Pro Football Focus has released another set of offseason rankings, this time listing the top 50 players in the NFL at this very moment.
While they have been unveiling the rankings periodically in increments of ten, one Pittsburgh Steeler has already made an appearance on the list.
Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward clocked in as the No. 31 players in the entire NFL, according to PFF.
“The later into his career he gets, the better Heyward seems to play,” PFF’s Sam Monson wrote. “His best four seasons in terms of PFF grade have been his most recent four seasons, and Aaron Donald is the only interior lineman who has a higher overall PFF grade since 2019.”
While Donald is the consensus best interior defensive lineman in football, Heyward’s production has placed him in rarified air alongside the multiple-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year winner.
“The longtime Steeler’s 75 defensive stops lead all players at his position over the same period by seven, and he trails only Donald in terms of total pressures,” Monson continues. “The Los Angeles Rams star is in a world all by himself, but Heyward has a good case to be seen as the best interior defender not named Donald in the NFL — and that’s an impressive achievement.”
Heyward recorded 54 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, four sacks and 18 quarterback hits in 15 games. He also had an interception and defended three passes.
He earned his third All-Pro selection in 2020. Heyward has also been named to four Pro Bowls.