The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a new era for the franchise but would love to steal these stars from the Browns, Bengals and Ravens.
Following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger this offseason, it’s a new dawn for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback hanging up his cleats, that brings uncertainty to a franchise moving forward.
Pittsburgh certainly hopes they’ve found their heir apparent to Big Ben as they used their first-round pick in this year’s draft on Kenny Pickett. Moreover, the team has a slew of weapons on offense with the likes of Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, among others, to go with the T.J. Watt-led defense that remains dominant.
With that said, this is a team still mired in uncertainty heading into the 2022 season and that plays in a division featuring three teams that all have legitimate playoff aspirations. But what if the Steelers were able to poach talent from their AFC North rivals to help their cause?
Looking at the Ravens, Bengals and Browns, these are the players who the Steelers and fans would gladly watch play their home games at Heinz Field if that were possible because of how they’d help the team now and in the future.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Stealing one player from every AFC North rival team
Marlon Humphrey would give Steelers the cornerback they’ve been lacking
Though this is a team that, if they want to make the playoffs this season, will have to find the bulk of their success on the defensive side of the ball, the one weakness for that unit is undeniably in the secondary. Minkah Fitzpatrick is a bonafide star at safety while the likes of Cameron Sutton, Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon are passable at cornerback.
Despite that, it’s abundantly clear that this defense lacks a true playmaker at corner and that’s something that can be a problem in the modern NFL. It’s also a problem that Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey would provide an immediate solution to if he were suiting up in the black and gold.
If you look at the advanced numbers, Humphrey has been somewhat up and down throughout his career and the 2021 campaign was on the lower end as he was just the 41st-highest-graded cornerback according to PFF last season. Yet, he was 12th in the NFL in that regard in the 2020 season.
At his best, though, Humphrey has proven to be a versatile playmaker who holds up well both against the pass and the run and has the ability to cover a multitude of different types of receivers. Putting him in the secondary with Fitzpatrick would make for a superstar duo that could help make the Steelers defense elite at just about every level.