In anticipation of the Pittsburgh Steelers first preseason game Thursday night, I wanted to look at a few things before I can provide information after the game. In the preseason we get an opportunity to see more action from the younger players, so I wanted to put a table together of the 2021 draft picks for both teams, the Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys, heading into the game (data: Pro Football Reference):
|PIT||4||128||Dan Moore Jr.||O||OL|
|PIT||7||254||Pressley Harvin III||S||P|
Other than getting a reminder of how the draft went down for both teams, I also saw some fun takeaways. Similar to how Pittsburgh went all offense until the fourth round of the draft, Dallas went defense with their first six picks and finally an offensive lineman late in the fourth round (Josh Ball). Two picks later, we switched to the defensive side when we drafted Buddy Johnson.
Specifically for the Cowboys, I loved their first two picks of Micah Parsons and Kelvin Joseph in the draft process. It also seems that they have been impressing in training camp, so seeing them play (even if it’s limited) would be a treat. Their third-round selection of Nahshon Wright was one of the huge surprises in the draft to me, someone that wasn’t even on my radar and was taken in the top 100 picks. Would be interesting to see him play to get a feel for his game, maybe what they saw in him to draft him in that range. I also enjoyed their pick of Simi Fehoko later in the draft, a wide receiver with appealing size and speed combo I hope we get to see. When the Steelers traded into the fifth round to get Loudermilk, I thought he might be the pick.
I am of course excited to watch and see how everyone does for the Steelers, but Kendrick Green will be highest on my radar. We obviously need several questions answered regarding the offensive line and can’t wait to see how he looks. Hopefully he can look the part of our starting center and start to validate us waiting until the third round to address the position. Harris and Freiermuth were great reasons to wait in my opinion, two well rounded players at positions of need that I had ranked first and second at their positions in the draft process. Dan Moore Jr. is an intriguing name, especially with Okorafor missing time in training camp. It would be very encouraging to see him play well considering the lack of information on why Chuks has been out in training camp.
I really enjoyed the value of getting Roche later than many expected, especially with the addition of Melvin Ingram to shore up our depth at the edge position. Norwood is an intriguing name personally (being from Oklahoma and him playing at OU), it will be interesting to see what type of action he gets and if he gets to highlight the position flexibility that Tomlin praised him for after the draft (even though I viewed his best role at safety).
Last but not least, I am also very excited to see Harvin III as well. It will definitely be a battle with Jordan Berry but will be fun to see unfold. Quick props to Alex Kozora and his training camp reports that are filled with great information, but one of my favorite things he’s tracked is punter hang times and distances. It will be very interesting to see how this information and preseason games stack up and see who can claim the job.
Which rookies are you most excited to see (if given playing time)? Who are your favorites to perform well? How about non-rookies? After the game I plan to look at preseason snaps and performance to start getting answers to some questions regarding the 2021 Steelers in stadiums. Football is finally here, GO STEELERS! Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts in the comments!