As the Pittsburgh Steelers turn their attention to the 2018 NFL Draft, pundits everywhere are predicting the team to try and locate a safety to help fill the void left by recently released Mike Mitchell.
The usual prospects names are being tossed around: Ronnie Harrison of Alabama, Justin Reid of Stanford and even Jessie Bates of Wake Forest.
However, there is a chance the team might not need to address the position as early as many predict, and the flexibility of Cameron Sutton might be the reason why.
After signing a versatile weapon like Morgan Burnett in free agency, Sutton’s own set of skills could help bridge the gap in certain situations. I’m not suggesting Sutton will be an every down starter at Free Safety alongside Sean Davis, but he does have experience at safety while in college, and could be a situational player who could be utilized in such a role.
While the Steelers currently have a very deep cornerback room, which consists of Artie Burns, Joe Haden, Mike Hilton, Coty Sensabaugh and Sutton himself, the more you can do will only better the chances of getting on the football field.
Most have Sutton pegged to fill the William Gay sub package role from last year, but why paint such a talented player into a corner like that? Sutton is capable, and the Steelers would be wise to see what he brings to the team in a more intricate and detailed role.
As for Sutton’s preparation, he is preparing for anything this offseason.
“I am not limiting myself.” Sutton told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. “I have a lot of time to get reps at everything, whether it’s off man, press man, getting in the film room and seeing how teams are going to attack us. Every aspect of the return game. Getting in the weight room. Nobody’s game is perfect, but you have to have the mindset of having no flaws in your game. The more you become well-rounded, the more it takes pressure off and you can go out there and play and have fun.”
For Sutton, he just wants to get on the football field. After having to watch the majority of the 2017 regular season with a hamstring injury, he is looking to put that in the past and focus on the future.
“I enjoyed the year,” said Sutton. “You never know what to expect. I thought this was the best situation for me. It’s been nothing but positive since I got here. Everyone embraced us. It’s been fun. I made a lot of friendships and memories that will carry on with me for my entire life.”
The question now remains: Will Sutton be playing more cornerback or safety in the upcoming 2018 regular season? How the team drafts could give a hint as to the team’s plans this year, but expect Sutton to be a big part of those plans — whether it is a cornerback or safety.