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How safe do the Steelers feel at Safety?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had one of the best Safeties in the NFL over the past few years in Minkah Fitzpatrick, but this past season was a rough one. Minkah dealt with injuries throughout the year along with just about everybody else in his position room. At some point in the season it seemed as if every safety on the roster missed significant playing time. Fitzpatrick, Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal were the anticipated starting trio the team put on the field for the 2024 season. Throughout the season Minkah missed a total of seven games with injuries including: a broken hand, pulled hamstring and a knee injury. Kazee was suspended for the final three games of the season while Neal was put on injured reserve after week 10 and never returned.

With the starters being out of the lineup, in came the depth safeties which consisted of: Trenton Thompson, Elijah Riley and Miles Killebrew. Thompson and Riley were also put on injured reserve during the season which left Miles Killebrew as the lone person that was in the safety room at the start of the season. With Killebrew being on the roster mainly as a special teams ace (shout out to Miles for being an All-Pro Special Teamer!!), he is not the main player you want on the field as a safety. The Steelers had to bring in Eric Rowe “off the couch” and transition Patrick Peterson from cornerback to safety. Eric Rowe was a very nice addition towards the end of the season and Trenton Thompson is a good depth piece. Patrick Peterson is a good veteran presence to young players but he not the cornerback he once was and he has not shown to be physical enough to play the safety position.

The Steelers are missing a strong safety that is able to play closer to the line of scrimmage. A name that comes up often is former Steeler Terrell Edmunds. Edmunds is not a flashy splash player but he is very solid, plays his role well and allows the other safeties to be more effective. Another name that has been brought up that interests me is Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Gardner-Johnson is a player that brings an intensity any defense needs, he’s physical and creates splash. Gardner-Johnson is also capable of playing in the slot which shows his versatility. A few more free agent players I like are: Eddie Jackson, Geno Stone, PJ Locke. I do not see the Steelers looking heavily in the draft for a safety but a few players I would keep an eye on are: Javon Bullard – Georgia, Cole Bishop – Utah, Josh Proctor – Ohio State.

There are quite a few free agent safeties the Steelers can bring in to be immediate starters along with some later round draft picks that can be depth pieces and developed. At the end of the day, the biggest priority for the safety room should be getting Minkah Fitzpatrick back to the robber role he excels at.

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