The Pittsburgh Steelers, along with the rest of the NFL, have wrapped up the 2020 NFL Draft. The team had six total draft picks (but no first-rounder). With the six picks, they selected Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool, Charlotte linebacker Alex Highsmith, Maryland running back Anthony McFarland, Jr., Louisiana guard Kevin Dotson, Maryland safety Antoine Brooks, Jr. and Nebraska defensive lineman Carlos Davis.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Steelers graded out at a pedestrian B-. Undoubtedly the grade suffered because of a lack of first-round pick, because PFF wasn’t unhappy with the Claypool, Highsmith and Dotson picks in particular.
What do you think? How would you grade the Steelers 2020 Draft, particularly in light of the fact that the team, in their own words, used their first-round pick on Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Give them a grade.
Poll: What Was Biggest Issue with Steelers Running Game in 2020?
The Steelers finished dead last in the NFL in rushing in 2020 and general manager Kevin Colbert has seen it as a top offseason priority to rectify that standing going into 2021.
The Steelers have already made a change in coaching, with Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm taking over as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
There will also be substantive changes to the personnel, as starting center Maurkice Pouncey has retired and starting running back James Conner, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, left guard Matt Feiler and right tackle Zach Banner are pending free agents.
“You can’t say the runners weren’t good enough or the quarterbacks weren’t good enough or the line wasn’t good enough,” Colbert said in speaking with the media last week. “To put out the kind of running game we did, no one was good enough. And again, that is a collective effort. … We need to finish (seasons). And I think having a strong running game helps teams finish in that time of year.”
With that being said, Steelers fans, which area of the running game do you think was the biggest issue in 2020?
Will James Conner Ever Reach 1,000 Yards in a Season?
Some feel he doesn’t get the credit he deserves while others think James Conner is just simply not NFL featured back material.
Either way, it’s very possible Conner has played his final game as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He accumulated 721 yards on 169 carries for an average of 4.3 yards per carry and 6 touchdowns in 13 games during the 2020 season. Conner’s highest yardage total and best overall season came in 2018 when he compiled 973 yards off 215 carries, equaling 4.5 yards per. The Pitt product, who the Steelers kept in Pittsburgh by drafting in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, was selected to his only Pro Bowl for his surprise success in 2018.
Since 2018, it’s been a roller coaster ride of injuries and inconsistency for Conner. The 2018 season remains the only year Conner even flirted with the 1,000 yard mark. With his professional future currently in doubt, the question now becomes – will Conner ever accomplish an 1,000 yard season in the NFL, either with the Steelers or wherever he ends up?
What’s Your Favorite Jerome Bettis Moment?
In keeping up with the theme of reflecting on some positive Steelers memories of the past, a Pro Football Hall of Famer mostly known for his tenure in Pittsburgh celebrated a birthday recently.
Jerome Bettis turned 49-years-old on February 16th. What’s your favorite memory of the NFL’s 8th all-time leading rusher? Is it one of his big monster runs? Is it when he powered over fellow Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher? Or is it simply when he put an exclamation point on his career by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL in Bettis’ hometown of Detroit, Michigan.