I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.
There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Michigan State RB/FB/TE Connor Heyward with the 208th selection of the 2022 NFL Draft.
The question wasn't if the Steelers would select Cameron Heyward's little brother in the 2022 NFL Draft, only when. Connor Heyward's projections were all over the place, ranging from fifth round pick to undrafted free agent. The uncertainty makes total sense, because it is anybody's guess as to where Connor Heyward's future in the NFL will be position wise. Is he a running back, fullback, or undersized tight end? The answer maybe all three, because he can, and has, played all three in his collegiate career with the Spartans.
Connor Heyward doesn't possess a prototypical physique or exceptional athleticism, but he has somehow found a way to be a very effective football player. He is undersized for a NFL tight end, measuring 5' 11" and 233 lbs., but he sacrificed the opportunity to play his preferred fullback position to fill a huge need for the Spartans at tight end. Incredibly enough, he did an admirable job. Heyward proved to be a team first player.
Like his more famous father and older brother, Connor Heyward is as tough as they come. He will do whatever necessary to get the job done on the field. He ran a 4.72 forty, but he is basically a one speed power player. He is surprisingly nimble for his rather beefy build. Also similar to his aforementioned kin, Connor is a hardnosed junkyard dog, or is it hardheaded.
Connor Heyward should be an immediate contributor on special teams, but could also be utilized as a fullback or move tight end in heavy packages. The Steelers already have Derek Watt at fullback, so I expect Connor Heyward to most likely be TE3 on the depth chart if he makes the final roster. He could also be a practice squad candidate otherwise.
Based on the criteria mentioned earlier in this article, I give the Steelers sixth round selection of Connor Heyward an initial draft grade of B.
First and foremost, Connor Heyward is a Pittsburgh Steelers type player. His versatility is his best attribute, and that's an ability that Mike Tomlin values immensely. He is willing and able to do the dirty work necessary for any contending team. He could prove to be a good value selection if he proves capable of performing his versatile all around game at the NFL level.
Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.
I am pleased to welcome Connor Heyward to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC staff and community. Go Steelers!
What initial draft grade would you give this sixth round selection?
This poll is closed
A = Excellent selection
B = Above average selection
C = Solid selection
D = Below average selection
F = Terrible selection