In their busiest free agency ever, the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in a slew of free agents this offseason on both sides of the ball. Mitch Trubisky, James Daniels, Mason Cole, and Gunner Olszewski offensively. Levi Wallace, Genard Avery, and Myles Jack defensively.
It was the Jack signing that got Rich Eisen’s attention, so much so he named Jack as the second-most underrated offseason addition. Check out the list of the top five here as tweeted out by the Sunday Night Football Twitter account (Eisen’s show also streams on NBC Peacock TV, hence the affiliation).
The TOP 5 under the radar signings this offseason, ranked by @richeisen. 👀
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) May 19, 2022
Eisen only named the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing Russell Gage as a more underrated signing.
“Guys who play in this defensive system usually do work out,” Eisen said. “If he’s healthy and he can go sideline to sideline and go hunt, I like this guy as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense.”
Pittsburgh took advantage of Jacksonville cutting ties with Jack after making him the team’s second-round pick back in the 2016 NFL Draft. Jack bounced back from a terrible college knee injury to start 82 career games so far, including 15 of them last year. His play may have slipped a bit, but he’s still an athletic, sideline-to-sideline player, and a clear upgrade over Joe Schobert, who remains a free agent after being released by the Steelers in March.
The Steelers need better off-ball linebacker and front seven play this season, especially against the run. Injuries and poor performances caused Pittsburgh’s run defense last year to not only be worst in the league but the statistical worst in franchise history, allowing 5.0 YPC. It was by far the highest YPC ever given up by the Steelers over a season.
Highest YPC Allowed (Steelers History)
1. 5.0 (2021)
2. 4.7 (1954)
3. 4.5 (1946)
4. 4.4 (2017)
5. 4.4 (1964)
And since the NFL went to 16 games, in 1978, the Steelers allowed their highest rushing yards per-game, 146.1.
Most Rush Yards Per Game Allowed (Steelers History, 1978-Present)
1. 146.1 (2021)
2. 125.5 (1989)
3. 122.4 (1999)
4. 117.3 (1985)
5. 117.0 (1986)
Jack’s presence alone won’t solve that, but it’ll help. So will the return of Tyson Alualu, the progression of a second-year player like Isaiahh Loudermilk, and the hopeful but still undetermined return of Stephon Tuitt. Adding Brian Flores to the coaching staff will also serve as a boost for Jack and Devin Bush, a man under the microscope as much as any non-QB this season.
Check out Eisen’s comments below.
Now that we're well removed from #NFL Free Agency and the Draft, @richeisen busted out his Top 5 Under The Radar additions this offseason — AFC East stand up!#ForeverNE #FinsUp #BillsMafia #HereWeGo #GoBucs pic.twitter.com/gaJEtnrTCO
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) May 18, 2022