The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to rely on their rookies more than they ever have in the Mike Tomlin era in 2021. Factor in a 17 game regular season and we are looking at a number of Steelers rookie records falling. The 2021 draft class is going to play a ton making today’s exercise more fun than ever before. Below you will find stat predictions for every single Pittsburgh Steelers rookie.
*Note — These stats assume these players are healthy for all 17 games.
Najee Harris, RB
Rush Attempts: 320
Rushing Yards: 1,150
Rushing Touchdowns: 9
Receiving Yards 475
Receiving Touchdowns: 3
Najee Harris will be the Steelers bell cow back right away. His simple comparison to Le’Veon Bell is an easy basis to predict how the Steelers will utilize Harris in Year 1. Harris will be the Steelers first 1,000 yard back since Bell and will cruise to an all-rookie team selection.
Pat Freiermuth, TE
Receiving Yards: 500
Receiving Touchdowns: 5
This one was fairly tough to predict. On one hand he’s the most talent rookie tight end the Steelers have had since Heath Miller, on the other hand the Steelers have rarely used their number two tight end in their offense. I’m banking on Matt Canada getting the most of his big bodied tight end and some solid stats for the rookie.
Kendrick Green, C
Games Played: 17
I’m going to do it, Kendrick Green will start every game at Center for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not only will he beat out B.J. Finney and J.C. Hassenuer in training camp, but he will never look back and start in the middle all year long.
Dan Moore, OT
Games Played: 8
The Steelers have a bit of a log jam ahead of Moore. The 2021 season will be a red shirt year of sorts for the Texas A&M product but I think he should pass Joe Haeg as the Steelers swing tackle at some point in the season.
Buddy Johnson, MLB
Tackles For Loss: 1
Special Teams Tackles: 8
I don't foresee Johnson playing all that much on defense as a rookie. His contributions this year will come more so as a special teamer, where he will learn how to be a pro in the NFL. I think 2022 could be the breakout year for this kid, we just won't see it in 2021.
Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE
Tackles For Loss: 0
The Steelers just have far too many defensive lineman to see Loudermilk playing much this year. I predict he will be more of a healthy scratch type player who might get to dress for a game or two.
Quincy Roche, OLB
Tackles For Loss: 3
Special Teams Tackles: 8
Roche is sitting pretty to become the Steelers top backup outside linebacker. If he stays at that spot I do predict he will collect a couple sacks and hold his own as a rookie. If the Steelers don’t sign someone else, he may have the most prolific rookie season for a Steelers sixth round pick since Antonio Brown.
Tre Norwood, DB
I just don’t see this guy playing much in 2021, especially if the Steelers view him as a free safety. Perhaps he could become the top back up and a special teamer, but I just don’t see it.
Pressley Harvin III, P
Average Yards Per Punt: 49.0
Pressley Harvin III could immediately step in as one of the NFL’s best punters. He has a canon leg and an ability to be a gadget player. The Steelers have never really had a great punter in their existence, and if Harvin can replicate what he did as a senior for 10+ years he could easily go down as the best punter in team history, no joke.
*BONUS UDFA* Shakur Brown, DB
Tackles For Loss: 2
I had to include Shakur Brown on his list as many speculated he received the largest UDFA signing bonus in Pittsburgh Steelers history. As we sit here today he has a very good shot at taking the nickel corner job for himself and I wouldn't bet against him. Brown could very well have an impact as large as anyone else this team drafted this year.
But what do you think? Which Steelers rookie will have the best rookie season, and which one will win the Joe Greene rookie of the year award? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.