Bleacher Report Tabs Ahkello Witherspoon As Steelers’ Best Kept Secret

Five seasons into his career that has seen him spend time with three different teams, you’d be hard-pressed to call Pittsburgh Steelers veteran cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon a “secret.”

However, Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton called Witherspoon that Saturday, labeling Witherspoon as the Steelers’ “best kept secret” ahead of the 2022 season, leaning heavily into the projection the fifth-year cornerback has moving forward, especially after such a strong close to the end of the 2021 season that saw Witherspoon play like a shutdown cornerback.

Thanks to his play late in the 2021 season, Witherspoon was rewarded with a two-year, $8 million contract from the Steelers in free agency, ensuring that a potential No. 1 cornerback remains in Pittsburgh, especially after the Steelers let veteran Joe Haden walk in free agency.

Now, Witherspoon is the best kept secret for the black and gold.

“In 2021, Witherspoon missed eight of the first nine games but made steady contributions through the second half of the campaign. He started in three regular-season outings and the Wild Card Round matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs,” Moton writes. “For the year, Witherspoon led the team in interceptions (three) and allowed a 35.1 passer rating in coverage.

“At 6’2″, 195 pounds, Witherspoon has the size to match up against bigger lead wide receivers and enough foot speed to mirror some of the twitchier pass-catchers on the perimeter. In line for a starting role, he’s a potential breakout candidate.”

Earlier in the week, Bleacher Report also called Witherspoon the Steelers’ breakout candidate for the 2022 season. Obviously, expectations remain relatively high for Witherspoon heading into his first full season as a presumed starter in Pittsburgh. If Witherspoon can fulfill expectations, the Steelers’ defense could really take a step forward in 2022, especially in the secondary where Pittsburgh has undergone significant changes, especially at the cornerback position.

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