clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What are the Steelers’ options to replace Mike Hilton at Nickel?

The answer at nickel corner probably isn't already on the Steelers roster

NFL: DEC 21 Steelers at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team with a decent amount of work to be done before the players are back on the field. In all likelihood this extends past the 2021 NFL Draft and into the second wave of free agency. One of the position the Steelers need to fill is their nickel corner position. Players like Cameron Sutton and James Pierre are already on the roster, but both play better as an outside corner. I suspect the Steelers will be looking outside of the roster to fill this position and that player could come from either the draft, or from the league’s free agent pool.

But what are the names to look out for and who will be Mike Hilton’s successor in the slot? Below are some names of the top candidates for the job.

Brian Poole

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Poole is a player that has seen a number of ups and downs in his NFL career. Most recently he's been a solid member of the New York Jets secondary. Poole’s 2020 season was shut down in Week 9 following shoulder and knee injuries. In those games Poole picked up a pair of picks and a sack.


Nickell Robey-Coleman

NFL: OCT 22 Giants at Eagles Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Robey-Coleman is a very similar player to Mike Hilton, he’s a willing tackler can come down on the blitz and can snag the occasional interception. After bouncing around Los Angeles and Philadelphia Robey-Coleman could use a long term spot. Pittsburgh can offer him that and a role he would be successful in.


Casey Hayward

Los Angeles Chargers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Hayward is more of long shot amongst the free agents. He can play every corner position on the field and can help compliment the Steelers current group. Hayward isn't the kind of player to fill Mike Hilton’s role, he isn't the most physical but in a traditional coverage type slot role, Hayward would find success.


Elijah Molden

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 21 Las Vegas Bowl - Boise State v Washington

Molden is the best pure nickel corner in the draft. A big time tackler while also stacking up interceptions during his time in Washington. Molden has NFL bloodlines, his father Alex Molden was a New Orleans Saints first round pick in 1996 and played eight years in the league. Being a slot corner means Molden won't be an early draft pick and the Steelers could find value in the Huskies prospect in the middle rounds.


Shaun Wade

Nebraska v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Wade’s value has fallen over the past two seasons at Ohio State. Two years ago as a slot corner Wade was thought to be a first round prospect but opted to return to school and play on the outside. While Wade wasn't as successful in the outside role, he has the opportunity to move back inside at the next level.


But what do you think? Who will be the Steelers slot corner for the 2021 season? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.