On Wednesday, Pro Football Focus released their full list of the top 50 NFL players entering 2020. Though the Steelers lack any players in the top 25, two players did make the list: T.J. Watt earned the 28th position on the list, while Cameron Heyward took spot number 40.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise to see Watt on the list given his performance last year. If anything, his spot at number 28 seems a little bit too low given he received the 6th best overall grade from PFF based on his performance last season. Still, it is nice to see T.J. getting some recognition among the NFL's best players. Among EDGE rushers, Watt finished 4th behind Von Miller, Cameron Jordan, and his older brother J.J. Watt. After a first team All-Pro campaign which saw him rack up over 14 sacks and 8 forced fumbles, PFF clearly expects the outside linebacker to continue his dominance.
As a more underrated but equally important part of the Steelers defense, Cameron Heyward also certainly deserved his spot on the list. Heyward is coming off one of the best seasons of his career in which he boasted an impressive 91.5 PFF grade (good for 10th best in the league). Again, given his position on the end of year 2019 player rankings, 40th does seem somewhat low. In terms of defensive lineman ahead of him, Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox, and Chris Jones all found spots in the top 20. Slightly more surprising is the fact Atlanta's Grady Jarrett and Baltimore's Calais Campbell both got spots in the 30s. Entering a contract year, it will be exciting to see how Heyward's 2020 campaign stacks up against those of his counterparts.
Looking around the AFC North, the Ravens landed three players on the list in the form of Lamar Jackson (8), Calais Campbell (36), and Ronnie Stanley (48). Cleveland found two of its young stars, Nick Chubb and Miles Garrett, at spots 27 and 29 respectively. Lastly, the rebuilding Bengals were left without a player in the top 50. In a year when the AFC North is truly anyone's for the taking, it comes as no surprise that the Ravens, Browns, and Steelers received fairly equal representation on the list.