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The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a new era for the franchise, but would love to steal these stars from the Browns, Bengals and Ravens.
After Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement out of season, it’s a new dawn for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback hanging on to its cleats, it brings uncertainty to a franchise that is moving forward.
Pittsburgh certainly hope they have found their heir to Big Ben when they spent their first round of this year’s draft on Kenny Pickett. In addition, the team has a wealth of weapons in attack with the likes of Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, among others, to go with the TJ Watt-led defense that remains dominant.
That said, this is a team still tied in uncertainty heading into the 2022 season, playing in a three-team division that all have legitimate playoff hopes. 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 that the Steelers and fans would happily see playing their home games at Heinz Field if it were possible because of how they would help the team now and in the future.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Steals one player from each AFC North rival team
CB Baltimore Ravens
Marlon Humphrey would give the Steelers the cornerback they have been missing
While this is a team that, if they want to get to the playoffs this season, need to find the bulk of their success on the defensive side of the ball, one weakness for that unit is undeniably in the secondary. Minkah Fitzpatrick is a bonafide star in safety, while people like Cameron Sutton, Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon are acceptable at cornerbacks.
Despite that, it’s quite clear that this defense lacks a true playmaker on the corner, and that’s something that could be a problem in the modern NFL. It’s also a problem that Raven’s cornerback Marlon Humphrey would provide an immediate solution to if he dresses in black and gold.
If you look at the advanced numbers, Humphrey has been up and down throughout his career, and the 2021 campaign was at the lower end as he was only the 41st highest rated cornerback according to PFF last season. Still, he was 12th in the NFL in that respect in the 2020 season.
At its best, however, Humphrey has proven to be a versatile playmaker who sticks well to both the pass and the run and has the ability to cover a host of different types of receivers. Putting him in secondary with Fitzpatrick would create a superstar duo that could help make the Steelers defensive elite at almost every level.