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Is Steven Nelson one of the best cornerbacks in football?

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Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Continuing on with part 61 of our 90-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Let’s take a look at 2018 free agent addition:

Steven Nelson

Position: CB
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 194 lbs
College: Oregon State
Draft: 3rd round, 98th Overall in 2015 (Chiefs)


2019 stats

61 Tackles
1 Interception
8 Passes Defended
1 Fumble Recovery


Contract remaining

Expires in 2022
$14,420,000 salary cap number (6.7% of total cap)
$6,170,000 Dead money
$8,250,000 Savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. Steven Nelson developed into one of footballs best defensive backs in 2019, and he should start to receive more national recognition in 2020. Nelson is on pace to be one of the greatest free agent signings in franchise history and he’s only one season into his tenure. Bottom line, he’s not going anywhere.


2020 projection

Nelson only snagged a single interception a year ago, and I think that number will grow in 2020. Teams look at Nelsons stature and try to mismatch him against taller receivers, however Nelson always rose to the occasion putting the clamps on the likes of DK Metcalf, Jarvis Landry, and Larry Fitzgerald among many others. I think Nelson will flirt with numbers that will place him into Pro Bowl territory.


Projected stats:

58 Tackles
3 Interception
13 Passes Defended
1 Fumble Recovery


Summary

Maybe I'm biased, but 2020 is set up for Nelson to truly break out on the national level. Steelers Nation loves him. He’s dominant in tough matchups, and he’s going to be a star player on what should be one of the NFL’s best defensive units. Everything is pointing towards Nelson taking his place in the upper echelon of NFL corners. Other fan bases may cringe if you throw his name out with the likes of Stephon Gilmore, Tre’Davious White, or Jalen Ramsey, but by year’s end everyone else will know what Steelers fans already do: Steven Nelson is a baller.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson
Dewayne Hendrix
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel
Christian Kuntz
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers
Vance McDonald
Anthony McFarland Jr.
Henry Mondeaux
Christian Montano
Alexander Myres