The Steelers defense has been one of, if not the NFL’s best defense for more than five years. They rush the passer unlike any other team in the league and force turnovers at an elite level. No team across the league has experienced the same level of sustained success as the Steelers defense has had. With the group challenging the legacy of some of past great Steelers defenses, this group obviously still needs a ring. With such a memorable unit the Steelers clearly have some of the best players in the league, and we will dive into the best of the best today. The last two days we dove into the Steelers best and worst offensive players and you can read them from the links below
We know how good this Steelers defense can be, and we also know there are multiple players in this group with the potential with defensive player of the year aspirations. Below are some of the favorites to become the Steelers best defensive player here in the 2021 season.
T.J. Watt is clearly one of the best players in the entire NFL. He is a back-to-back defensive player of the year finalist, and a Steelers team MVP. He should be the runaway favorite to win this poll. But the Steelers defense is still brimming with talent no matter how bright Watt’s star burns, and he has competition within his own facility. This should finally be the year Watt gets to hoist the coveted DPOY award, but could one of his teammates steal the award away from him?
Minkah Fitzpatrick changed the Steelers defense the moment the team dealt for him back in 2019. He is a turnover forcing machine and has become a player that team simply don’t throw the ball at. He’s a damn good free safety and perhaps is the NFL’s best. Fitzpatrick’s cerebral approach to the game made his transition to the Steelers defense seamless and has made him one of Mike Tomlins favorite players, Coach even went as far as calling Fitzpatrick’s Football IQ on the same level as John Lynch.
If it wasn't for Aaron Donald, Cam Heyward might be known as the NFL’s best defensive lineman over the past five years. The toughest part of Heyward’s inclusion on this list is that it left off Stephon Tuitt, who arguably had a better season last year. Heyward is a run stuffer, and has double digit sack potential year in and year out. The strength of the Steelers defense starts upfront and Cam Heyward is a big reason why.
If Devin Bush manages to be the Steelers defense best player, then the unit is going to be absurdly good. He was all over the field prior to tearing his ACL in 2020 and was a loss the Steelers never truly recovered from. Bush is a speed burner that can chase down a play from behind and has the skills to blanket some of the top tight ends in the game. Bush should be one of the better players on this defense but he has the potential to be so much more than that.
But what do you think? Who will be the Steelers best defensive player in 2021? Hit up the poll below and put your thoughts in the comments!
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