NFL Draft

Perspective Of An Average Steelers Fan: 2017 Draft Class Review


Here, I compare the statistics of the Steelers top four 2017 draft picks with their contemporaries selected by other teams. Rookie contracts are four years, extendable to a fifth year. By this time, it is not unusual to see players signed by other teams through trades or free agency.

Now we can see how T.J. Watt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Cameron Sutton, and James Conner compared to players drafted near them who play the same position. A recap of the rest of the 2017 draft class follows along with a look at players Pittsburgh acquired that other teams either drafted or signed as undrafted free agents in 2017.

All the statistics extracted from the Pro Football Reference. So, there may be variances with other sources.


Name G Snaps D/ST INTs PDs FF FR Sacks Tackles TFL/QBH MTkl%
Haason Reddick 80 3707/352 0 15 11 2 31.0 323 45/50 9.5
Charles Harris 71 2434/317 0 4 2 1 14.0 144 23/44 9.4
T.J. Watt 77 4201/344 4 32 22 7 72.0 294 80/150 14.6
Tyus Bowser 80 2088/1020 4 14 3 1 17.5 139 19/44 15.2
Ryan Anderson 52 1060/649 0 1 5 2 6.0 86 7/15 6.6

All statistics pulled from the Pro Football Reference

Synopsis of each player:

T.J Watt (1st/30th overall): In five seasons, he’s achieved 2021 Defensive Player of the Year, first team All-Pro three times, and a four-time Pro Bowler. Watt led the NFL with forced fumbles eight forced fumbles in 2019. In both 2020 and 2021, he led the league in sacks and tackles for a loss. With 72 sacks and over 200 hundred quarterback pressures, he leads this group of outside linebackers in impact plays like forced fumbles, interceptions, sacks, tackles for loss, and deflected passes. He’s second in tackles. His aggressive play led to a high 14.6% missed tackle rate. But I’ll take that when he impacts games so heavily.

Haason Reddick (1st/13th overall): Haason Reddick first outside linebacker selected in 2017 draft. He played four years in Arizona. There he appeared in every game starting in 31. He played inside and hybrid linebacker before the Cardinals finally put him on the edge. It paid off in 2020 when he was among the NFL leaders with six forced fumbles, 15 tackles for loss, and 12.5 sacks. His potential shown against the Giants when he forced three fumbles and sacked the quarterback five times to earn week 14 NFC defensive player of the week. Despite this production, Arizona declined his fifth-year rookie option. Carolina signed him to a one-year deal, and he collected 11 sacks while starting 16 games. Second only to T.J. Watt in most key defensive categories, he does have a low 9.4 missed tackle rate. Philadelphia signed Reddick to a three-year deal for 2022.

Charles Harris (1st/22nd overall): Charles Harris is now with his third team after five seasons. Miami traded him to Atlanta for a seventh-round draft pick in 2020. The Falcons declined the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. Detroit signed Harris to a one year prove it deal. Harris used as a spot starter until 2021. That year, he started 14 games for the Lions. He showed enough, including leading team with 7.5 sacks, for the Lions signing him to a two-year contract. So far, Harris not proven to be impactful. Among his contemporaries, Harris ranks at or near the bottom in forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, sacks, and quarterback pressures. Not impressive for an edge defender drafted in the first round.

Tyus Bowser (2nd/42nd overall): Tyus Bowser broke in as a fulltime starter in 2021. He led the Ravens with seven sacks. Currently, he’s tied with Watt for most interceptions in the group. Also, Bowser scored a touchdown on a 33-yard fumble recovery in 2019. Over five years he’s collected 44 quarterback hits. On the downside, his 15.2% missed tackle rate tops the group. Although his special team snaps declined as a starter in 2021, he still leads the group in that categorey. Bowser missed only one game over five seasons. But he injured his Achilles heel in the Raven’s last regular season game in 2021. We’ll see if his recovery leads to another season starting for Baltimore.

