heading into 2024, but the organization might like what they have heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. This doesn’t mean they won’t address the position in the draft, but mainly how they could take a wait-and-see approach to adding a free agent until after the 3-day selection process has concluded.

Let’s take a look at the depth at the position:

Luq Barcoo

  • Has played in three games (one start) for Jacksonville (2020-21), Arizona (2021), San Francisco (2021), Kansas City (2022) and N.Y. Jets (2022)
  • Made NFL debut in Week 11 of 2020 (vs. Pittsburgh)
  • Made NFL starting debut in Week 12 of 2020 (vs. Cleveland)

Donte Jackson

  • Has appeared in 80 career games (76 starts) in his seven-year NFL career (Carolina 2018-23; Pittsburgh 2024)
  • Has registered 302 tackles (247 solo), 15 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one QB hit, 14 interceptions, one interception TD return, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 46 passes defensed
  • His 14 interceptions rank fourth among cornerbacks drafted in 2018
  • Recorded 10 picks over his first three years with Carolina, which were the second-most (Chris Gamble, 16) by any Panther in their first three seasons with the franchise
  • First player in Carolina history to return a two-point conversion attempt for a defensive score, intercepting New Orleans’ QB Drew Brees in Week 15 of 2018 and returning it 98 yards
  • Made NFL starting debut in Week 1 of 2018 (vs. Dallas)
  • Made NFL debut in Week 1 of 2018 (vs. Dallas)

Cory Trice

  • Landed on Injured Reserve (IR) after suffering a knee injury in training camp.

Darius Rush

  • Played sparingly in the 2023 season for the Steelers

You’ll notice Joey Porter Jr.’s name not on the above list, and that is based on the fact he is not a depth piece, but a starting cornerback for the Steelers. Fans might see the aforementioned list and think the position is far from a finished product, but the Steelers might like what they have in Donte Jackson, acquired in the trade with the Panthers for Diontae Johnson, Trice and Rush. If they draft a cornerback, it would only add to the position in 2024.

Perception vs. Reality can be difficult for many fans who are looking for ways they feel they can improve the roster. But sometimes the organization views things differently, and cornerback isn’t the only position which might fall into that category. When you look at positions like Offensive Tackle and Center, there might be depth on the offseason roster which allows the Steelers the flexibility to not have to go out and sign a free agent prior to the draft.

This is a tough pill for many to swallow, but is also the reality of the situation when it comes to manipulating the salary cap and making wise decisions prior to the draft.

What do you think of the depth at some positions like cornerback? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the offseason.


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