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Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 rookie class ranked 18th by ESPN

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The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted nine players in the 2019 NFL Draft, but more isn’t necessarily better. ESPN didn’t think too highly of the team’s latest draft haul.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 NFL Draft class saw the black-and-gold pick nine prospects from the 7 round process. As it turns out, more isn’t always better when it comes to a draft class.

Recently, ESPN+, along with the folks at Pro Football Focus (PFF) went back and took a look at all 32 teams’ draft classes and ranked them out as a whole. Despite the Steelers having several players, like Devin Bush, Diontae Johnson and Isaiah Buggs, actually contribute as rookies, the Steelers’ draft class was ranked 18th overall.

See what they had to say:

18. Pittsburgh Steelers

Why they’re ranked here: The Duck Hodges experiment was fun while it lasted, but in the end, he looked like an undrafted rookie quarterback out of the FCS (45.8 overall grade). Linebacker Devin Bush and wide receiver Diontae Johnson both look to have star potential, but they each have areas of their game to clean up in 2020.

How their top pick fared: The biggest strength for Bush (No. 10 overall) coming out of Michigan was his ability to get sideline to sideline and cover. That shone through in man coverage, as he picked up a 90.6 coverage grade in those concepts. He struggled adjusting to complex NFL zone schemes, though. Bush earned a 52.1 coverage grade against zone this season.

Best value pick: No rookie wide receiver caught more passes than Johnson’s (No. 83 overall) 59, and he was a handful with the ball in his hands. His 18 broken tackles were tied for the most among all wide receivers.

To be honest, I was rather surprised when I saw the Steelers’ draft class ranked so low. While no rookies really blew the doors off of the NFL, they had some very good contributions to their 2019 season from those greenhorns.

For PFF/ESPN to rank the Steelers’ draft class lower because of Devlin Hodges is laughable. Hodges not only wasn’t drafted, but was the team’s 3rd option at quarterback after Ben Roethlisberger’s injury and Mason Rudolph’s injuries/ineffectiveness.

You might be wondering who the Top 10 draft classes were. Well, here they are:

1. Washington Redskins
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Kansas City Chiefs
4. New York Giants
5. New Orleans Saints
6. Tennessee Titans
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. Indianapolis Colts
10. Seattle Seahawks

When you look at the Steelers’ 2019 draft class, do you agree with the ranking, or do you think the Steelers’ class should be ranked higher? I can see legitimate arguments on both sides of the fence, but am curious what you, the readers, think.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for another lengthy offseason.