By now, the upbringings, character and on field ability of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 draft class is well known. Each member seems to have their own unique story. Chase Claypool is a Canadian kid who made it to Notre Dame after putting his highlights on Facebook. Alex Highsmith is the walk on success story. Kevin Dotson is a Steeler fan at heart and will now have a chance to suit up for his favourite team. These are just some of the tales of this year’s draft class but now that we all know who they are, how about finding out what they have done.
While typically words can weave us through a story, numbers can do the same. Words also have the ability to deceive but numbers, they never lie. Below are a bunch of interesting statistics and facts compiled by the members of the Steelers’ 2020 draft class.
6 – Claypool is just one of six Notre Dame receivers since 2000 to record at least 1000 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns in a season
23 – Claypool was just one of 23 players last season to record at least 1000 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns.
53.3 – According to PFF, Claypool had the highest reception percentage (53.3%) of all receivers on deep passes (min. 30 deep targets).
How about this?
In 2018, Roethlisberger ranked 3rd in the NFL in deep ball attempts, 4th in deep ball yards, and tied for 1st in deep ball touchdowns.
Claypool in 2019 had the highest reception percentage (53.3) of all receivers on deep passes with at least 30 deep targets. pic.twitter.com/AmMXTddXpA
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) April 29, 2020
80 – Claypool scored in the 80th percentile or higher in all four drills he participated in at this year’s NFL Combine. He scored in the 84th percentile on the bench press, 83rd at the broad jump, 83rd at the 40-yard dash and 93rd at the vertical jump.
4.5 – With 4.5 sacks against Old Dominion in 2019, Highsmith recorded the second most sacks in a game by any NCAA player last season. The only player to notch more sacks in a game was Miami’s (Ohio) Ivan Pace Jr. who recorded six sacks against Akron.
15 – Highsmith’s 15 sacks not only led the Conference USA but they were also third most in the entire NCAA.
40 – No player in the entire NCAA has racked up more tackles for a loss than Highsmith over the last two seasons. Highsmith has registered 40 tackles for a loss since 2018, leading the NCAA.
2 – McFarland has twice rushed for over 200-yards in a game since 2018, tying him with J.K. Dobbins for second most 200-yard rushing performances in the Big Ten conference over the last two seasons.
6.7 – Only two Maryland running backs have averaged more yards per carry than McFarland as his 6.7 yards per carry ranks third in Maryland history.
298 – In November 2018, McFarland gashed the Ohio State defense, rushing for 298 yards. That was the second most rushing yards by a Big Ten rusher since 2018 with Jonathan Taylor’s 321-yard performance beating him out for first place.
1034 – McFarland made an impact right out of the gate as his 1034 rushing yards as a freshman was most by a freshman in Maryland’s history.
52 – Not easy to find stats for interior offensive lineman but Dotson’s consistency is hard to miss. He finished his career with 52 consecutive starts under his belt and has been a starter since week two of his redshirt freshman year.
92.1 – Dotson earned a lot of high praise for his play last season, especially from Pro Football Focus. The Louisiana guard was graded as the top interior lineman by PFF last season with a grade of 92.1.
The highest-graded Group of 5 interior offensive linemen. pic.twitter.com/5s2667hd1b
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 18, 2020
Antoine Brooks Jr.
6 – Since 2017, Brooks has tallied six games with 10 tackles or more. Only one Big Ten defensive back has registered more games with double digit tackles during this time span (Stanley Green, Illinois with nine games).
9.5 – Brooks terrorized backfields for Maryland, registering 9.5 tackles for a loss in both 2018 and 2017. His 9.5 tackles for a loss in 2018 led his team while his 9.5 tackles for a loss in 2017 were the most of any Big Ten defensive back that season.
69 – Brooks is a tackler, there is no doubt about it. His 69 solo tackles were the most of any Big Ten player for the 2019 season.
5 – Really cool and interesting bit here. Davis recorded five pass defenses during the 2018 season, the most by a Nebraska defensive lineman since Ndamukong Suh broke up 10 passes nearly a decade earlier in 2009. That is some exceptional company to be in.