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2021 Bye Week Rookie Review: P Pressley Harvin III

Given how significant the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie class has been so far during the 2021 season, it would be fitting if we use some of the downtime this week during the team’s bye to pause and take stock of where those rookies are right now.

Pittsburgh drafted nine players, with eight of them making the initial roster. Seven of them have been regular contributors for all or most of the season, including numerous starters, so there is a lot to discuss, with four starters on the offensive side of the ball alone.

After investing in the skill positions in the first two rounds with running back Najee Harris and tight end Pat Freiermuth, the Steelers turned to the offensive line, with center Kendrick Green in round three, followed by tackle Dan Moore Jr. in round four. All four are starting.

Their next four picks all went to the defense, starting with inside linebacker Buddy Johnson in the fourth round, followed by defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk in the fifth, outside linebacker Quincy Roche in the sixth, and defensive back Tre Norwood in the seventh. They rounded things out with punter Pressley Harvin III with a final seventh-round pick.

P Pressley Harvin III

It’s always exciting and a cause for celebration when your team drafts a specialist (cue the groans). Okay, maybe not, but at least as it concerns the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s nice when they actually make the roster.

After striking out with long snapper Colin Holba, head coach Mike Tomlin went back to the specialist well for the third time in his 15-year draft career back in May, drafting Georgia Tech punter Pressley Harvin III to provide competition for six-year veteran incumbent Jordan Berry.

Berry was already under fire, given that he was actually cut the year before and only brought back because his replacement, veteran Dustin Colquitt, was struggling more than they cared for. The two battled admirably throughout the offseason process, and there was no bad answer, but the coaching staff ultimately went with the upside of the rookie.

It helps that Harvin has a big leg, which he has gotten to show a few times already this year, though even that should improve as he matures. Understandably, he has had some inconsistency in his game, and a few shanks, though one of those shanks, I firmly believe, was caused by an unflagged running into the kicker penalty.

Due in no small part to some of the inconsistency he has worked his way through, Harvin’s overall numbers are solid, but not spectacular. He is averaging 44.9 gross yards per punt, and 40.8 yards net. The latter ranks tied for 16th in the league.

His 11 punts inside the 20-yard line is ninth-most. He has just one touchback, but five balls gone out of bounds, a few of which were unintended shanks. His hangtime of 4.26 seconds leaves a little something to be desired. But all of these things can be worked on.

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