Ryan Anderson (2nd/49th overall): Ryan Anderson played first four seasons with Washington. He flashed in 2019 in relief of injured Ryan Kerrigan. That season, Anderson played close to half of the defensive snaps starting four games. He forced five fumbles and recovered two. However, he played primarily as a back-up and on special teams the other years. Anderson missed last eight games in 2020 on injured reserve. The New York Giants signed him for the 2021 season as a free agent. However, the NFL suspended Anderson six games for violating the performance enhancement substance policy. The Giants released Anderson two days later, so he missed his fifth season. Anderson lags in most categories though he has the lowest missed tackle percentage. Currently a free agent, his six-game suspension is a hurdle any team that signs him must contend with.

Linebacker Summary

T.J. Watt selected third among this group in the 2017 draft. But he easily tops this group. If he keeps the pace, T.J. Watt is on a trajectory of reaching the Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot. The Steelers have a keeper. Hasson Reddick is a distant second. Tyus Bowser and Charles Reddick not even regular starters until their fifth seasons. Ryan Anderson’s career in jeopardy as he faces a six-game suspension and is still a free agent.


Name G Snaps D/ST TGTs RECs Yds Y/C Y/G Catch % Drop% Points
Zay Jones 79 2662/105 311 171 1884 11.0 23.8 55.0 3.8 68
Curtis Samuel 58 2390/242 302 191 2114 11.1 36.4 63.2 4.3 114
JuJu Smith-Schuster 63 3382/59 471 323 3855 11.9 61.2 68.6 3.6 172
Cooper Kupp 71 3924/105 598 433 5517 12.7 77.7 72.4 3.6 242
Taywan Taylor 35 743/134 86 53 697 13.2 19.9 61.6 5.2 12
ArDarius Stewart 15 231/132 13 6 82 13.7 5.5 46.2 0
Carlos Henderson 0 0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Godwin 72 3608/201 482 342 4643 13.6 64.5 71.0 2.8 184
Kenny Golladay 61 3204/6 391 220 3589 16.3 58.8 56.3 3.8 126

stats via Pro Football Reference

Synopsis of each player:

JuJu Smith-Schuster (2nd/62nd overall): JuJu played five seasons in Pittsburgh. He made a splash as a rookie taking AFC Player of the Week honors twice. First, gaining 193 yards and scoring a 97-yard touchdown in week eight. Then breaking a 21-21 tie with Cleveland by returning a kickoff 96 yards. But 2018 stood out. He earned a Pro Bowl appearance with top ten NFL performances including 111 receptions, 1426 yards, and gaining 89.1 per game. Also, he caught another 97-yard TD reception. He appeared on the NFL top ten leaderboard again in 2020 with 97 receptions playing in the slot. But a shoulder injury limited his 2021 campaign to just five games. He came back to play in the playoff game in Kansas City. JuJu signed one-year deal with the Chiefs for up to $10.75 million with incentive clauses. His departure leaves a hole in the Steelers WR corps.

Zay Jones (2nd/37th overall): Zay Jones played two full seasons in Buffalo. Then the Bills traded him to the Raiders for a fifth-round choice midseason 2019. His most productive year was 2018 when he gained 652 receiving yards and scored seven touchdowns. Jones only dropped nine passes over five seasons, but his 55% catch rate is second lowest and his 11.0 yards per reception is lowest among the group. Jacksonville signed Jones to a three-year deal in 2022. The fourth wide receiver selected in the 2017 draft; his third team may unlock the talents of this underperforming player.

Curtis Samuel (2nd/40th overall): Curtis Samuel played his first four seasons with Carolina. He missed six games his rookie season with an ankle injury. He signed a three-year contract with Washington for 2021 season. Unfortunately, he played just five games. A recurring groin injury marred his first season with his new team. In five seasons, he’s dropped 12 of 302 passes for a 4.3% drop rate. That’s second highest in the group. Also, his 11.1 yards per reception is second lowest. His most productive season was 2020 when he caught 77 passes for 851 yards. But for now, his ability to cut effectively is concerning. Samuel spotted on a social media video running with a resistance band a few weeks ago. We will see if Samuel rebounds from his groin injury in 2022.

