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Cornerback Tabbed as Steelers’ Biggest Offseason Need



Steelers FS Patrick Peterson
Steelers safety Patrick Peterson and cornerback Joey Porter Jr. against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 23, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

As the Pittsburgh Steelers pivot towards the offseason, Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin will discuss the team’s needs. And while there are many apparent ones, such as quarterback, center, and offensive tackle, Pro Football Focus believes the most significant need comes on the defensive side of the football.

They tabbed cornerback as the biggest need for Pittsburgh. Across from Joey Porter Jr., no certain player can slot into that spot. Patrick Peterson has experimented with moving to safety. Meanwhile, Levi Wallace is a free agent. Cory Trice and Darius Rush are young and have shown some promise, but their development is anything but certain. So, PFF has someone like Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins making sense.

“Wiggins has legit ball skills and shutdown athletic abilities. He needs to be more consistent in run defense and with the overall strength parts of his game, but he might be at the top of the list of corners you’d want to tell, “Go make sure that receiver doesn’t catch the ball.,” they wrote.

Peterson’s contract is expensive if that is the tentative plan at the spot for 2024. Tomlin seemed to be largely noncommittal for the future of Peterson in Pittsburgh and where exactly he would slot.

“Again,you know, we’re really at the infancy of these things. I did meet with Pat (Peterson), we had a good exit interview. I’m really appreciative of his experience and professionalism and who he is as a man and player, what he’s willing to do. But from a decision-making standpoint, we’re just really at the infancy of it all from that standpoint,” Tomlin said.

That is to say, their plans are anything but concrete. The team tried to trade for Jaylon Johnosn this season, which signals that they are likely to add to the position at some point.

The Steelers have had an issue with the positon, both on the outside and in the slot recently, and they need to fix both spots to turn the secondary around in 2024.