The Pittsburgh Steelers certainly hope that several members of their 2016 draft class will ultimately be able to make positive contributions during their rookie seasons and especially when it comes to their top three selections, who all play on the defensive side of the football.
In a recent article on NFL.com, Chase Goodbread ranked the top 100 rookies of 2016 based on who he believes will make the biggest impact during their first seasons and none of the Steelers draft picks were included in his top 40 choices.
Cornerback Artie Burns, the Steelers first round selection this year, was ranked 44th overall by Goodbread and he was followed by safety Sean Davis at 60th overall. Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave was not far behind Davis at 62nd overall.
Below is Goodbread’s reasoning for ranking the aforementioned Steelers players where he did.
44. CB Artie Burns – GM Kevin Colbert addressed a major need with his first-round pick; a starting spot should be Burns’ to lose.
60. S Sean Davis – The Steelers are in need of help at safety, and Davis is a good bet to be a Week One starter.
62. DT Javon Hargrave – Hargrave should find himself in a rotational role as a rookie, and is athletic enough to play on third down.
Personally, I think Davis might ultimately wind up being the Steelers biggest rookie contributor on the defensive side of the football in 2016. Should the Steelers wind up playing a lot of big nickel sub packages in 2016, Davis could wind up seeing the field sooner rather than later as an extra box defender.
While Burns is bound to see some playing time during his rookie year, that might not ultimately happen until the second half of the season as it might take some time for him to climb past Ross Cockrell on the team’s depth chart.
As for Hargrave, he could wind up being the team’s starting nose tackle in the team’s base defense by the start of the regular season. Additionally, he figures to see snaps as a rotational sub package defensive lineman as the year goes on.
If things go like I think they might in 2016, we could very well wind up seeing the Steelers top three draft picks combine to play well over 1000 snaps and that certainly would be a sight for sore eyes.