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2017 Steelers Rookie Review: The rest of the rookie class

Time to dig into the Steelers’ 2017 NFL Draft class and assess the good, the bad and the ugly.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers

The rest of the 2017 Steelers draft didn't make the same amount of noise as either T.J. Watt or JuJu Smith-Schuster. However, some of the selections could be making more plays for the black-and-gold soon.

CB — Cameron Sutton

The other most likely member of the 2017 draft class to become a starter is Cam Sutton. Sutton was limited to only 5 games due to a hamstring injury. He started one game, replacing the injured Joe Haden, against the Patriots. Sutton played well when called upon, and even stirred up a cornerback controversy near the end of the season. One of the offseason’s interesting storylines will be the position battle between Sutton and Artie Burns. The Steelers secondary needs to improve if they want to go on a Super Bowl run. The competition will make both guys better.

RB — James Conner

One of Pittsburgh’s favorite sons. Conner was a great complement to Le’Veon Bell, when given the chance. Teams were caught off guard when Conner checked into the game. After large doses of Bell’s patient running style, Conner’s one-cut downhill approach would often pop for decent gains. His season was cut short after he tore his MCL against the Patriots. If the Steelers offense can perform up to their potential, Conner could see more touches in the fourth quarter to give Bell some rest.

QB — Joshua Dobbs

The jury is still out on Dobbs. He never took a rep during the regular season and was a healthy scratch most weeks. While Dobbs still has time to develop it already appears as though he won't be the guy to replace Big Ben. His 59.4 Preseason completion percentage is not good enough to be an NFL quarterback, especially when you're playing against other teams’ third stringers. Expect the Steelers to continue to bring in other QBs to help transition the team after the Roethlisberger era.

CB — Brian Allen

Allen played in two games in 2017, primarily as a special teams player. Though he didn't contribute much to the defense, he definitely has the potential to make an impact in the future. Standing over 6’3” tall, he has elite size for a corner. And although he is still raw the team looks primed to move on from some vets (Coty Sensabaugh and William Gay could be cap casualties). Expect Allen to move up the depth chart in 2018.

LS — Colin Holba

Prime example why you should never draft a special teamer. Pittsburgh was better off bringing in a couple guys to have a tryout instead of wasting this pick.

OLB — Keion Adams

Adams was injured part way through the preseason, and never played during the regular season. Adams needs to put on more weight if he wants to see the field. Currently sitting around 245 pounds, he’ll need to gain about 10 pounds if he wants to be effective at stopping the run. Adams could be a depth and special team player in 2018, but he will need to have a good offseason to get there.


The 2017 NFL draft was pretty successful for the Steelers, finding two impact starters, and a lot of depth already. If some of the guys listed above can continue their development, 2017 could be remembered as one of the most successful draft classes in recent memory. The Steelers will need to replicate this success in 2018 if they want a chance at the Super Bowl.

In Case You Missed it:

2017 Steelers Rookie Review: T.J. Watt

2017 Steelers Rookie Review: JuJu Smith-Schuster