The Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly signed their third-round selection, outside linebacker Alex Highsmith to his four-year rookie deal, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Highsmith is the first member of the Steelers’ 2020 draft class to sign.
A former walk-on, Highsmith started 25 games over his final two season with the Charlotte 49ers, 12 in 2018 and 13 last year. His 2019 campaign proved to be one for the record books.
Highsmith recorded 75 total tackles, 21.5 tackles-for-loss and 15 sacks as a senior — the third-most in the nation. He capped off his monster season earned third-team All-American honors, the first Charlotte player ever to do so.
With the uncertainty regarding outside linebacker Bud Dupree’s future in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have high hopes for Highsmith that he can learn quickly and contribute early at a much cheaper price.
Teams had been delaying their rookie signings because of COVID-19 restrictions, preventing them from conducting physicals with their newest draft picks. With Steelers rookies expected to arrive at the team facility over the next few days, the team is expected to sign their remaining five selections soon.