The Steelers need help at cornerback. Both Patrick Peterson and Levi Wallace have been disappointing this season. This has caused the Steelers to be 17th in the NFL in dropback success rate on defense.
Even with Joey Porter Jr. expected to be a bigger part of the defense going forward, the Steelers should be proactive and get him a long-term running mate. Here are three cornerbacks the Steelers could acquire.
Patrick Surtain II, Denver Broncos
While I don’t think the Broncos part ways with their young superstar, a guy can dream. Surtain is one of the three best cornerbacks in football today. He is second in the NFL in passes broken up in man-coverage, per PFF, and is coming off an All-Pro season in 2022. A cornerback tandem of the sons of two legends with Surtain and Joey Porter Jr. is something Steelers fans would love to see for the long-term future.
Steven Nelson, Houston Texans
This is a reunion I fully support. Nelson is still a very good cornerback, and one of the most underrated players at his position. He has allowed just 12 receptions all season on 17 targets (the NFL league leader in targets is Alontae Taylor with 45). He would fit right back into the system and be the No. 1 guy on the perimeter- I’d be very on board with bringing Nelson back.
Jaylon Johnson, Chicago Bears
Johnson is very good, but you wouldn’t know that considering the rest of the Bears’ defense is not good. He has been targeted just 12 times in three games played and has forced two incompletions and broken up an additional pass. This is another guy that would be a long-term answer opposite of Porter on the outside. The Steelers would have to pay him this offseason, though, as he will be a free agent in 2024. However, his talent speaks for itself.