AFC North Positional Rankings: Safety

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Sep 21, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Mike Mitchell (23) sits on the on bench during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Steelers defeated the Panthers 37-19. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

FS: Mike Mitchell

SS: Will Allen

As I’ve previously written, the Steelers’ secondary is an absolute disaster. We’ve already discussed the team’s uncertainty at the corner position, but the Steelers may have an even less appealing situation at the safety position.

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  • Mike Mitchell had a great season in 2013, four interceptions and 3.5 sacks as a member of the Carolina Panthers. After such a great season, Mitchell decided to sign with Pittsburgh in free agency. Pittsburgh’s signing, however, did not pan out as the team had hoped for. Mitchell didn’t intercept a single pass in the entire 2014 season and was a liability in coverage throughout the season.

    At strong safety, the Steelers had hoped for Shamarko Thomas, the team’s fourth-round selection in the 2013 draft to earn the starting job. However, news just broke about veteran Will Allen earning the starting spot for tomorrow’s matchup in New England. This isn’t good news for the Steelers, as Allen is 33 years old and didn’t pick off a single pass in 2014.

    The fact of the matter is, of the Steelers’ three top safeties, none of the players mentioned above picked off a single pass last season. The safeties will already be responsible for bailing out the Steelers’ shoddy cornerback coverage; they will have a difficult time intercepting opposing quarterbacks if they are relentlessly tested week after week.