Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense saw former cornerback Keenan Lewis (New Orleans Saints) have a breakout season for their secondary. This season, many expect Cortez Allen to have that same type of year opposite Ike Taylor.
An athletic corner, Allen is still developing as a player having limited development while playing at the Citadel. The former fourth round selection has clearly passed Curtis Brown, the cornerback the Steelers drafted directly in front of him in the third round out of football power Texas.
Even with the return of nickel back William Gay, it appears that the Steelers intend on keeping Allen over the slot in special packages. This would allow Allen to use his rare combination of height and quickness to cause defensive mismatches for the opposition to deal with.
One of the biggest differences between Allen and Lewis is their contract situation. Lewis had already signed his restricted free agent tender and was poised to hit unrestricted free agency when he had his breakout season. Allen is just entering his third season and has yet to play out his rookie contract, becoming a restricted free agent after the 2013 campaign. With the Steelers history of extending players, Allen could be auditioning for a lucrative contract extension in the future.
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