It won’t be long until all 32 teams start their annual training camps and ahead of that happening, Peter King of Sports Illustrated has attempted to identify one player from each franchise that should have the spotlight placed upon them ahead of the season starting. King’s choice for the Pittsburgh Steelers is a bit surprising.
King went with Steelers rookie cornerback Senquez Golson, who was drafted in the second-round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Mississippi and this is what he wrote about his selection.
The Steelers, with nominal starters William Gay and Cortez Allen, need at the very least nickel help, and soon. Golson, the SEC interceptions leader with 10 last year, is going to see action early and often.
While Golson will undoubtedly be expected to contribute at some point during his rookie season, odds are probably good that he won’t start seeing the field consistently on defense until the midway point of the year. Injuries and poor play ahead of him on the depth chart could, of course, change all of that, but as we sit here right now, he’ll have to first overtake the more experienced Antwon Blake if he’s going to see extensive playing during the first half of the season.
If King is looking to spotlight a player in the Steelers secondary, specifically, perhaps cornerback Cortez Allen or safety Mike Mitchell would’ve been better choices. Allen is coming off of an incredibly disappointing season after signing a new contract just prior to the 2014 season getting underway, while Mitchell also failed to live up to expectations after being signed last offseason as the team’s primary free agent addition.
Additionally, you can probably make a good argument for fellow safety Shamarko Thomas being chosen over Golson as he will finally be looking to fill the shoes of former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu on a full-time basis.
What about linebackers Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones? Shouldn’t they both be spotlighted ahead of Golson heading into the season?