Every time an NFL team takes the field, regardless of the setting, media are watching for players who stand out in some way. At ESPN, they recently posted an article stating a surprise standout for all 32 NFL teams.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, the player who was recognized might not be one you would have picked out of the current 90-man offseason roster. In fact, it was one of the seven rookies from the 2022 NFL Draft class. And it wasn’t Kenny Pickett.
Brooke Pryor, who was the beat writer who provided the name for the article, actually thought out of the box and chose the surprises standout to be tight end/fullback Connor Heyward as the Steelers’ standout.
See what her explanation was for choosing Connor Heyward:
TE Connor Heyward
It’s hard to be truly under the radar as Cam Heyward’s younger brother, but the rookie Heyward impressed in offseason workouts and showed a chemistry with first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett in a nice snag during a two-minute drill in minicamp. Heyward, selected in the sixth round, figures to be in a hybrid tight end/fullback role in an offense that values versatility in its skill players. Because he has been working mostly with tight ends and receivers, Heyward probably won’t be competing for the fullback roster spot with Derek Watt, making it likely both find roles on the 2022 team.
Connor Heyward certainly did make waves with the one-handed catch during the two-minute drill when the Steelers wrapped up their mandatory minicamp a few weeks ago. However, he was also chastised for the catch. No, not because of the catch he made, but because he got up and celebrated the snag at a time during practice when the focus should have been on getting the ball back to the line of scrimmage to execute another play. This earned Connor Heyward a t-shirt with a donkey on it, and you can guess why there was a donkey on it.
Cam Heyward’s little brother is a tough player to evaluate for the 2022 Steelers. No one really knows where he fits within Matt Canada’s offense, but his versatility is attractive to the organization, both on offense and on special teams. Heyward has experience in college playing running back, fullback, tight end, H-back and even returning kickoffs. Not that he would be doing all that in the NFL, but the age-old saying of ‘the more you can do’ certainly applies to the younger Heyward brother.
Will he be a lock to make the 53-man roster? Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare to report to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA for training camp on July 26th.