Steelers Named ‘Ideal’ Fit for Notable Ex-Packers Starter

Mike Tomlin

Getty The Steelers could take a look at free agent CB Kevin King.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could be the perfect landing spot for a notable former Green Bay Packers starter. analyst Marc Ross listed the top free agents remaining on the market and mentioned the “ideal” team fits for each of those players. According to Ross, former Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King is an ideal fit for the Steelers.

Ross argues that King adds much-needed depth to the cornerback position as Pittsburgh enters the season with Levi Wallace and Ahkello Weatherspoon as its top corners.

“The Steelers are rolling into 2022 with Ahkello Witherspoon and Levi Wallace as their presumed starting cornerbacks,” says Ross. “That’s concerning, no matter how good Pittsburgh’s pass rush is. King is a tall, rangy and fast player who’d fit right in and — at least — add depth at the position. The former second-round pick unfortunately missed seven games in 2021, but otherwise played well after laying an egg in the 2020 NFC title game.”

Why King Appeals to the Steelers

King had served as the Packers’ starting cornerback during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also entered the 2021 season as the starting corner before losing his job midway through the season. Although King started just six games last season while appearing in only 48 percent of the defensive snaps, he still posted a solid 70.6 defensive grade last season, according to Pro Football Focus. It was actually the highest defensive grade of his career.

Considering King’s experience of playing deep in the postseason — the Packers advanced to the NFC Championship Game in each of his two seasons as a starter — he could be a valuable veteran addition to the Steelers.

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Steelers’ Depth at CB Lacking After Starters

The Steelers lost veteran Joe Haden as they allowed him to walk in free agency, which means Pittsburgh doesn’t have very experienced depth after Witherspoon and Wallace. Wallace — who signed with the Steelers after spending time with the Buffalo Bills — posted a 62.8 defensive grade last season, ranking just 58th among 116 qualifying cornerbacks, according to PFF.

Meanwhile, Witherspoon actually excelled in a smaller role last season, posting a 75.8 defensive grade. However, he appeared in just nine games with three starts as he played in just 57 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in those games. While he obviously wasn’t a starting corner, what is impressive is that Witherspoon allowed a ridiculously low 35.1 quarterback rating and 37.8 completion percentage versus opposing quarterbacks.

With that said, the competition after those two corners are underwhelming. Cameron Sutton, Arthur Maulet, James Pierre and Justin Layne project as the next top cornerbacks. Neither of those cornerbacks posted higher than a 59.3 defensive grade last season, with Sutton ranking as the highest-graded at 77th among all corners.

Considering the Steelers likely have a smaller margin for error this season without Ben Roethlisberger as its franchise quarterback, Pittsburgh needs to stock up on their key positions as much as possible. Adding King to the mix — who earned just $5 million last season — can only help in Pittsburgh’s quest to compete in a really tough AFC North division.

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