PFF Gives Steelers’ Draft B- Grade, Lowest In Division

Draft grades, get your draft grades here, hot off the presses. Everybody already knows how all 255 players will pan out over the course of their careers, so it’s not too soon to talk about how every single team in the NFL did with their selections over the past three days during the 2020 NFL Draft.

In spite of the fact that this has been an atypical offseason in which we have more limited data to work from than in many years, with only a few Pro Days even happening. There are dozens and dozens of players who ended up with incomplete workouts or medicals because of those circumstances. But don’t let that stop anyone from telling you what the reality is.

Pro Football Focus’ draft grades are first up, and the Pittsburgh Steelers got one of the lower grades in the league with a B-. it was unsurprisingly the lowest grades in the AFC North, though it was surprising that the second-worst grade was given to the Baltimore Ravens, who got only a solid B.

It’s hard to tell how much of the grade is shaped by the Steelers not having a first-round pick, if at all, so I can’t even comment on that. The article doesn’t specify if it’s based solely on the selections that they made relative to where they made them, and relative to team need.

The blurb on their draft begins by giving the Steelers credit for passing on a running back in the second round, saying “they made the right call here by going with a player who can win downfield” in big Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool. He is the highest the team has taken a wide receiver since 2006, though they have taken three between picks 60 and 66 over the past three years.

The site considered Alex Highsmith, their third-round pick, a sleeper edge player who was taken about where they felt he should go, at the end of the third round. A small-school player, he had great production at that level when he was able to play on the end, but he has work to do before he is NFL-ready as a full-time player.

The site was not so impressed with their Day-Three selections, not even noting their top pick of the day, Maryland running back Anthony McFarland. Of guard Kevin Dotson, they write, he has NFL-ready strength, but pass protection is a concern.

The only other the team’s four Day-Three picks who get highlighted is sixth-round safety Antoine Brooks. The 220-pounder was asked to play in the slot last year, and they felt that was clearly asking him to do something out of his comfort zone, writing that he “looked far more comfortable in the box in 2018” and that his “best bet is at linebacker”.

So there you have it. The Steelers’s 2020 NFL Draft class is of B-level quality. Time to move on to 2021, where they draft their new franchise quarterback.

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