Ranking the Starters: 3-1

With one preseason game in the books for the Pittsburgh Steelers, I thought it would be a good time to pivot from the game for a few minutes and wrap up my final installment of my Ranking the Steelers series here at Steelers Depot.

Though actual football is here and ready to be talked about, it’s still fun for me to continue to push on in the offseason rankings, which I’ll do here today, ranking the Steelers’ starters No. 3-1.

Just as a reminder, here’s how the 2020 rankings went ahead of the 2020 season.

As I wrap things up, I’ll give you a brief rundown of names included in the series as I make my starters projections. Those names italicized are already in the rankings to start the series.


QB — Ben Roethlisberger
RB — Najee Harris
WR — JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR – Diontae Johnson
WR – Chase Claypool
TE — Eric Ebron
LT — Chukwuma Okorafor
LG — Kevin Dotson
C — Kendrick Green
RG — Trai Turner
RT – Zach Banner


DE — Cameron Heyward
DE — Stephon Tuitt
OLB — Alex Highsmith
ILB — Devin Bush

ILB — Robert Spillane
OLB — TJ Watt
CB — Joe Haden
CB — Cameron Sutton

CB – James Pierre
S — Minkah Fitzpatrick
S — Terrell Edmunds


K – Chris Boswell
P — Jordan Berry

Last note before we dive in here: here’s how the list started out this season:

  • No. 24 — Jordan Berry
  • No. 23 — James Pierre
  • No. 22 — Chukwuma Okorafor
  • No. 21 — Zach Banner
  • No. 20 — Kendrick Green
  • No. 19 — Robert Spillane
  • No. 18 — Trai Turner
  • No. 17 — Kevin Dotson
  • No. 16 — Eric Ebron
  • No. 15 — Alex Highsmith
  • No. 14 — Chris Boswell
  • No. 13 — Cameron Sutton
  • No. 12 — Terrell Edmunds
  • No. 11 — Najee Harris
  • No. 10 — Chase Claypool
  • No. 9 — Diontae Johnson
  • No. 8 — Devin Bush
  • No. 7 — Joe Haden
  • No. 6 — JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • No. 5 — Ben Roethlisberger
  • No. 4 — Cameron Heyward

No. 3 — Stephon Tuitt, DE

Stephon Tuitt over Cameron Heyward here in this series has caused some questions to arise from readers, but I’m justified here. Though Heyward has more of a track record than Tuitt, I believe Tuitt just has a higher ceiling overall as a run defender and pass rusher, and we saw that on full display in 2020 in Tuitt’s career year.

He’s an elite-level blend of speed, power and athleticism, and should he stay healthy moving forward could really take a jump forward into elite defender status.

No. 2 — Minkah Fitzpatrick, S

Arguably the best ball-hawking safety in the NFL, Minkah Fitzpatrick has really taken a star turn in Pittsburgh, transforming the Steelers’ defense into a great one.

Fitzpatrick’s ability to handle his own at deep safety has allowed the Steelers to do a number of things in front of him defensively, which has helped the Steelers’ defense confuse opposing offenses and force turnovers at a high clip under longtime defensive coordinator Keith Butler.

Though Fitzpatrick still struggles at times with tackling in space and can take chances at times and put himself out of position, he’s an elite safety in today’s game, one that will have a monster extension coming his way in the near future.

No. 1 — T.J. Watt, OLB

Is this a surprise to anyone?

It shouldn’t be.

The best pass rusher in the NFL and the best player on the Steelers. Seems like a natural fit for him here at No. 1.

T.J. Watt continues to simply dominate week to week and is on a true Hall of Fame trajectory just four years into his career with the Steelers. At some point in the next few years Watt will likely become the Steelers’ all-time sacks leader and will become one of the greatest Steelers…ever.

Plus, he’ll be a very rich man very soon, and rightfully so. The Steelers have a true face of the franchise and building block on the defensive side of the football as they eventually transition away from the Ben Roethlisberger era in the new few seasons.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!