Cooper Kupp (3rd/69th overall): Cooper Kupp had a monster season in 2021. His game winning catch for the LA Rams led to a Super Bowl MVP award. That trophy joined others for 2021 NFL offensive Player of the Year, AP First team All-Pro, and Pro Bowl on the mantle. In four playoff games, Kupp had 33 catches for 478 yards and six touchdowns. Also, he led the NFL with 145 receptions, 1947 receiving yards, 16 receiving TDs, and gaining 114.5 yards per game in the regular season. In five seasons, he tops the group in most receiving categories. He does have most drops with 18 but with all his receptions it results in a low 3.6% drop rate. The outlook for Kupp is very bright. Could he contend for MVP in 2022?

Taywan Taylor (3rd/72nd overall): Taywan Taylor played a full season in 2017. Then missed three midseason games with a foot injury in 2018. Tennessee traded Taylor to the Cleveland Browns for their 2020 seventh round draft pick. In two seasons with the Browns, Taylor played six games and received two targets. He caught neither target. Hampered by a neck injury, Taylor placed on injured reserve at end of 2020 season. Then, Houston signed Taylor to a one-year deal for 2021. But they released him after placing him on injured reserve prior to start of the season. Currently, Taylor is on the USFL New Orleans Breakers practice squad.

ArDarius Stewart (3rd/79th overall): ArDarius Stewart appeared in 15 games his rookie season with the New York Jets. There he caught six of 13 targets for a putrid 46.2% catch rate. In 2018, Stewart faced a two-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. The Jets cut him shortly after. Since then, Stewart appeared on the practice squads of the Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders. The CFL’s British Columbia Lions contracted Taylor to play in 2022.

Carlos Henderson (3rd/82nd overall): Carlos Henderson never played a down in the NFL. He tore a ligament in his left thumb his rookie training camp. The NFL suspended Henderson one game in 2018 for violating the substance abuse policy after delaying showing up for training camp due to personal reasons. Denver placed him on their practice squad but released him just after the season started. He spent a brief time on Washington’s practice squad in 2019. Currently out of the NFL, Henderson signed a contract for 2022 with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Chris Godwin (3rd/84th overall): Chris Godwin earned a 2019 Pro Bowl appearance catching 86 passes for 1333 yards and nine touchdowns. AP named him second team All-Pro the same year. That season, he finished NFL top ten in receiving yards, touchdowns and 95.2 receiving yards per game. Plus, Godwin won NFC offensive player of the week twice. Once as a rookie then in 2019. Godwin’s 2.8% drop rate and gaining first downs every 1.7 targets is tops in the group. Also, he places second with 342 receptions, 4643 receiving yards, 71% catch rate, 29 touchdowns, and gaining 64.5 receiving yards a game. Godwin tore his ACL at end of 2021 missing three games. But Tampa Bay just signed him to a three-year deal after applying the franchise tag in both 2021 and 2022.

Kenny Golladay (3rd/96th overall): Kenny Golladay produced his best year in 2019. He led the league with 11 receiving touchdowns, averaged 18.3 yards a catch, and a career high 1190 receiving yards. That performance led to a Pro Bowl appearance. But the following year he missed 11 games with hamstring and hip injuries leading to free agency after four seasons in Detroit. He’s missed 20 games in five years. The Giants signed Golladay to a four-year contract beginning in 2021. He started 14 games but scored no touchdowns. Over five seasons, Golladay leads the group with 16.3 yards a catch and second best gaining a first down every 2.3 targets. But he has a low 56.3% catch rate. Golladay needs a healthy 2022 season in New York to get back to his 2019 form.

Wide Receiver Summary

Cooper Kupp stands on top of this group on the strength of a historical 2021 season. Chris Godwin is second with consistent strong performances. Kupp and Godwin, who were selected after him, overshadow JuJu. Ironically, JuJu ranks ahead of the two players drafted ahead of him in this group. So, he is on par for his order selected and current rank. Kenny Golladay is showing value in fourth place after picked last in the group in 2017 draft. Zay Jones and Curtis Samuel must rebound but are underperformers. Three players are no longer in the NFL.



