Pro Football Focus has gone back and regraded 2020 NFL Draft, and they are even higher on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ class than they initially were.
PFF gave the Steelers a B- grade immediately following their 2020 selections, but one year removed, they view Pittsburgh’s haul as a true home run.
They are now giving the Steelers an A, specifically because the team appears to have hit on wide receiver Chase Claypool, outside linebacker Alex Highsmith and offensive guard Kevin Dotson without a first round pick.
“While it didn’t look like much at the time, the Steelers may have netted themselves three quality starters despite owning only one top-100 pick in 2020. That’s one hell of a draft,” PFF’s Michael Renner wrote. “While everyone knows about Chase Claypool by now, Alex Highsmith needs more publicity after putting up 17 pressures in his final five regular-season games after taking over for Bud Dupree. Finally, left guard Kevin Dotson quietly allowed only one pressure on 219 pass-blocking snaps.”
Claypool paced the Steelers with eleven total touchdowns in 2020, while also averaging a team-leading 14.1 yards per reception.
Highsmith and Dotson played smaller roles during their rookie seasons, but excelled in those opportunities. Both are expected to slide into the starting lineup for good in 2021.
While the previous three can already be deemed successful selections by the Steelers, Pittsburgh’s other three draft picks still need time to pan out for a true assessment to me made.
Running back Anthony McFarland carried the ball just 33 times for 113 yards. Safety Antoine Brooks Jr. 39 snaps total. Defensive tackle Carlos Davis saw just 56 snaps and recorded six combined tackles.
PFF gave the Steelers a C grade for their 2021 draft haul. It will be interesting to their retrospective regrade on this years class in a year’s time.