It is no secret the Pittsburgh Steelers need help at the safety position. Mike Mitchell has solidified himself as a stellar player in the deep secondary, but other than Mitchell, the team's depth is seriously lacking. Aging veteran Will Allen is the incumbent starter, but with Shamarko Thomas still struggling to learn the defense, and Robert Golden set to hit free agency, the Steelers aren't left with many options.
One of those options would be rookie cornerback Doran Grant potentially moving to the safety position in 2016. At Mike Tomlin's season-ending press conference, the head coach didn't rule out the option of moving Grant to safety, something which was even discussed when he was drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Upon his draft, Steelers secondary coach, Carnell Lake, had this to say about the potential change in position for the rookie. "That's interesting you said that. I have that in my notes. I think he's that strong of a tackler that he can easily transition from corner to safety." If anyone would know what it takes to make the change from cornerback to safety, it would be Lake, who performed such a transition when he played for the Steelers in the 1990s.
In Grant's draft profile, Grant is lauded for his cerebral approach and intelligence he brings to the game, combined with a physicality rarely found at the cornerback position. In the same profile, it mentions his limitations in coverage when playing against bigger wide receivers on the outside.
The Steelers think very highly of Grant, which is a reason after they released him while cutting their roster to 53-men, they didn't just re-sign him to the practice squad, but promoted him to the active roster to protect him from being poached by another NFL franchise. This move does not happen if a player isn't viewed as an important part of the team's future.
The Steelers have a need at safety, and they also have a versatile player who could help fill that need entering the 2016 season. It is good to hear the organization at least entertaining the thought, especially if Grant seems to fit better at safety, than at cornerback.