The folks at Pro Football Focus (PFF) know how to ruffle feathers. Whether it is their unique, and ambiguous, grading system which relies heavily on subjectivity, or their rankings. They realize sometimes the best publicity is to get fans upset about something you said/wrote.
Whenever PFF starts doing their team positional rankings, people take notice, and get up-in-arms over their end result. After ranking the NFL’s best wide receiving corps, it likely had many fans, including those who root for and follow the Pittsburgh Steelers, not very happy with the author(s).
Let’s take a look at the Top 10 wide receiving units, according to PFF:
1. Cincinnati Bengals
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. Miami Dolphins
4. San Francisco 49ers
5. Seattle Seahawks
6. Dallas Cowboys
7. Minnesota Vikings
8. Las Vegas Raiders
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
I was tempted to put the Steelers even higher on this list. Diontae Johnson still earned a receiving grade above 70.0 despite his scoreless season, and George Pickens earned a receiving grade above 70.0 in his rookie year. I think the arrow for both is pointing up.
I also still believe in the talent of Allen Robinson II, who is a very good WR3 option at worst. Tight end Pat Freiermuth also recorded a 78.3 receiving grade with over 700 yards receiving in 2022.
That’s right, the Steelers currently are ranked 18th in the NFL according to these rankings, but it is worth seeing where they rank among the AFC North. Of course we know the Bengals rank atop the list, but what about the others?
Let’s take a look at all those teams who call the AFC North home:
After looking at the rankings, you can make sense of why the Steelers might not be at the top of the list. Obviously, the Bengals have the gold standard as it pertains to a trio of wide outs, but are the Steelers really that far behind?
Outside of Diontae Johnson, who has had 1,000 yards in a season before, no one on the Steelers’ depth chart provides any tangible experience. George Pickens has some serious flashes of brilliance as a rookie, but fans are hoping to see a more polished receiver in Year 2. What about the rest of the group? Are they up to snuff?
Let us know what you think about these rankings 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 for the rest of the 2023 NFL offseason.