The 2021 NFL Draft is drawing near, which is as fitting a time as any to take a look back at the rookie season of the Pittsburgh Steelers class from the 2020 NFL Draft. While draft analysis begins as soon as the pick is in, we now have a year’s worth of data on these players to gain more compelling insight.
Over the course of the next several days, I will be providing 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 J.C. Hassenauer and Henry Mondeaux, because while the 2020 season was their first to accrue, they were not true rookies, but rather first-year players.
The Steelers went into the 2020 NFL Draft with just six selections, including no first-round pick after dealing it to the Dolphins in 2019 for Minkah Fitzpatrick. They received a third-round compensatory pick for the loss of Le’Veon Bell. Their natural third-round pick was traded away the year before to move up for Devin Bush.
They swapped fifth and sixth-round picks with Miami for fourth and seventh-round picks, while they sent their previous fifth-round pick to the Seahawks for Nick Vannett. Their other fifth-round pick, which they dealt to Miami, came from the Jaguars in exchange for Joshua Dobbs.
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 in the later rounds of the draft to develop into bigger contributors, as well.
Player: Christian Montano
Draft Status: Undrafted
Starts: 0 (0 starts)
One of 10 players the Steelers signed as rookie college free agents in 2021, Christian Montano was not among those who would last. In fact, among the first group of players cut from the 90-man roster was Montano, as teams, by requirement, trimmed down to 80 in order to comply with COVID-19 protocols.
That means that Montano, out of Tulane, didn’t get a chance to have a cup of coffee with the team. Because of the pandemic, there were no in-person spring workouts. He tenure with the Steelers officially lasted from April 30 to August 2. Teams hadn’t even begun to do real practices by that point.
Montano did not receive much of a chance, as was the case with so many players in his shoes. But also like many, they were given opportunities this offseason to go back to their alma maters (or nearby universities) and participate in their Pro Days to get eyes on them again.
Montano participated in Tulane’s Pro Day a few weeks ago, along with several other alumni looking for jobs. I don’t know if any of the others ended up signing with any NFL teams since then. But it doesn’t appear that Montano has.
That is until the New Orleans Saints just signed him earlier today, coincidentally.