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2016 Steelers Roster, 90 in 90 Days: Cam Heyward the new leader of the defense

In a new feature at BTSC, we are breaking down the Steelers 90-man roster one player, one position, one day at a time. The conclusion of this feature will be the start of the 2016 season.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On day two we jump over to the defensive line with one of the stalwarts on the upstart Steelers Defense

Player: Cam Heyward

Postion: DE

School: Ohio State


One of the more highly regarded interior linemen in the NFL Heyward is a driving force on the Steelers defense. Something that really jumps out about him as a player is his consistency. Looking at the Pro Football Focus game charting project it was fascinating to see that from week 4 to 17 his grade never deviated by more than three points remaining the 84-87 range. That’s a remarkable level of consistency. This was certainly a driving factor in why Heyward is called on to play so many snaps for this defense. Also, his versatility in being able to play the 5 technique in the base as well over top of the guard in 2 man fronts designed to stop the pass mean that he is a true 3 down pass rusher, and hard to take off the field.

From a production standpoint, he appears to be trending up in the sack department. While not close to the NFL leaders his 7.5 sacks in 2015 seems high for a 3-4 interior linemen especially considering Aaron Smith only got there twice in his 160 game career and Brett Keisel never approached those numbers. Also, Heyward is fantastic at disrupting passing lanes batting down passes, and opposing coaches prepare for this matchup by waving large paddles in over their line in practice to simulate going up against him





Excels at anchoring against run

Violent punch off snap

Prolific at disrupting passing lanes with long arms


Can over pursue on draws and screens

A somewhat narrow stance can make it easier to take him out of the play

Chances of making teams: 100%