I think we all know by now that there is nothing more exciting and credible than Pro Football Focus and the weekly data that they churn out relating to the current NFL season. Each article is eagerly anticipated as we wait to find out why the latest 500-yard passing game only deserved a grade of 68.7.
I kid, of course, and largely because a lot of you have frequently expressed your distaste for the site and how they quantify the game, but this is all in preface of talking about the fact that they released their mid-season All-Pro team selections recently.
And also of the fact that they didn’t name anybody from the Pittsburgh Steelers on the list, either outright or as an honorable mention (to be fair, there was only one honorable mention per position, which essentially serves as the ‘second-team’ group).
To be honest, I’m not surprised that nobody from the Steelers would make it. Nobody has been truly exceptional so far this year, at least not from game to game. Perhaps the player with the best argument for a grievance would be right guard David DeCastro, who has been graded very highly by the site in recent years, but his missed time this season may have hurt him.
The two right guards that the site chose for their list (they are true to position, with left tackles at left tackle, right guards at right guard, etc.) were Austin Blythe of the Los Angeles Rams and Shaq Mason of the New England Patriots.
Blythe had a grade of just 80.3, which doesn’t sound all that impossible to beat, but it’s actually their highest grade for any guard in the league. DeCastro currently has an overall grade of 68.7 from the site, 18th-best in the league, and Ramon Foster is higher at 15 with a grade of 70.2.
I did a quick perusal through their grading, and the Steelers don’t come out particularly high at all. Vance McDonald is one of the only players in the top 10 at their positions in grading at the moment when factoring in snap percentage. DeCastro and actually B.J. Finney are both in the top 10 at guard for those who have played at least 20 percent of their team’s snaps.
I know the question will be asked, so James Conner has the 10th-highest grade among running backs when filtered for snap counts. The fact that he has fumbled three times really hurts him, as he has the second-lowest fumble grade of the 24 qualifying running backs.
Nobody on defense has really come that close to being a standout player. T.J. Watt has seven sacks, sure, but how many of them have come by beating a tackle in three seconds or less—or at all? Cameron Heyward hasn’t been dominant like he was a year ago, at least not consistently.