Just a year removed from being tied for the best record in the NFL, it would appear that the Pittsburgh Steelers 9-6-1 record in 2018 has wiped out all memory of any talent in the Steel City in the minds of Pro Football Focus this offseason given the final reveal of their 2019 Top 50 players list on Thursday.
A list that has in the past included players like Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and David DeCastro now has no room for the Pro Bowl guard this year, nor any of the young stars that the Steelers will be counting on to replace the departed names.
Despite ending the season with more yards and receptions and receiving a much higher grade from PFF in 2018, JuJu Smith-Schuster misses out on the list while Brown still finds himself included at No.22. A reverse of PFF’s Top 101 list for last season released earlier this year that had Smith-Schuster at No.65 and Brown missing out altogether.
In total there are just six wide receivers on the list in DeAndre Hopkins (9), Julio Jones (10), Michael Thomas (12), Odell Beckham Jr. (19), AB (22) and Keenan Allen (34).
Ben Roethlisberger may have led the league in passing in 2018 but there are still six quarterbacks ranked ahead of him going into 2019 by PFF that includes Tom Brady (2), Drew Brees (5), Patrick Mahomes (6), Aaron Rodgers (17), Andrew Luck (25) and Russell Wilson (39).
Former University of Pittsburgh defensive lineman Aaron Donald once again takes the No.1 overall slot on the list, just as he did in each of the last two years and a regular favorite of PFF in all of their offseason ranking lists. The Top 5 is rounded out by Brady at No.2, linebacker Bobby Wagner at No.3, Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox at No. 4 and Brees at No.5.
Arguably the most aggrieved Pittsburgh player should be DeCastro, a perennial Pro Bowl selection and one of the best guards in the NFL. He somehow misses out while both Zack Martin (40) and Shaq Mason (50) find a spot. And with only two running backs included at all, it is something of a surprise to note that they are Alvin Kamara (36) and Saquon Barkley (43).