The Steelers’ class of rookies were all the talk over the summer. It was a draft class filled with much anticipation, and after seeing them in camp and on the field, we can give out grades ahead of Week 1.
OT Broderick Jones: B-
Jones is coming along somewhat slower than anticipated, but that doesn’t warrant any panic. Dan Moore played well enough to keep the seat warm until Jones is ready to take the reins. He struggled in pass protection to begin camp and the preseason, but showed clear progression by the time exhibition play wrapped up.
CB Joey Porter Jr. B+
Porter showcased that raw talent throughout training camp, as well as his preseason debut. The tools are all there, it’s just about molding them into a disciplined and stout NFL cornerback. We’ll watch it happen before our eyes this season.
DT Keeanu Benton: A
Benton was a menace throughout the preseason. He dominated the trenches against the Buccaneers, and he was a consistent name being thrown around at training camp. He will be a force between Cam Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi this season.
TE Darnell Washington: B-
We didn’t seen too much from Washington as a pass catcher in the preseason, but he has already shown is worth as a run blocker. Now the Steelers just need to find ways to utilize his size in the passing game, which shouldn’t be much of a chore.
EDGE Nick Herbig: A+
No one’s name was called more than Herbig’s throughout August. The fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin had 3.5 sacks in the preseason, and showcased his deep bag of tricks in the process. He will be a great rotational piece of the pass rush, and will have a great mentor in T.J. Watt to make him even better.
OL Spencer Anderson: A
The seventh-round picked played himself onto the roster, and will serve has a quality depth piece. You can’t get better value than that.