The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a difficult time drafting and developing defensive backs since 2010. However, Cameron Sutton is the one guy who definitely can be classified as a draft “hit” in the secondary.
Sutton was drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Steelers out of Tennessee and has since played all over in the secondary. Sutton started as a slot corner where he was kept over Mike Hilton, but has since moved outside and has succeeded there as well.
When meeting with the media today, Sutton’s former secondary coach and now defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was asked about Sutton and what has made him such a good pro.
“Cam’s really sharp” Austin said via a team transcript. “He’s been that way since I’ve gotten here. He hasn’t changed.”
Austin specifically talked about Sutton’s preparation and how that has helped him become such a good football player.
“He prepares like, I mean, every week, he’s got his notes. He’s got his iPad. He’s got the questions, he’s got thoughts, he sees the game really well. He does everything you want a really good pro to do. So, he’s going to go out there and he’s going to be really prepared and that’s why you see him playing well.”
It would not be hard to argue that Minkah Fitzpatrick and Sutton are the two best defensive backs on the Steelers, and both of those guys are known for being film room gurus. Fitzpatrick has been noted many times to be watching film often, and now it comes out that Sutton is the same way. It is a big reason why Sutton has been somewhat of a ball hawk, often jumping routes and being in the right spot almost all the time.
While Sutton does not have as high of a peak on defense as Ahkello Witherspoon, he is the more consistent corner as Witherspoon, when healthy this season, has had his struggles. Sutton has not been a completely lock down corner but he rarely gets torched in a game.
As the Steelers will likely look to add a cornerback in the draft, they may want to try and find someone like Sutton who has a high football IQ and studies film as he has been one of the few defensive back draft success stories in recent Steelers history.