The 2021 NFL Draft is drawing near, which is as fitting a time as any to just take a search back again at the rookie period of the Pittsburgh Steelers class from the 2020 NFL Draft. Although draft examination commences as quickly as the decide is in, we now have a year’s well worth of knowledge on these gamers to get extra persuasive insight.
Around the study course of the upcoming several days, I will be delivering an evaluation of each and every rookie that the Steelers drafted, while also noting any undrafted cost-free agents that were being in a position to stick about. This will not include the likes of J.C. Hassenauer and Henry Mondeaux, due to the fact when the 2020 time was their to start with to accrue, they were not correct rookies, but instead very first-year players.
The Steelers went into the 2020 NFL Draft with just six selections, including no initial-spherical decide just after dealing it to the Dolphins in 2019 for Minkah Fitzpatrick. They acquired a 3rd-round compensatory decide for the decline of Le’Veon Bell. Their purely natural third-round pick was traded absent the year in advance of to move up for Devin Bush.
They swapped fifth and sixth-spherical picks with Miami for fourth and seventh-round picks, though they sent their former fifth-spherical decide on to the Seahawks for Nick Vannett. Their other fifth-round decide, which they dealt to Miami, arrived from the Jaguars in trade for Joshua Dobbs.
Continuing a current development, the class has established to be prime-significant in phrases of early benefits, however there are nevertheless alternatives for individuals selected in the later on rounds of the draft to acquire into even bigger contributors, as very well.
Player: James Pierre
Draft Status: Undrafted
Games: 16 ( starts off)
The Steelers drafted six players in 2020. Six rookies manufactured their original 53-man roster. One was undrafted absolutely free agent James Pierre, a cornerback out of Florida Atlantic who features 6’2” top. Antoine Brooks was the only draft decide who did not make the preliminary 53-male roster, although Pittsburgh included him later on.
The coaching camp emergence of Pierre is likely the most important rationale why. Every person predicted the Steelers to have only five cornerbacks into the season, but Pierre manufactured 6, and which is because he confirmed himself to be quite useful on unique groups — even without having the advantage of the preseason.
He would go on to engage in in just about every one game, logging 227 snaps on specific teams, which is a outstanding whole for a cornerback. In the late stages of the year, he received a little bit of work on defense, logging 27 snaps in the common time, due to accidents and well being.
Most noteworthy is the actuality that he also played eight snaps, ahead of Justin Layne, for the duration of the Steelers’ postseason recreation, coming in as a dime defender although Joe Haden was out on the Reserve/COVID-19 Record. With Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton gone, at this issue he enters this offseason approach vying for the quantity a few cornerback job at the rear of Haden and Cameron Sutton.