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Steelers Daily Links: Watt Top 5 Win Share; Pickett Highest Graded



Steelers T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, Aug. 19, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett was the highest-graded quarterback this preseason by Pro Football Focus, receiving a 94.7 grade. Pickett led the Pittsburgh Steelers to five touchdowns on five drives during the preseason. He completed 13 of 15 passes for 199 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3. Pickett also ranked first in completion percentage (86.6) and yards per attempt (13.2).

Kenny Pickett, Connor Heyward and Nick Herbig were named to PFF’s All-Preseason Team. PFF deemed Herbig as the best rookie of the preseason.

“A fourth-round draft pick who many thought would need to kick inside and become an off-ball linebacker at the next level, Nick Herbig impressed at edge defender this preseason. On the field for 44 pass-rushing snaps, he registered six pressures, including four sacks,” Gordon McGuinness of PFF wrote.

Herbig received a 92.5 grade from PFF for his preseason performance.

RELATED: Nick Herbig Looking Like a Steal in Steelers Preseason

🏈 Pat McAfee said on Monday that he’ll donate $500,000 to the charity of T.J. Watt’s choice if he breaks the 22.5 sack record in 2023. Watt tied the NFL record with Michael Strahan (set in 2001) in 2021.

🏈 T.J. Watt believes the sky’s the limit for Steelers second-year wide receiver George Pickens.

“George Pickens is a genetic freak and I still don’t think he understands how good he is,” Watt said on the Pat McAfee Show.

🏈 Former Steelers running back and current team scout Merril Hoge spent the weekend with Ben Roethlisberger and Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly.

“Had a great weekend hanging out with these two Hall of Famers shooting some skeet and raising money for hunters hope and all the kids that @jimkelly1212‘s foundation supports. Love these two guys,” Hoge wrote on Instagram.

🏈 Former Steelers outside linebacker Malik Reed was released by the Miami Dolphins. The Denver Broncos dealt Reed and a 2023 seventh-round selection to the Steelers in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round choice last August. Reed ended up having just one sack the entire season and was not brought back during the offseason.

🏈 Cynthia Frelund of projects T.J. Watt to have a 2.29 win share this season, which is the fourth-highest among defensive players.

“My models believe the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year will return to form after an injury-abbreviated 2022 campaign, partially because he’s just such a balanced defender when it comes to all of the metrics that are linked to edge-rushing success,” Frelund wrote. “Despite totaling just 5.5 sacks over 10 games last season, Watt still ranked top five in burst, contact win rate and fatigue. He’s a relentless QB hunter who just ticks off all the boxes.”

📅 On this day in 1985, legendary Steelers running back Franco Harris called it a career. Harris played one season with the Seattle Seahawks in 1984 and was about to entire his second season with Seattle.

🎂 Happy 58th birthday to former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and kick returner Mel Anderson. Born on Aug. 29, 1965, Anderson was a graduate of Steel Valley High School in Munhall and was a strike replacement player for the Steelers in 1987. He played in two games, returning seven punts for 38 yards and one kick for eight yards.

🎥 Steel City Star posted an exclusive coaches film clip of the Steelers’ opening day game against the Chicago Bears in 1971. Joe Greene was in his prime, practically unblockable despite double teams and Lloyd Voss also had an incredible game.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Penguins owners FSG are taking over AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: Johan Oviedo threw a complete-game two-hitter as the Pirates blanked the Royals, 5-0.

Pittsburgh Sports Now: Projected starting Pitt guard Ryan Jacoby is out for the season.

West Virginia Sports Now: Neal Brown says he has decided, but isn’t telling anyone else who the starting quarterback for West Virginia will be against Penn State.

Nittany Sports Now: Former Penn State defensive coordinator and Steelers secondary coach Tom Bradley will perform the coin toss prior to PSU-WVU.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: Pitt men’s soccer demolished Howard for its first win.

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