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: Leo Lewis
Position: Inside Linebacker
Draft Status: Undrafted
Starts: 0 (0 starts)
The Steelers haven’t had many college free agents they’ve signed in recent years who drew a lot of enthusiasm, but last year’s class seemed to intrigue fans more than most have. One of them made it to the 53-man roster in James Pierre, while another three spent time on the practice squad.
Leo Lewis, linebacker out of Mississippi State, was one of the more buzzy names, especially coming at a position with substantial losses from the previous season. He ultimately was not one of the four players who made it in-season with the Steelers.
He did come closer than most, though. Pittsburgh released Lewis on August 27 in order to make room for outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who ultimately spent some time on the Steelers’ 53-man roster, as he did in 2019, as well.
It does not appear that Lewis was ever picked up by another team after being waived by the Steelers, and to the best of my knowledge, he remains a free agent. I frankly have no idea where he is now or what he might be doing. Even a Twitter account previously associated with him no longer exists.