ESPN NFL Insider Bill Polian released his Big Board of the best available free agents for 2015 on Tuesday and he grouped them by grade. As far as the three Pittsburgh Steelers players go that he included on his Big Board, the former NFL general manager gave them all “C” grades.
Linebacker Jason Worilds, cornerback Brice McCain and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey were the three soon-to-be unrestricted free agents listed by Polian.
It’s quite curious that Polian left Steelers outside linebacker Arthur Moats off of his list being as he played more than double the snaps that Heyward-Bey did.
Regardless of what Polian thinks about the three Steelers players listed, McCain and Moats both deserve to be re-signed.
The Steelers stand a good chance of losing Worilds this offseason and if they are going to replace him with another free agent, Polian has Jerry Hughes of the Buffalo Bills as his highest graded 3-4 outside linebacker prospect that wasn’t given a tag. Hughes played defensive end while in Buffalo and many seem to think that he can easily transition to the outside linebacker position in a 3-4 if signed by a team that uses that alignment. Polian, however, thinks that Hughes is less effective when it comes to setting the edge against the run.
In addition to giving Hughes an “A-minus” grade, Polian also grouped Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Pernell McPhee along with him.
He is a part-time player who is an outstanding speed-to-power rusher with natural pass-rush slipperiness. He’s a major contributor in nickel packages. The question with him is whether he can maintain his effectiveness if asked to play full time.
It’s also worth pointing out that Polian graded Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Brandon Graham as a “C” free agent.