The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a huge splash on the free agency market. According NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson is heading to the Steel City.
Rapoport reported the news on Monday afternoon, calling the move “a surprise!” It’s a big addition for Pittsburgh, which will help out the team’s secondary heading into the 2023 season.
Peterson spent the past two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Before that, he played with the Arizona Cardinals for 10 seasons (2011-20).
Peterson is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. Last season, the cornerback was responsible for 66 tackles, 15 passes defended and five interceptions.
The Steelers finished the 2022 NFL season with a 9-8 record. Though the team missed the playoffs, getting above .500 was an impressive feat considering the miserable start to the year.
Adding Peterson to the secondary doesn’t guarantee anything for Pittsburgh next year, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. He can add playmaking ability and experience to the defensive backfield.
Who Will Steelers Select in NFL Draft?
Now that the Steelers have added some quality depth to the secondary with Patrick Peterson, where will the team turn for the 2023 NFL Draft? Could Pittsburgh go after another defensive back?
Earlier this month, ESPN’s Todd McShay projected that the Steelers would select Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes at No. 17 overall. The NFL Draft analyst was particularly impressed with the former Bulldogs’ showing at the Scouting Combine.
“Forbes is flying up my board just like he flew in the 40-yard dash on Friday night, posting a 4.35,” McShay wrote.
“He has great ball production, picking off 14 passes and breaking up 18 more over three seasons. That fits with the Steelers, who led the league with 20 interceptions last season but could lose Cameron Sutton to free agency. Forbes also measured in at 6-1 and 166 pounds at the combine. Yes, 166 pounds. That might scare some teams off in Round 1, but they shouldn’t discount the high-level instincts and body control that we see on tape.”
Would Forbes still be in the mix for Pittsburgh? Or will it go a different direction after adding Peterson?