Name G Snaps D/ST INTs PDs FF FR Tackles Tgts Recep Comp% TD’s
Ahkello Witherspoon 56 2624/385 7 33 1 1 132 200 106 53.0 16
Fabian Moreau 76 2756/605 6 25 3 1 186 210 138 65.7 13
Shaquill Griffin 71 4420/271 6 55 1 0 298 316 201 63.6 18
Jourdan Lewis 77 3141/249 7 30 1 6 237 238 159 66.8 8
Cameron Sutton 68 2255/697 5 23 5 1 125 182 116 63.7 9
Cordrea Tankersley 19 689/147 0 7 0 0 38 5 5 100.0 1
Rasul Douglas 72 3050/631 10 47 1 0 237 310 188 60.6 18
Brendan Langley 16 108/260 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0

All statistics pulled from the Pro Football Reference


Synopsis of each player:

Ahkello Witherspoon (3rd/66th overall): Ahkello Witherspoon played in San Francisco 2017-2020. His playing time declined after his second season when he played 700 defensive snaps. In 2018 a knee injury put him on injured reserve. In 2019, Witherspoon scored a pick-six in the season opener. But then missed six midseason games with a foot injury. That season, Witherspoon started eight of ten games played plus the division playoff against Minnesota. But Kyle Shanahan demoted him for rest of playoffs. He started four of 11 games in 2020 but his snaps dwindled.

Then, Seattle signed Witherspoon to a one-year contract but traded him to Pittsburgh at season’s start. He missed eight games learning Pittsburgh’s defense but was a starter by season’s end. There, he intercepted a career high three passes. Witherspoon’s 53% catch rate is lowest in group. But his 16.0% missed tackles is highest. A coverage cornerback his tackling remains a weakness.

Cameron Sutton (3rd/94th overall): Cam Sutton started slowly as a rookie. A hamstring injury kept him out of the first 11 games his rookie season. Since then, he’s only missed two games. While he leads to group in special team snaps, his defensive snaps increased each season. 2021 is Sutton’s first year as a fulltime starter. Sutton is a hard hitter and leads the group with five forced fumbles. However, his 13% missed tackle rated is only exceeded by teammate Ahkello Witherspoon. The Steelers signed Levi Wallace which allows Sutton to move inside at cornerback for 2022 season.

Fabian Moreau (3rd/81st overall): Fabian Moreau signed a one-year deal in Atlanta in 2021 after spending his first four seasons in Washington. Moreau played mostly nickelback his first two seasons. In 2019, he moved outside late in the season and responded with three interceptions. But he went on injured reserve later that season. He collected two more interceptions in 2020 but only started one game. Moreau has three forced fumbles, second in the group. He’s also second with 23 missed tackles but a reasonable 11.8% missed tackle rate. In 2021, Moreau started all 16 games played with Atlanta. However, his weakness covering man-to-man exposed, and he gave up eight touchdowns. Currently he’s a free agent looking for a job, preferably with a zone heavy defense.

Shaquill Griffin (3rd/90th overall): Shaquill Griffin played four seasons in Seattle before going to Jacksonville in 2021. He’s started 67 of 71 games played including six interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2019, the only cornerback in this group to gain such recognition. That season, he held receivers he covered to 57.1% completion rate and made 65 tackles. After five seasons, he leads the group with the most defensive snaps, 55 deflected passes, 298 tackles, and 318 targets. His 18 touchdowns given up leads the group and he has the second lowest interception percentage at 1.9% of targeted passes. He should have more than six interceptions but dropped a few. Griffin working out with the JUGs machine to improve his hands. A vocal leader, his teammates voted him a team captain in his first year in Jacksonville.

Jourdan Lewis (3rd/92nd overall): Jourdan Lewis started 26 games for the Cowboys in 2020 and 2021. He’s shown big play capabilities. First, in 2019 he returned a recovered fumble 63 yards for a touchdown. Then in 2021, he returned one of his three interceptions 66 yards that season. Over five years, Lewis leads the group with six fumble recoveries. He’s second with seven interceptions, 237 tackles with a 9.4 missed tackle rate. He’s given up eight touchdowns but with 238 targets his 3.4% TD rate in coverage is the lowest. However, his 66.8% completion average is second highest. Dallas signed him through 2023 as the projected third cornerback.

