The 2019 NFL Draft is drawing near, which seems to be a fitting time to take a look back at the rookie seasons of the Pittsburgh Steelers class from the 2018 NFL Draft. People start talking about the quality of a draft class before said class is even completed, of course, but now we have a year of data to work form.
Over the course of the next several days, I will be providing an overview of the team’s rookies, as well as an evaluation of each rookie that the Steelers drafted, while also noting any undrafted free agents that were able to stick around. This will not include the likes of Matt McCrane and Trey Griffey because they were first-year players, not rookies.
The Steelers went into the 2018 NFL Draft with eight selections, including two in the third round, but ended up trading out of the sixth round to move up in the third. They had two fifth-round selections and none in the fourth round, and flipped a number of picks due to multiple trades
Continuing a recent trend, the class has proven to be top-heavy in terms of early results, though there are still opportunities for those selected by them in the later rounds of the draft to develop into bigger contributors as well.
Player: Joshua Frazier
Draft Status: 7th round (246th overall)
In spite of the fact that he had arguably the most going for him of the Steelers’ three day-three draft picks from a season ago, Joshua Frazier, the defensive tackle out of Alabama, is the only member of the team’s 2018 NFL Draft class that is no longer with the organization.
Pittsburgh hired his college position coach, Karl Dunbar, to take over defensive line duties that year. That figured to give him a significant leg up, but he never really got his head much above water. He ended up being unseated by veteran Daniel McCullers, who still didn’t play or offer much during the season.
Not only was he beaten out for a spot on the 53-man roster, the Steelers also chose to keep Lavon Hooks on the practice squad over him. And frankly, based on the way that they performed in training camp and in the preseason, it was the right call.
The Detroit Lions did sign him to their practice squad in December. Detroit has a lot of former Alabama connections, so it made sense, but he obviously didn’t last.
So where is he now? Well, you might have already heard this, but he is currently with the Birmingham Iron, where he plays with Casey Sayles, another defensive lineman who was on the Steelers’ training camp roster a year ago.
More accurately, he is actually currently on their injured list—where he also joins another former Steeler, Jacob Hagen. The team’s website does not credit him with any tackles on the season, so I’m not sure how long he’s been there.