Day in and day out, since the Steelers have been back on the field, we have heard stories of the Steelers 2021 NFL Draft class impressing. Coaches, media, and teammates have been raving about the group for weeks and now that we have hit the preseason, talk shows, and fans alike are witnessing what could be the beginnings of a special group. It isn't even just the top end of the draft that is imposing but top to bottom the guys the Steelers selected have been putting on a show.
First and foremost we should talk about Najee Harris who has already looked as good, if not better, than advertised. His ability to bounce off would-be tacklers, catch the football, and eat up yardage is evident. When the Steelers passing attack with Ben Roethlisberger gets going, Najee will have even more room to run. Really, he looks like a player that will get better as the season rolls on. This kid has superstar potential in this league, and could be a legitimate threat at winning the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award.
The next guy we have to talk about is Pat Freiermuth. The big tight end out of Penn State may have been the most hyped up player of the past month, and he delivered last week against the Lions. Some national media types are already anointing him the next great tight end in the NFL. While those are some lofty expectations to put on a rookie, Freiermuth’s ability to catch the football as well as his tenacity as a blocker should give him a long and successful career in the league.
Pat Freiermuth so far:— PFF (@PFF) August 22, 2021
New TE1 in Pittsburgh is making PLAYS pic.twitter.com/c0LvmsIR5t
Kendrick Green and Dan Moore Jr. are also success stories and guys that are set up to break the mold of what's expected from Steelers mid-round picks. Green is being penciled in as a day one starter for the Steelers, something unheard of from a day two pick. And even more impressive as an offensive linemen. Dan Moore Jr. was seen as nothing more than a developmental piece needing 2-4 years before actually being game ready. Well, Dan Moore Jr. has sped up that process by about 3.5 years, and has absolutely dominated the preseason. Moore Jr. is one of the highest graded offensive linemen in the league, and will likely take the Steelers swing tackle job as well as primary back up duties.
Buddy Johnson and Isaiah Loudermilk will both be substantial backups as rookies, and both have potential to become starters in this league. Given the Steelers depth chart opportunities for these guys won't be coming in the near future, however they give the Steelers great depth as well.
Quincy Roche and Tre Norwood should both be guys that make this roster. Norwood is actually on the precipice of being the top backup at either safety position. Roche has been one of the best graded edge rushers in the preseason, but the emergence of Jamir Jones and the Steelers other great edge rushers will make it a challenge to squeeze him on the team. If he were to be cut another team would scoop him up at a moments notice.
Last, but not least, is Pressley Harvin III, honestly I'm already ready to crown him the greatest Steelers punter of all-time. Partly because this kid is awesome, but mostly because this team has never had a good punter. Harvin’s cannon of a leg has been on display all preseason, and his directional punts are some of the finest I've ever seen. There’s a chance Harvin III is recognized as a Pro Bowler for his abilities.
But what do you think? Will this be one of those special draft classes people remember? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.