Cordrea Tankersley (3rd/97th overall): Cordrea Tankersley missed 15 of 32 games in 2017-2018. An ACL injury cost him eight of those games. Tankersley started 11 games his rookie season, but only played six in 2018. He missed the entire 2019 season. Minnesota signed him to their practice squad in 2020 and he appeared in two games playing 22 defensive snaps and 28 on special teams. The Vikings released Tankersley prior to the 2021 season. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career. He is currently out of the NFL.

Rasul Douglas (3rd/99th overall): Raul Douglas played three seasons with Philadelphia before moving to Carolina in 2020. In 2021, the Raiders and Texans released Douglas in the preseason. Arizona placed him on the practice squad to start the season. But Green Bay signed him to their roster after week four due to injuries in their secondary. Then, Douglas started nine of 12 games and the Packers playoff versus the Rams. Green Bay signed Douglas to a three-year deal after his breakout season. A year with two pick sixes and a NFL top ten five interceptions with 105 return yards. Over five seasons, Douglas tops the group with 10 interceptions and a 7.8% missed tackle rate. He’s allowed receivers he’s covering 60.6% completion rate that’s second lowest. He’s given up 18 TD’s, but they are spread over 310 targets.

Brendan Langley (3rd/101st overall): Brendan Langley primarily played special teams in 2017 and 2018. He averaged 24.4 yards on 10 kickoff returns. His longest went 61 yards. But he missed six of 22 games while on the roster. In 2018, Denver placed him on the practice squad until the last six games of the season. Langley tried to convert to wide receiver from cornerback in 2019 but didn’t make the team. The Houston Roughnecks of the defunct XFL drafted him in 2020. However, he signed with the Seattle Seahawks practice squad briefly and did not play. Langley is currently a wide receiver on the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders 2022 roster.

Cornerback Summary

Overall, this is not a strong cornerback group. Rasul Douglas and Shaquill Griffin intercepted 16 passes between them and lead the group. But neither good enough to earn second contracts from the teams drafting them into the NFL.

Ahkello Witherspoon is third despite being the first one drafted among this group. He’s missed 25 games in five seasons. He’s showed strong coverage skills but a weak tackler. Jourdan Lewis and Fabian Moreau come in fourth and fifth, respectively. Both available for all but four or five games.

Cam Sutton comes in sixth dropping a spot from his order in the draft. Rasul Douglas who was selected after Sutton bumped him down a spot. Sutton just became a fulltime starter, and it will be interesting to see how he performs playing inside rather than on the outside corner. Tankersley and Langley currently out of the league.



Name G Snaps ATT Yds Y/G TGTs REC Yds Y/G TOT YDS Points
Alvin Kamara 73 3036/109 912 4238 58.1 476 373 3263 44.7 7501 416
Kareem Hunt 59 2258/0 772 3557 60.3 220 176 1596 27.1 5153 266
D’Onta Foreman 26 437/18 240 987 38.0 22 18 239 9.2 1226 42
James Conner 65 2273/76 734 3054 47.0 192 161 1338 20.6 4392 268
Samaje Perine 60 872/679 306 1198 20.0 71 63 449 7.5 1647 42
Tarik Cohen 51 1465/309 264 1101 21.6 275 209 1575 30.9 2676 90

All statistics pulled from the PFR

Synopsis of each player:

James Conner (3rd/105th overall): James Conner stepped up when Le’Veon Bell held out of the 2018 season. Conner gained 1470 yards from scrimmage and scored 13 touchdowns enroute to a Pro Bowl appearance. A lower leg injury cost him three games, but he returned for the season finale. Also, Conner injured his ACL missing the final two games of his rookie season. A theme of fragility began. Knee, shoulder, ankle injuries plus Covid caused Conner to miss nine games in 2019 and 2020. But he still gained over 1600 total yards and scored 13 touchdowns. Pittsburgh’s tight salary cap saw Connor leave for Arizona in 2021. He missed two games but scored 18 touchdowns and gained 1127 total yards for his second Pro Bowl.

Despite his injuries, Conner has played 65 games, second most among this group of running backs. His 1473 yards after contact rushing the ball is second only to perennial Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara in this group. Conner signed a three year extension with Arizona in March.

