I’m not sure if there is any team in recent years that has had more brothers together than the Pittsburgh Steelers. They had three sets of brothers under contract at the end of last season, and there’s a scenario in which they could end up with four by the end of the 2022 NFL Draft.
With Terrell Edmunds remaining a free agent, he is currently unpaired with his older brother, Trey, but the team also has Derek and T.J. Watt, as well as Carlos and Khalil Davis. Could Connor Heyward join big brother Cameron on the Steelers’ roster, coming out of Michigan State this year?
Cameron was on NFL Total Access recently to discuss a variety of topics, and as would be expected, he was asked about his younger brother, who has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft, and whom he got to see firsthand at the Combine in February. Asked for a scouting report, here is what he said of Connor:
He’s the jack of all trades, I think. And that’s not just me blowing smoke. I think he can really provide so many different avenues, whether it’s a running back, a fullback, blocking in the backfield. Look what he did in college. He was able to run the ball then. Now, he’s able to catch out of the backfield. Look at the screen they set up. You don’t really see those tight-end screens like that anymore.
The thing I love about him the most is his intensity of trying to be able to block, and you really don’t see that a lot, because it’s a passing league and everyone’s just trying to get out. But Connor embraces it all, and I know he’s excited for the next level.
At 5’11” and 233 pounds, the younger Heyward doesn’t neatly fit into any one box. He obviously lacks the expected height to play a traditional tight end role, and he isn’t necessarily the prototype for the running back position today. But there are many things that he can do, and is willing to do. Below is Lance Zierlein’s scouting report for NFL.com:
Former running back turned H-back with surprisingly sticky hands and a determined demeanor to find additional yardage after the catch. Heyward fails the pregame eyeball test as a shorter player with a paunchy upper body and a lack of length. However, he catches everything and his tape is filled with good football plays. He has move-blocking potential but is not schooled-up enough in that area for a team to trust him at this point. Heyward’s draft stock might be limited due to his lack of physical traits, but he’s a natural football player who might find a roster spot thanks to his versatility.
To be perfectly honest, he sounds like an ideal late-round target for Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, who would probably find all kind of ways to use him. No matter where he goes, he will be a standout on special teams.
Connor is projected to be a late-round draft pick or priority free agent. The Steelers already have Derek Watt at fullback, though he is in the final year of his contract. He could theoretically function as a third ‘tight end’ along with running back and fullback duties should Pittsburgh decide to bring him in. They do like their football players, and their bloodlines, and he certainly is a football player first and foremost.