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Steelers Daily Links: Shazier Holds Charity Run, Highsmith an Elite Disruptor



Steelers OLB Alex Highsmith

Using Next Gen Stats’ metrics, Nick Shook of ranked Alex Highsmith as the sixth-best disruptor of 2022. Highsmith recorded 63 quarterback pressures and a 13.8% quarterback pressure rate last season. In addition, he had 34 hurries and 14.5 sacks.

“Highsmith’s arrives on this list after Pittsburgh’s much more widely known edge rusher, T.J. Watt, missed seven games. That is not entirely coincidental, but more importantly, it adds to what was already a highly impressive season for an edge rusher who has blossomed in the NFL,” Shook wrote.

“Since joining the Steelers via a third-round pick in 2020, Highsmith has developed into a surprisingly powerful force off the edge who benefited from playing opposite Watt. Instead of receding into the background when Watt was sidelined due to injury last season, Highsmith put together the best year of his career, more than doubling his previous single-season high for sacks and posting a QB pressure rate that was better than many of the NFL’s household names. That’s more than worthy of a spot on this list.”

RELATED: Alex Highsmith Participating in OTAs, ‘Optimistic’ a Deal Gets Done

🏈 Former Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier recently held the annual Run for the Black and Gold to support the Ryan Shazier Fund For Spinal Rehabilitation. After suffering a life-altering spinal injury in December of 2017, Shazier created the fund to help those that may not have the resources he had access to in recovery. The event featured plenty of Pittsburgh star power, with Kenny Pickett, Cam Heyward and Joey Porter Sr. in attendance.  The run was a major success, raising almost $600,000 to help individuals recovering from spinal cord injuries.

“Every dollar matters in raising money to provide additional rehab sessions, home modifications, mental health support and other critical services that help individuals with spinal cord injuries have more meaningful and more independent lives,” Shazier said.

🏈 Steelers Community Relations: Steelers cornerback Levi Wallace’s family owned a daycare center as he was growing up. To build on his family’s passion of helping young people and their families, on Wednesday, he donated toys and supplies to Kidsville Daycare.

🏈 The 33rd Team: Ari Meirov of the 33rd Team thinks Kenny Pickett is due for a breakout year in 2023.

“The AFC is stacked with star-studded quarterbacks, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are banking on Kenny Pickett joining that group,” Meirov wrote. “The former first-round pick didn’t blow away anyone last season, but there were things to like. He threw just one interception in his final eight games and led four game-winning drives. Pittsburgh general manager Omar Khan, in his first full offseason, surrounded Pickett with talent, adding G Isaac Seumalo, G Nate Herbig and WR Allen Robinson while also drafting OT Broderick Jones and TE Darnell Washington.Add all those players — along with WR George Pickens, WR Diontae Johnson, TE Pat Freiermuth and RB Najee Harris — and you could see why the Steelers expect Pickett to make a second-year leap.”

🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers punter Craig Colquitt, born on June 9, 1954 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Colquitt punted for the Steelers from 1978-1984, winning Super Bowl titles in 1978 and 1979. Colquitt is the father of two former NFL punters, Dustin and Britton Colquitt. Both his sons won Super Bowl rings, Britton with the Denver Broncos and Dustin with the Kansas City Chiefs. Dustin briefly played with the Steelers in 2020.

🎥 Steel City Star posted a throwback clip of former Steelers wide receiver Louis Lips’ outstanding performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 14 of the 1986 season. Lipps recorded eight receptions for 150 yards (18.7 average) and two touchdowns, leading the Steelers to a 27-17 victory at Three Rivers Stadium.

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