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Analyzing the Steelers CB depth chart after the release of Justin Gilbert

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a surprising move released CB Justin Gilbert, but what does it mean for the team’s draft plan and depth chart?

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven't heard, the Pittsburgh Steelers released CB Justin Gilbert Monday afternoon. A strange move after the team traded for the former first round draft pick.

But what does it all mean? Was there an injury involved? Was he not a model citizen? What exactly went wrong?

I give my thoughts on the release in the podcast above, but go much further into why the Steelers might have done what they did, what it means for the Steelers from a depth perspective, and how it will impact the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.

Speaking solely on depth, just look at the team’s depth chart heading into 2017:

LCB: Artie Burns / William Gay / Al-Hajj Shabazz
RCB: Ross Cockrell / William Gay / Al-Hajj Shabazz

Throw in Senquez Golson, hopefully, in 2017 and you have yourself one mighty thin depth chart at a very important position for the black and gold. Sure, there might be a cornerback who gets a futures contract, but when was the last time one of those players was anything more than a special teams player?

This will certainly impact the team’s draft strategy, and if they decide to stay at No. 30 in the first round, there is a case to be made they take a cornerback in Round 1, and pick up a pass rusher in Round 2. Trust me, it doesn’t sound as crazy as many might think.

Either way, the Steelers will be addressing the cornerback position this offseason, but how they do so will be worth watching.

I discuss this more in the latest BTSC podcast “Steelers Hangout” above. Give it a listen in the player above, and follow all of the BTSC podcasts on iTunes by searching "The Standard is the Standard", as well as on several podcast apps for Android users.


The show is sponsored by Frank Walker Law, the top criminal defense firm to call in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and home to one of the nation's top-100 ranked trial attorneys in Frank Walker. For his PA office, call 412-212-3878 or to reach his WV office call 304-712-2089. You should also checkout his website to see how he can help you in your time of need. Frank Walker Law: Real Talk, Real Experience, Real Results.