The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 offseason practices concluded last week, and next up for the team is their annual training camp, which should get underway in the latter part of July at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. Ahead of Steelers’ training camp getting underway, we will preview the team’s offseason roster three players at a time for you as part of a 30-post series. This Steelers’ roster preview, which includes outlooks for each player, will be done alphabetically by last name to make it easy to follow along with.
The next three players we will preview ahead of Steelers training camp are Najee Harris, Pressley Harvin III, and J.C. Hassenauer.
RB Najee Harris: After selecting Harris in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Alabama, the Steelers certainly made sure to use him quite a bit during his rookie season. Not only did Harris play 980 regular season offensive snaps as a rookie, which was 84% of all snaps played on offense, he touched the football a whopping 381 times on his way to registering 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns on 307 carries and another 467 yards and three touchdowns on 74 receptions. Harris finally set a new rookie season rushing record for the Steelers in 2021, but he had to earn every bit of it in 17 games played. Harris was tough after first contact as a rookie, and he needed to be because the Steelers’ offensive line play was atrocious. He ended up making the Pro Bowl as an injury alternate.
Outlook: What does 2022 hold for Harris? Hopefully more yards, more touchdowns, and more explosive plays on less total touches. The Steelers will need to rely heavily on Harris again in 2022, as they will have a rebuilt offensive line, a new quarterback and two rookie wide receivers that need to be worked in and around. Harris is an all-around, every-down running back, and very durable to date. Even so, the Steelers need to try to get him off the field a little more in 2022, if at all possible. The ultimate goal with Harris should at least 1,500 rushing yards as part of him having a successful run rate of 55 percent or better with at least 10 explosive runs mixed in. Similar reception totals should be there again for him in 2022, as well.
P Pressley Harvin III: The Steelers selected Harvin in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL draft out of Georgia Tech, and he went on to have a very underwhelming rookie season. His father was sick during his rookie season and ultimately passed away during the Christmas holidays. Harvin had to miss a few games late in the season due to that. In total, Harvin punted 70 times as a rookie during the regular season for a 42.6-yard average. He did have a long of 64 yards, however, and none of his punts were blocked. In the team’s playoff loss, Harvin punted seven times for a 49.7-yard average with a long of 56 yards. His rookie season was very inconsistent overall.
Outlook: With one NFL season now in the books, the hope is that Harvin can rebound in 2022 and become one of the top 10-12 punters in the NFL. He has the leg, he just needs to find a way to be more consistent overall, and as part of that, limit the number of JV punts quite a bit. While the Steelers will have competition for Harvin throughout training camp, it shouldn’t be hard for the second-year punter to come out top in that position battle. If, however, Harvin doesn’t show enough improvement throughout training camp and the preseason, the Steelers might look outside the organization for a veteran replacement come the start of the regular season.
C/G J.C. Hassenauer: While he only started three regular season games in 2021, Hassenauer, a former undrafted free agent out of Alabama, still managed to log 276 offensive snaps played. 68 more came as the team’s starting center in the playoff loss. Most of Hassenauer’s snaps in 2021 came at center, after the team decided to effectively bench then-rookie Kendrick Green. Hassenauer also logged some snaps in the middle of the regular season at left guard. Hassenauer did not allow a sack in 2021, but he did give up a hit and five hurries, according to PFF.
Outlook: The Steelers have rebuilt their offensive line this offseason, and with that, it will be interesting to see what happens to Hassenauer. The Steelers now seemingly have a new starting center in Mason Cole, and Green has been shifted to left guard to compete this summer against Kevin Dotson for that job. Will there be enough room on the 53-man roster for Hassenauer? Quite honestly, it could wind up going either way. The fact that he’s probably always going to be a better center option than Green might ultimately help his sticking cause later this summer.
Previous Posts In Series:
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Montravius Adams, Marcus Allen, Tyson Alualu
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Daniel Archibong, Calvin Austin III, Genard Avery
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Chris Boswell, Miles Boykin, Devin Bush
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Chase Claypool, Mason Cole, James Daniels
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, Jake Dixon
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Kevin Dotson, Mataeo Durant, Terrell Edmunds
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Trey Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pat Freiermuth
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Zach Gentry, Nate Gilliam, Chaz Green
90 In 30: Steelers 2022 Training Camp Preview Series: Ulysees Gilbert III, Kendrick Green, Joe Haeg