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Reviewing the 2019 PFF rankings for all of the new players joining the Steelers

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How did each of the four acquisitions of the Pittsburgh Steelers fall in the Pro Football Focus player evaluations?

Miami Dolphins v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have welcomed four new players to their 2020 roster who played in the NFL in 2019. To give a better indication of what the team may be gaining, one system of analysis is looking at the Pro Football Focus rankings for each player. While not a perfect science, the rankings can be used to compare players production at a given position. With some positions being easier to grade than others, whether or not you choose to put much stock in the rankings is your decision. Regardless, here are the PFF rankings for the four new Pittsburgh Steelers.


Derek Watt | Fullback | Los Angeles Chargers

Position Rank: N/A
Overall Grade: 57.5
Run Block: 58.2
Pass Block: 34.2
Run: 71.5
Receiving: 44.2
Overall 2018 Grade: 65.0

Watt fell just shy of the 130 snap threshold to qualify to be given a position rank. While this may seem concerning, there were only 10 fullbacks who registered enough snaps in 2019 with 12 receiving grades but not qualifying due to snap counts. If looking at the overall scores regardless of the number of snaps played, Watt ranked 15th out of 22 players. When it comes to run blocking, Watt ranked 12th but came in last in pass blocking. His highest score came in the run category where he finished third in the NFL in 2019 among fullbacks.


Stefen Wisniewski | Guard | Kansas City Chiefs

Position Rank: 16
Overall Grade: 70.9
Pass Block: 75.2
Run Block: 64.6
Overall 2018 Grade: 56.5

Playing 416 snaps in 2019, Wisniewski qualified for a positional rank reaching the threshold of 325 for offensive lineman despite not joining the team until Week 6 and only starting two regular-season games. With an overall rank of 16th out of 80 qualifying players, Wisniewski came in only one spot behind Steelers Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro. Other than a down year in 2018, Wisniewski had a higher overall grade than his 70.9 in 2019 from 2013 to 2017.


Eric Ebron | Tight End | Indianapolis Colts

Position Rank: 16
Overall Grade: 71.7
Receiving: 69.4
Run Block: 67.4
Pass Block: 59.4
Overall 2018 Grade: 66.3

Surprisingly, Ebron’s 2018 season which earned him a Pro Bowl selection as part of his 13 touchdowns still scored lower in his overall grade than 2019. Ranked 16th out of 67 qualifying tight ends, Ebron’s overall scores dwarf those of the Steelers 2019 tight ends Nick Vannett at 65th and Vance McDonald tied for 66th. Ebron’s 71.7 overall score in 2019 was the highest of his six-year NFL career.


Chris Wormley | Defensive Interior | Baltimore Ravens

Position Rank: T-63
Overall Grade: 65.6
Run Defense: 69.9
Pass Rush: 53.7
Coverage: 63.6
Overall 2018 Grade: 68.8

Falling just past the middle of the 114 qualifying defensive interior linemen, Wormley ranked just ahead of his Ravens’ teammates Brandon Williams on the season. While not stacking up anywhere close to the Steelers defensive lineman in 2019 who all four finished ranked in the top 11, Wormley shuld hope to take advantage of the Pittsburgh Steelers system to gain a higher grade in 2020. With his greatest strength being run defense, Wormley ranks 42nd out of all qualifying defensive lineman.