The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 draft class experienced a small bit of anything for everybody. If you needed them to concentration on the managing recreation, you surely bought that.
They invested closely into their offensive line, a little something that was a several a long time overdue. Defensively, they additional depth at critical positions soon after injuries plagued their protection in 2020, they’re wanting to stay away from a identical mess in 2021. Even particular teams received some love.
Now, as we put together for instruction camp and the 2021 period, the question becomes, “Which Steelers rookies will have the biggest roles in their 1st calendar year?”
1. Najee Harris, RB
This superior be the situation for a working back again taken in the very first spherical. Harris will absolutely be the highlighted operating again for the Steelers this year.
Two indications place to this: the truth that Pittsburgh expended a to start with-round decide on on him and the latest state of the Steelers functioning back again area. No one but Harris is able of currently being a reliable each-down again.
He has the abilities to increase the passing match and hurry for a good deal of yards if the offensive line can block for him. He will be the most significant of all Steelers rookies this time.
2. Kendrick Inexperienced, OC
Going by snap count, the odds are really significant that Kendrick Inexperienced will play the most in 2021. This is no promise, although, which retains him guiding Harris.
The expectation for Eco-friendly is to be the setting up middle this 12 months. But, the depth chart at heart isn’t quite as hideous as the depth chart at jogging again. If Environmentally friendly is not all set to start off correct absent, the group could glance to B.J. Finney or J.C. Hassenauer to start out early in the season.
A minimal undersized, Environmentally friendly may take some time to entirely regulate to NFL competitors. When he’s completely ready, while, he surely should really be the starter, with a significantly bigger ceiling than anybody else at the placement.
3. Pat Freiermuth, TE
The Steelers’ 2nd-spherical select need to see a nutritious portion of snaps as a rookie. He will be identified as on to participate in generally when the Steelers are hunting to run the ball.
There is tiny doubt that he will appear in as a rookie and right away be a far better blocker than Eric Ebron. Freiermuth however has a lot to offer in the passing video game, way too. He’ll probably engage in 2nd fiddle to Ebron in two-moment offense, go-only conditions. In the red zone, even though, he will get snaps and in all probability get a awesome chunk of targets from Ben Roethlisberger, too.
4. Pressley Harvin III, P
Though it is really no warranty, Pressley Harvin is expected to be the setting up punter in 2021. He will in all probability sq. off with Jordan Berry in a situation struggle in the course of camp.
Presented his pedigree and achievement in college, Harvin need to have no challenge winning the setting up situation. The Steelers have not had a great punter in yrs, so the results of Harvin will be important to them.
If he doesn’t operate out, it would be regrettable that they employed a draft decide on on a punter. But they did, so they are certainly self-assured in him.
5. Quincy Roche, Edge
Regarded as by several to be the Steelers’ ideal value decide of the draft, Roche was a fantastic select in the sixth round.
The pass rusher should really be completely ready to backup the two T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith right absent in Week 1. He will possibly find some time as a situational pass rusher, too. The team really lacks depth at the exterior linebacker place.
If either Watt or Highsmith would overlook time for any motive, Roche would likely be the player named upon to be a comprehensive-time replacement. Until finally that predicament would crop up, though, Roche will play some specific teams, get some go-hurrying snaps, and work to improve in the working recreation.
6. Buddy Johnson, ILB
Johnson was a questionable select in the fourth spherical, with depth at cornerback and outside the house linebacker sensation like bigger requirements. Inside of linebacker was also a want, however, so the select was fantastic.
Seeking at Johnson’s talent established, he most likely would not see a ton of time on defense as a rookie. A very good athlete and tough hitter, Johnson certainly has the opportunity to be a strong linebacker in the potential. If Pittsburgh can acquire his coverage skills, he could be a whole-time starter as early as 2022.
As a rookie, be expecting most of his contributions to come on specific groups. Provided his athleticism and physicality, Johnson must be present in all 4 phases.
7. Dan Moore Jr., OT
Moore will enter his rookie season in a role pretty identical to that of Roche. He is not going to be a setting up deal with, but he will be the primary backup at each deal with positions.
Barring an personal injury to Zach Banner or Chukwuma Okorafor, Moore will typically play in a few-deal with deals as a rookie.
Searching further than 2021 is when Moore will see his purpose develop. Clearly needing some progress, Moore may well be completely ready to start out in 12 months two. For now, although, he’ll be a backup as he high-quality-tunes his game and can make the transition to the NFL.
8. Tre Norwood, DB
Norwood is an intriguing pick but a player who could possibly battle to see the field a lot as a rookie. There is no promise that he’ll even make the group.
Following ready way as well very long to select a cornerback, the Steelers took Norwood, who can engage in protection or corner. He will be 1 of a several guys in the working to swap Mike Hilton as the nickel cornerback. With Cameron Sutton transferring to the outdoors, an individual will will need to set up on their own as the amount a few cornerback. It could be Norwood, but it may well not be.
Until finally we see some action from education camp and the preseason, it truly is just challenging to predict.
9. Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE
It is still a problem to make this choose make sense. The Steelers traded a person of subsequent year’s fourth-round picks to shell out a fifth-spherical select this calendar year on a guy who was extensively expected to go undrafted. Even further, Loudermilk performs defensive stop, which is a single of the strongest positions on the whole roster.
He’s plainly driving Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Tyson Alualu, and potentially Isaiah Buggs and Carlos Davis. The group have to see a little something in Loudermilk that most other people don’t see. So, it must be expected that Loudermilk can make the crew as a rookie. Past that, it really is difficult to see him receiving any playing time.