Alvin Kamara (3rd/67th overall): Alvin Kamara began his NFL career strong winning PFWA rookie of the year along with a Pro Bowl appearance. He’s earned Pro Bowl honors each of his five seasons in the league. Plus, AP named him second team All-Pro twice. A dual rushing and receiving weapon, he’s averaged 1500 yards from scrimmage per year or 102.8 yards a game. Additionally, he’s scored 68 touchdowns including a 100-yard kickoff return. He’s a threat to score wherever he lines up on the field. He tops this group in almost every category. One cloud was his arrest following the 2022 Pro Bowl. He also injured a knee missing four games in 2021. So, his production dipped a bit.

Kareem Hunt (3rd/86th overall): Kareem Hunt also started out strong. He was co-Offensive Rookie of the Year with Kamara. He led NFL with 1327 rushing yards and finished in top ten with 325 touches leading to 11 TD’s, 82.9 yards a game, and 1782 yards from scrimmage. But a 2018 assault charge led to Kansas City releasing him with five games left to play in 2018. Yet, he scored 14 touchdowns in 11 games. The Browns signed him and waited out his eight game suspension in 2019. Despite missing almost, a full season due to off the field issue, he’s accumulated 5153 total rushing and receiving yards. Plus 44 touchdowns. Hunt tops the group with 60.3 yards a game. He’s second only to Kamara in total yards from scrimmage, first downs and touches. Hunt continues as part of the two headed monster in Cleveland with Nick Chubb. 

D’Onta Freeman (3rd/89th overall): D’Onta Foreman tore his Achilles heel as he scored a touchdown in the tenth game of his rookie season. He was on the PUP list for much of 2018 as he recovered and played just one game. The Texans waived him during the 2019 training camp. The Colts claimed Foreman off waivers, but he tore a bicep costing a full season of play. Then, Tennessee picked him up for their practice squad in 2020. Playing behind Derrick Henry on the depth chart limited his opportunities. But he played six games in 2020 and nine in 2021. Freeman started three games after Henry’s season ending injury. Injuries limited Foreman to just 26 games in the past five seasons. But Carolina signed him to a one year deal for 2022. It’s his opportunity to come out from the shadows.

Samaje Perine (4th/114th overall): Samaje Perine started eight games as a rookie in Washington. He gained 603 rushing yards on 175 carries. Plus, another 182 on 22 catches. But Washington brought in veteran Adrian Peterson the next year relegating Perine to the bench. In 2019, he split time between Cincinnati for six games then Miami for one. The Bengals brought Perine back for a second stint in 2020 when he split time on special teams and as a backup running back. In 2021, he gained 246 rushing yards. But a career high 27 receptions for 196 yards. Also, Perine scored a receiving touchdown in the Bengals come from behind playoff victory over the Chiefs. Signed through 2022, Perine found a spot as a contributor to the Bengals offense and core special teams play.

Tarik Cohen (4th/119th overall): Tarik Cohen excelled in 2018 gaining first team All-Pro and Pro Bowl awards as a return specialist. As a rookie, he returned 29 punts for 272 yards and a touchdown. Plus, he returned 26 kickoffs for 583 yards. But the following season, he led the NFL with 33 punt returns and 411 return yards. An impressive 12.5 yards per return. He tacked on 725 receiving yards to finish ninth in all-purpose yards. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in 2020. That injury cost him 13 games in 2020 plus the entire 2021 season as he recovered. The Bears released Cohen in March. Tarik tweeted in good humor, “How do I file for unemployment?” Some team is sure to give him a try in 2022.

Running Back Summary

Alvin Kamara is the clear top dog in this running back group. A five time Pro Bowler, he averages 257 touches per season and leads the group in most categories. Kareem Hunt and James Conner are very close with a slight statistical edge to Hunt for second in the group.

Tarik Cohen played three great seasons primarily as a return specialist but an injury derailed his career. He’s currently looking for a job. Perine lost his way after his rookie season but seems to have found a role in Cincinnati. D’Onta Foreman coming back from injuries and playing behind Derrick Henry.


