One of the main criticisms of the Steelers has been their inability to draft rookies who are not going to be players, but who are NFL-ready in their first season. Well, the team did just that with their first three draft picks of Artie Burns, Sean Davis and Javon Hargrave.
For the first time in a long time, the decision of who would be the team’s Rookie of the Year was not a given. Instead, it had to be a challenge to choose between the trio of defenders who all played significant roles on the team’s defense this season.
Nonetheless, it was safety Sean Davis, the second round pick from the University of Maryland, who won the Steelers Joe Greene award, but the accolades for Davis didn’t stop there. Just recently Davis was named to NFL.com’s All-Rookie team, which is decided by Gil Brandt.
See what Brandt had to say about Davis, and his selection:
Safety: Sean Davis, Pittsburgh Steelers
Draft position: Round 2, No. 58 overall.
Davis played in 16 games (nine starts), splitting time at corner and safety. He finished with 70 tackles, 1.5 sacks, five passes defensed and one pick. Davis is a good fit for the way the Steelers play defense, thanks to his versatility. He's a good tackler, very smart, and I think he'll be a solid player for a long time.
The other Safety to make the team was Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal, but Davis proved a lot this season beyond his versatility. Yes, he is capable of covering in the slot as a cornerback, as well as playing the safety position well, but he is also a dynamic playmaker. Whether it was his tackles for losses in the run game, interceptions or pass defenses, Davis has a knack for making plays — something the Steelers desperately need in the back half of the defense.
Davis was given the honor of being named to the All-Rookie team, but there is so much more he, and the other pair of defensive rookies on the Steelers, has yet to accomplish as a professional. As Brandt said in his description, “he’ll be a solid player for a long time.”
I’ll take it one step further and say Davis will be a playmaker for the Steelers defense for a long time. This is just the beginning.