The calendar has now flipped over to July and that means the Pittsburgh Steelers annual training camp will be getting underway in Latrobe later this month. As usual, we have several series planned to get you ready for this year’s training camp and mine will center around preview profiles of 50 players over the course of the next 25 days. Most of these profiles will be on players who were under contract with the team in 2016.
Following the rookies with Cameron Sutton.
Intro: Sutton was drafted by the Steelers for his football IQ, toughness, and SEC resume. He was the first rookie the team picked to address their secondary who, on paper, has the ability to play inside or out. So far, all reports say Sutton is working as an outside corner.
Current Strengths: Regarded as having one of the best football IQs in his class. Showed ability to play all over the defense at the Senior Bowl. Outside corner, slot, and some work at safety. Can recover when beaten and tracks the ball in the air well. Finishes at catch points, does a nice job playing the receiver’s pocket. Experienced punt returner. Lacks size but shows good punch in man coverage and able to jam at the LOS. Fluid athlete. Tough, headstrong, played through injury.
Current Weaknesses: May lack top end speed, which could be an issue in man coverage against the fastest receivers. Needs to be a more consistent, physical tackler, especially in the run game. Has to show he is willing to be around the ball more, bit Cockrell like. Will gamble and is vulnerable to double-moves.
2017 Outlook: If Sutton stays on the outside as anticipated, his main role will be making an impact on special teams this year, barring injury. But he’ll hopefully give the Steelers depth they haven’t enjoyed for several years. Though he is capable, it’s unlikely he gets a role on the punt return unit.
2017 Base Salary: $465,000
2017 Salary Cap Charge: $649,032
2017 Health Status: No known ailments exiting offseason program
2016 Health Status: Suffered broken ankle, missed time
2016 Regular Season Snaps Played: N/A
2016 Stat That Matters: Four pass breakups in seven games as a senior