Steelers Depot stalwart contributor Matthew Marczi conducts a “stock watch” to review how player performance during trends during the year the season. I’ve pulled the links for the latest evaluation to show how each player was last trending:

RD POS Name Article Trend
1 OLB T.J. Watt Marczi Stock Watch UP
2 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster Marczi Stock Watch SOLD
3 CB Cameron Sutton Marczi Stock Watch Even
3 RB James Conner Marczi Stock Watch SOLD
4 QB Joshua Dobbs Marczi Stock Watch SOLD
5 DB Brian Allen Kitchen Draft Review SOLD
6 LS Colin Holba Kitchen Draft Review SOLD
7 OLB Keion Adams Marczi Stock Watch SOLD




The Steelers drafted four other players in rounds four to seven in 2017: Quarterback Joshua Dobbs picked in the fourth round. Then cornerback Brian Allen in the fifth. Long snapper Colin Holba followed in the sixth round. Finally, outside linebacker Keion Adams selected in the seventh round.

Fourth round pick Joshua Dobbs played just 38 snaps in six games for the Steelers. Pittsburgh traded Dobbs to Jacksonville for a fifth-round choice before the 2019 season. He never saw the field and the Steelers signed him back as a free agent in 2020. He appeared in one game in 2020 then hurt his foot in the 2021 preseason landing on injured reserve. Dobbs signed with Cleveland for the 2022 season.

Allen appeared in 16 games his first two seasons in Pittsburgh. Primarily a special teamer. He’s joined five teams since accepting an injury settlement from the Steelers in 2019. He played one game at cornerback for the 49ers in 2020. Then played special teams with the Browns in three games in 2021. The Birmingham Stallions selected Allen in the eighth round for the USFL’s 2022 season.

Colin Holba never played for the Steelers. Instead, he lost a long snapper competition to undrafted free agent Kameron Canady. He later signed with Jacksonville playing seven games. He played four games for the 49ers in 2019. Then in 2020, he played five games for the Giants and another two in a second stint in San Francisco. He would play one more game with San Francisco in 2020. Afterwards, he spent brief periods on the practice squads of the Rams and Bengals. Holba announced his retirement from football in February 2022.

Seventh round pick Keion Adams never made the Steelers roster. He spent time on the practice squads and injured reserve of the Steelers and Giants. The Giants cut him in October 2019. Currently Adams plays for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.


The Steelers are famous for building roster through the draft. But last year’s roster featured eight players drafted by other teams or signed as undrafted free agents in 2017.

Five players drafted by other teams in 2017 include Chris Wormley. Baltimore’s third round draft pick. Then Taco Charlton who recently signed with the Saints. Dallas drafted him in the first round. Green Bay drafted Montravius Adams in the third. Recently departed Zach Banner drafted by the Colts. And recently re-signed Ahkello Witherspoon picked in the third by the 49ers.

The undrafted free agents from 2017 include Saint’s signees Arthur Maulet and Trey Edmunds. Rashaad Coward who signed with Atlanta came into the NFL with the Bears. Five of eight of these players are still on Steelers 2022 preseason roster.


The 2017 draft class is down to T.J. Watt and Cameron Sutton still wearing the Black and Gold. One on a trajectory to the Hall of Fame. Another just finished his first season as a fulltime starter.

First James Conner then JuJu Smith-Schuster left for greener pastures. Both were fan favorites for a time. Imagine Conner backstopping Najee Harris. Or the Steelers not worrying about who will play slot receiver.

As for the rest of the class. Only Josh Dobbs remains in the NFL signing with Cleveland. Brian Allen just played a USFL game in Birmingham. And Keion Adams in the Canadian Football League. Long snapper Colin Holba called it quits.

There are five players on the Steelers roster drafted or signed by other teams in 2017. That includes Ahkello Witherspoon, Montravius Adams, and Chris Wormley.

The players drafted by the Steelers in 2017 include a surefire Hall of Famer and a new starter. Two other players played four seasons as offensive weapons but went elsewhere. A feast or famine draft class.


I always like to include a bit of music. The 2017 Steelers draft class is down to two of eight selected still with the team. So, who would have predicted that? “’C’est la vie’, say the old folks It goes to show you never can tell.”  Here is You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry.

To Top