Updated: Jun 17
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Ahkello Witherspoon was the Steelers best cornerback down the stretch last season, recording three interceptions and nine pass breakups. Witherspoon only played 368 snaps in 2021 and didn't become a starter until Week 12, as the Seahawks traded him to the Steelers for a fifth-round pick on Sept. 2.
So, there was a learning curve for Witherspoon, but once he understood the defense, he looked like a true No. 1 cornerback. The Steelers will need Witherspoon to step up into that No. 1 cornerback role with Joe Haden leaving after five seasons with the team.
Witherspoon plays with a lot of swagger, too. He even said on a podcast recently with Terrell Owens that he's a top 5 cornerback in the league, despite only starting one season as a full-time starter, which came in 2018 when he was with the 49ers.
Witherspoon is also only 27 years old. He's in his prime. With his 92nd percentile arm length (33″) and 6-foot-2, 200-pound stature, he has all the measurable's to be a lockdown cornerback. On top of all that, he has tremendous coaching with the trio of Mike Tomlin, Teryl Austin and Brian Flores on defense. Witherspoon could be in line for a breakout year with the Steelers. He said as much on Instagram last week. "Just getting started fr fr."