Pro Football Focus has released their rankings of the top 25 players under the age of 25, and two Steelers have made the list.
Fitzpatrick, 23, made an immediate impact after being traded to the Steelers from Miami last season. He generated seven turnovers in 2019, which helped the Steelers lead the league in takeaways and post a top-3 pass defense.
Fitzpatrick was the fourth-ranked safety on the list, behind Derwin James of the Chargers, Jamal Adams of the Jets and the Saints’ Marcus Williams.
Smith-Schuster’s struggles in 2019 may have pushed him down this list, though the injuries and poor quarterback play he dealt with were mostly out of his control. He caught just 42 passes for 552 yards and three touchdowns last year. For comparison, he snagged 111 balls for 1,426 yards and seven scores in 2018 when healthy and playing with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Coming in sixth among wide receivers in the rankings, Smith-Schuster will have to prove himself once again in 2020.
Amazingly, he won’t even be 24 years old when he starts his fourth NFL season.
The AFC North had a number of talented players make the rankings, including Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson at No. 8, immediately followed by Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett. Brown running back Nick Chubb clocked in at No. 14, with a pair of Ravens in cornerback Marlon Humphrey (18) and tight end Mark Andrews (24) coming in later.
No surprise as to who earned the top spot, with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes coming in at No. 1.
Steelers President Art Rooney II Extends Thanks, Appreciation to Fans
On the heels of such an unpleasant day for many Steelers fans, and even a day that left several players filled with bitterness and animosity because their game was postponed, Steelers president Art Rooney II issued a statement on Thanksgiving morning.
In the spirit of giving thanks and moving on, Rooney expressed his disappointment about the current situation and his appreciation for the support of all of Steelers Nation.
“Though we are disappointed that we will not get to play for our fans on Thanksgiving night this year, we look forward to many more exciting times during the 2020 season,” Rooney said. “Today gives us all a time to reflect and appreciate what we can be thankful for on this holiday. And I want to add a special note of thanks to all our frontline workers for all your tireless efforts in these difficult times.”
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 26, 2020
Barring no more issues, Pittsburgh and Baltimore are now scheduled to kickoff at 1:15 pm EST. Just as the game would’ve been Thursday night, it will be broadcast on NBC.
Steelers Tops Among All Teams in Pro Bowl Votes; T.J. Watt Leads OLBs
The Pittsburgh Steelers lead all NFL clubs in votes cast for the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl, the league announced on Wednesday, with outside linebacker T.J. Watt the top vote-getter at his position.
The Steelers led all teams in votes, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills, and did so despite not having any players in the top five overall vote-getters and just two players leading at their position.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has the most votes of any individual player, with 143,355 votes, followed by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
For the Steelers, Watt leads all vote-getters at outside linebacker with 69,924 votes. Watt is a two-time Pro Bowler and is coming off a first-team All-Pro season in 2019. He’s currently tied for third in the NFL with nine sacks, one-half behind leaders Trey Hendrickson of New Orleans and Myles Garrett of Cleveland. Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears paced the NFC’s outside linebackers with 47,689 votes.
The Steelers’ other top vote-getter comes at an unusual position. Long snapper Kameron Canaday leads all AFC long snappers with 48,869 votes. Canaday, in his fifth NFL season and fourth with the Steelers, has never made the Pro Bowl.
While the teams will still be selected, the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl will not be played. Instead the Pro Bowl events will be led virtually and the game will be streamed via Madden NFL 21. The game had been scheduled to be played at Allegiant Stadium in las Vegas on Jan. 31. Voting will continue through Dec. 17.
Ben Roethlisberger Doesn’t Think the Steelers Are Throwing Too Much
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger explains how he deals with the uncertainty each week during this strange 2020 season. His comments were made prior to his team’s game against Baltimore being moved from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon due to safety concerns related to COVID-19.
The veteran quarterback also responded to questions about how many pass attempts he’s had each week and if it’s a concern moving forward.