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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Curt Popejoy

Ranking the Steelers defensive positional units after roster cuts

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When it was time to trim the Pittsburgh Steelers roster from 90 down to 53, there were several very good players on defense Pittsburgh was forced to release just because the numbers didn’t work out. It is a perfect illustration of just how deep and talented this group is.

Here is how we have ranked the Steelers defensive positional units heading into Week One of the season.

1 - Outside linebacker

The Steelers have the best starting tandem of edge rushers in the NFL in T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith and the emergence of rookie Nick Herbig with Markus Golden might give them the deepest unit as well.

2 - Defensive line

(AP Photo/Peter Joneleit) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

Pittsburgh kept seven very good defensive linemen on the 53-man roster led by Cameron Heyward and rookie Keeanu Benton. This group is so deep it is going to give opposing offenses fits.

3 - Cornerback

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As it stands right now the top four cornerbacks on the roster are Patrick Peterson, Levi Wallace, Joey Porter Jr. and Desmond King. I’ll put that four-deep up against any in the AFC.

4- Inside linebacker

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This group was easily the weakest on the defense going into the offseason but that’s over. The additions of Kwon Alexander, Elandon Roberts and Cole Holcomb along with Mark Robinson have turned this group into a strength.

5 - Safety

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As much as we love Minkah Fitzpatrick, we aren’t sold on the tandem of Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal being able to keep up.

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