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Steelers All 90: Time is Now for 3rd-Year DL Isaiahh Loudermilk



Steelers Isaiahh Loudermilk
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk at OTAs, May 23, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers liked Isaiahh Loudermilk enough in 2021 to mortgage a piece of their future to trade up and select him in the fifth round of the draft. After being thrust into the spotlight in 2021 due to injuries along the defensive line, Loudermilk took a step back in his second year.

In 2022, Loudermilk started three games and appeared in eight more afterward but did not do enough to increase his role even when injuries popped up later in the season. Most fifth-rounders do not get much leeway in regard to keeping a roster spot, especially in year three, unless they really begin to show promise which Loudermilk will need to do in training camp to hold off other competitors.

Loudermilk has all the things in the world to be a good defensive lineman as he is an insanely large human and has good mentors around him. He stands at 6-foot-7, 293 pounds, and was taken under Cam Heyward’s wing during his rookie season.

“Any time we were doing drills, we would work together, he would give me little pointers, hand placement and stuff like that so just being able to come in and kind of have a mentor like that helped me a ton,” said Loudermilk. “I think that’s one of the big reasons why I felt like I made a pretty big jump from the beginning of [my rookie season to the end], just kind of weeks on weeks of taking little things and pretty much watching how he does things and kind of feeding off him, but I couldn’t ask for a better mentor than Cam.”

He expressed that Heyward helped him with so much already that he cannot even name all of the things but said his takeaway from it all is a defensive lineman wins with their hand placement.

“I don’t think really there’s just one thing I can really point out just because been a lot of small details in the game that I knew about but never really dove into – hand placement, things like that, footwork, where kind of throughout the season just kind of learning all the little things definitely taught me a lot but I wouldn’t say there was one thing I learned that really stuck out,” Loudermilk said.

Regardless of what Heyward shows or tells him, Loudermilk will need to showcase his worth over the rest of the offseason and preseason if he wants to fend off some of the other younger guys on the defensive line. If he can make the team in 2023, he is likely to be given the opportunity to see the field due to key departures on the line including Chris Wormley and Tyson Alualu.

92 • Isaiah Loudermilk, Defensive End, Wisconsin
6-foot-7, 293 pounds, 25 years old, 3rd Season

Acquired: The Steelers drafted Loudermilk with the 156th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The team traded up to select Loudermilk and gave away a 2022 fourth-round selection to do so.

Last seasonIn his second professional season, Loudermilk’s snap count went down and so did his production. Last season, Loudermilk played in 11 games and made three starts on the defensive line. He made his first appearance and start in Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he recorded one tackle. He would start the next two games as well before being moved back into a depth role for the rest of the season.

In his 116 snaps in 2022, Loudermilk recorded seven tackles and one quarterback pressure.

Isaiahh Loudermilk warms up ahead of Steelers vs. Ravens on Jan. 1, 2023 in Baltimore. (Mitchell Northam / Steelers Now)

Isaiahh Loudermilk warms up ahead of Steelers vs. Ravens on Jan. 1, 2023 in Baltimore. (Mitchell Northam / Steelers Now)

CareerAfter the Steelers selected Loudermilk out of Wisconsin in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, he appeared in 15 games as a rookie and made two starts. He made his NFL debut in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders as he finished with one tackle. Loudermilk recorded his first and only NFL sack in Week 8 of the 2021 season against the Cleveland Browns.

Loudermilk made his NFL starting debut in Week 16 against the Kansas City Chiefs as he tallied six tackles. He appeared in one playoff game so far and that came against the Chiefs as well. He finished his lone playoff game with three tackles.

In his career, Loudermilk has made 26 appearances and five starts as he recorded 30 combined tackles, one sack, and seven quarterback pressures.

Year GP GS Def. Snaps Tackles Sacks Pressures FFs PFF Rating
2021 15 2 288 23 1 6 0 47.5
2022 11 3 116 7 0 1 0 42.2

CollegeLoudermilk committed to Wisconsin after being named a consensus three-star prospect in high school. He would go on redshirt during his freshman season in 2016.

In 2017, Loudermilk played in 11 games and missed three due to injury. He recorded 11 combined tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and one pass defended. He contributed to a defense that ranked second in the nation in total defense (156.2 yards per game), third in scoring defense (13.9 points per game), and third in rushing defense (98.4 yards per game).

As a redshirt sophomore, Loudermilk appeared in nine games as he made 15 combined tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and three passes defended.

In 2019, Loudermilk really came into his own as he played in all 14 games and finished with 24 combined tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, five passes defended, and two forced fumbles.

In his redshirt senior season, Loudermilk appeared in six games while making 13 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. Following the season, Loudermilk was named third-team All-Big Ten and later declared for the NFL Draft.

In his Wisconsin career, Loudermilk played in 40 games and made 26 starts at defensive end. He recorded 63 combined tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks.

Year GP Tackles TFLs Sacks PDs FFs
2016 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 11 11 1.5 1.5 1 0
2018 9 15 2.5 1 3 0
2019 14 24 5 3 5 2
2020 6 13 2.5 2 0 0

Salary cap and future: Loudermilk is entering the third year of his standard four-year rookie contract that he signed with the Steelers in 2021. He will cost $1.02 million against the Steelers’ cap space in 2023. His 2023 contract included a $940,000 base salary and a $80,072 prorated bonus. He is signed through the end of the 2024 season when he will become a free agent for the first time.

The rest of the 90: