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A progress report on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2017 rookie draft class

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2017 NFL Draft class is a mixed bag of goods, and we break down just how the unit is playing as we head into Week 4.

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NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft class for the Pittsburgh Steelers is truly a mixed bag of goods. You have some players who are major contributors to the team, and you have others who are doing nothing but watching.

Nonetheless, it’s time to pass out some progress reports as the team prepares for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.

Round / Name

1. T.J. Watt

The Pittsburgh Steelers prized draft pick has lived up to the hype throughout the early portions of the 2017 regular season. He has only played in 1.5 games (and that might be generous) but he’s got tremendous statistics during that abbreviated time. Nine tackles, two sacks, one tackle for loss, two pass defenses and an interception. Yeah, he’s good.


2. JuJu Smith-Schuster

Smith-Schuster’s start to his professional career was marred by penalties more than it was receptions, but the rookie seems to be finding his niche in the team’s offense. Smith-Schuster has been lauded for his work ethic and ability to grasp the concepts of the Steelers’ offense. He currently has five receptions on 10 targets, 55 yards and one touchdown. Certainly not a mind-blowing start to his career, but I have a feeling his season is only going to get better.


3. Cam Sutton

Sutton has been on Injured Reserve since injuring his hamstring in the final preseason game.


3. James Conner

Conner has been used more on special teams than as a running back, but when he has gotten carries, at least he’s done something with it. No one is suggesting he should be taking plays away from Le’Veon Bell, but Conner’s five carries for 20 yards is good to see from the rookie out of Pitt. If given the chance, Conner might be a welcome addition to the Steelers’ offense.


4. Joshua Dobbs

Dobbs made the 53-man roster but, barring injury, he’ll likely be a game-day inactive for the majority of his rookie campaign.


5. Brian Allen

Allen, like Dobbs, made the team’s 53-man roster, but he’s been both inactive and active through the first three games. His time on the field has been spent only on special teams, but the experience he’s gaining is invaluable.


6. Colin Holba

So, the Steelers spent a sixth-round pick on a long snapper who didn’t even make the team. Yeah, don’t go there.


7. Keion Adams

The pass rusher was never healthy, but the Steelers liked him enough to keep him around on their injured-reserve list. Adams will learn this year and hope to make the team in 2018.



For a complete breakdown of each player and the overall grade for the Steelers’ rookie class, click on the podcast above. The 20-minute show gives in-depth stats and insights into the team’s rookie class, plus an explanation of each grade. Give it a listen!

How do you grade the Steelers’ rookie class to date? Vote in the poll below!


What grade do you give the Steelers rookie class to date?

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