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Steelers All 90: Pressley Harvin III Focused on Consistency



Steelers Punter Pressley Harvin III

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Pressley Harvin III to compete with the incumbent Jordan Berry for the team’s starting punter role heading into the 2021 season. The former Ray Guy Award winner won the job as a rookie but things have not gone completely as planned for the Georgia Tech product.

Harvin mentioned that the only difference between punting at the collegiate level and the NFL level is really just the mental aspects of it. Going from averaging 48 yards per punt in his senior year in college to 42.6 yards per attempt in his rookie season, the mental factor did affect Harvin.

“The biggest [difference] is the mental side of it,” said Harvin. “If you can punt a football and you can be capable enough then it’s just how focused you can be to be able to do it at the highest level instead of the amateur level. That’s the one thing that I’ve learned over time is that when you are an amateur and you’re trying to be professional you try to do something until you get it right every single time but when you are in the NFL, especially as a specialist, I think that changes to trying to do it consistently until you can’t get it wrong.”

Harvin struggled at times, even punting a ball only 17 yards during an actual game but as he gained more experience he has shown growth and is ready to enter year three with the Steelers. In the 2022 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, Harvin punted a perfect ball that essentially won the game for the Steelers. With 53 seconds left, Harvin executed a pooch punt that bounced at the Falcons’ one-yard line and was downed at the two-yard line. This left the Falcons no time or space to execute a game-winning drive.

As he enters year three, Harvin is slowly learning how to train better in the offseason as he mentioned he is kicking less, which is not a bad thing as in past years he may have been kicking too much during the offseasons.

“I’m always trying to put my best self forward in the best ways,” said Harvin. “I trained my work ethic a little bit this offseason with how does punting training go. You know, going into my third year now I do realize I don’t have to kick as much. [I] try to kick in the offseason just like it is the regular season. Getting into the regular 17-week flow of kicking two or three times a week.”

After two mediocre seasons, the Steelers did bring in another punter this offseason to compete with Harvin through training camp and the preseason. Harvin mentioned that having Braden Mann there to compete with him is a good thing due to him and Mann being personal friends.

“We have another punter in the building, Braden Mann, which is a good friend of mine,” Harvin said. “Me and him have been going neck and neck with the punting competition and stuff since high school.”

While it is unlikely that the Steelers move on from Harvin in favor of Mann, Harvin will need to continue his growth before it does turn into a scary situation for him. Harvin is likely to be the Steelers’ punter in 2023 but if he shows no real growth this season, the 2024 season will not be guaranteed for him.

6 • Pressley Harvin III, Punter, Georgia Tech
6-foot-0, 255 pounds, 24 years old, 3rd Season

Acquired: The Steelers drafted Harvin with the 254th overall pick in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft after a stellar senior season at Georgia Tech.

Last season: Harvin improved in his second season but still finished around the bottom of the pack in regard to the other NFL punters. He ranked 28th in punt gross average and 24th in punts down inside of the 20-yard line while kicking the 14th most punts.

Harvin punted the ball 69 times last season for an average of 44.5 yards per punt but did set a new career-long with two 69-yard punts. Pro Football Focus gave Harvin a 67.5 rating for the 2022 season.

Steelers Chris Boswell Pressley Harvin III

CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 31: Pittsburgh Steelers place kicker Chris Boswell (9) is congratulated by Pittsburgh Steelers punter Pressley Harvin (6) after kicking a 31-yard field goal during the first quarter of the National Football League game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns on October 31, 2021, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Career: After being the Steelers’ seventh-round draft pick in 2021, Harvin beat out the incumbent Jordan Berry for the team’s starting punter. Harvin finished the season with 70 punts for an average of 42.6 yards with a long of 64 yards. 25 of his 70 punts were downed inside of the 20 yards line in his rookie season.

Year GP Punts Yards AVG Long In 20 PFF Rating
2021 15 70 2,982 42.6 64 25 53.6
2022 17 69 3,072 44.5 69 20 67.5

College: Harvin was regarded as one of the top punter prospects in the nation when leaving high school and he decided to commit to Georgia Tech to continue his football career. As a true freshman, Harvin played in 11 games and punted the ball 50 times for an average of 44.1 yards. His longest of the season came on a 62-yard punt against Miami. He broke Georgia Tech’s freshman record for average punt yards which was set back in 1999.

In 2018, Harvin had fewer opportunities as he only punted 35 times for an average of 41.3 yards but tied his career-long with a 62-yard punt. His average dipped due to an 18.8 average on four punts in the team’s Quick Lane Bowl. He was named second-team All-ACC following the season.

As a junior, Harvin punted the ball a career-high 80 times for an average of 44.8. This included a 13-punt game against Georgia in which he averaged 45.2 yards per punt in that game. In Georgia Tech’s win against Miami, Harvin tossed a 41-yard touchdown pass on a fake punt attempt.

In 2020, Harvin separated himself from the rest of the punters in the nation after he won the Ray Guy Award for being the nation’s best punter. Over nine games, Harvin boomed 45 punts for an average of 48 yards per punt. He also kicked a career-long 70-yard punt against the University of Central Florida. In addition to being the first African American to win the Ray Guy Award, he was a unanimous All-American and set ACC records with his 48-yard per punt average.

Year GP Punts Yards AVG Long
2017 11 50 2,205 44.1 62
2018 12 35 1,447 41.3 62
2019 12 80 3,583 44.8 58
2020 9 45 2,161 48.0 70

Salary cap and future: Harvin is entering the third year of his standard four-year rookie contract that will keep him in Pittsburgh through the end of the 2024 season. This season, Harvin will cost $960,183 against the Steelers’ cap space. Of that $960,183, his base salary is set at $940,000 and the other $20,183 is in bonus money.

Harvin is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after just two more seasons in Pittsburgh.

The rest of the 90:

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