clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is Cam Heyward the second best interior defensive lineman in the NFL?

New, comments

Giving credit where it’s due, Cam Heyward is an absolute game breaker in the middle

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

If it wasn't for Aaron Donald wreaking havoc in Los Angeles, then maybe we’d be talking about Cameron Heyward as the best interior defensive lineman in the league. From bullying guards like Quenton Nelson, and Marshal Yanda to picking up a ton of awards, it’s the current three-year stretch Heyward is on which should see his name amongst the NFL’s elite.

Since 2017, Heyward has been twice named 1st team All-Pro and has been featured on all three Pro-Bowl teams. Just check out the stats breakdown of Cam Heyward and some of his contemporaries the past three seasons:

Cam Heyward:

Sacks: 29
Tackles: 179
Forced fumbles: 4
Passes defended: 12

Aaron Donald:

Sacks: 44
Tackles: 148
Forced fumbles: 11
Passes defended: 4

Fletcher Cox:

Sacks: 19.5
Tackles: 112
Forced fumbles: 5
Passes defended: 5

J.J. Watt:

Sacks: 20
Tackles: 100
Forced fumbles: 8
Passes defended: 9

Akiem Hicks:

Sacks: 17
Tackles: 119
Forced fumbles: 3
Passes defended: 5

Leonard Williams:

Sacks: 5.5
Tackles: 88
Forced fumbles: 1
Passes defended: 6

Seriously, if you didn't already know, Cam Heyward is lighting the league on fire. If it wasn't for a ‘once in a generation’ talent like Aaron Donald, the rest of the league would be taking a lot more notice on what Cam has been doing.

Not only is Cam Heyward great on the field but, has been one of the vocal leaders in the locker room for some time now. The blend of skills and leadership are so hard to come by and considering Heyward is entering a contract year, it should be a no-brainer for the club to re-sign him.

The 2020 season is a big one for Cam. The Steelers defense is primed to be one of the leagues best, Heyward should again be a captain and should flirt with individual awards, and he’s going to sign a massive extension. Let’s just hope it all happens and he re-signs in Pittsburgh.

But what do you think? Is Cam Heyward the best interior D-Lineman in the NFL not named Aaron Donald? Let us know in the comments below!