Grading The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Draft Picks


The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Draft class is complete, and after what was a solid 2020 Draft consisting of Chase Claypool, Kevin Dotson, and Alex Highsmith, the Steelers once again hit big on this year’s class.

Round 1, Pick 24- RB Najee Harris, Alabama:

Grade: A+

Najee Harris was what I would call a home run pick for the Steelers, who have struggled to find their workhorse back since the days of Le’Veon Bell. Harris will be an effective piece of the offense, whether it is through the running or passing game. Harris is already showing his colors as a model citizen by throwing a pizza party for the kids at the homeless shelter that he lived at for several years as a child.

Round 2, Pick 55- TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

Grade: B

After some thinking on this pick, it has become more apparent that although Pittsburgh had an immediate need at the offensive line, they had the ability to address those needs in the later rounds. Freiermuth brings great blocking at the position, as well as the receiving ability. He will be a long-term option for the Steelers.

Round 3, Pick 87- OG/C Kendrick Green, Illinois

Grade: B-

The center position has been addressed as it seems Kendrick Green, who played center at Illinois, could possibly be a plug-and-play talent for the Steelers. At the very least, Green will be viewed as a depth piece while BJ Finney starts. Either way, this was a solid addition.

Round 4, Pick 128- OT Dan Moore Jr, Texas A&M

Grade: B-

Dan Moore Jr. had a solid showing at the Senior Bowl, which was ultimately a big part in the Steelers drafting him with one of their fourth-round picks. Moore lands in a situation where he could be competing for a starting job at left tackle against Zach Banner.

Round 4, Pick 140- ILB Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M

Grade: C

A double-dip at Texas A&M prospects in Round 4 with a head-scratcher at pick 140. Buddy Johnson is mainly used for his run-stuff ability in which the Steelers already have talents in Robert Spillane and Vince Williams. This could be a long-term replacement, but Devin Bush could have used help in the coverage game. Johnson has a positive future, so it should be interesting to see what kind of blitz packages the Steelers will have for him.

Round 5, Pick 156- DL Isaiah Loudermilk, Wisconsin

Grade C+

The Steelers traded up into the fifth round with the Miami Dolphins, sending them a 2022 fourth-round pick to select Isaiah Loudermilk. He is a depth pickup for the defensive line and will learn from Tyson Alualu at the nose guard position. This wasn’t a necessary position to trade up for, but there is obviously something the organization sees in Loudermilk.

Round 6, Pick 216- EDGE Quincy Roche, Miami

Grade: A+

Roche was a tremendous value in the sixth round, as the Steelers have a possible home run selection. It will be interesting to see how he and Highsmith do coming off the edge opposite of TJ Watt.

Round 7, Pick 245- CB Tre Norwood, Oklahoma

Grade: C+

A cornerback was a much-needed position for the Steelers coming into the draft. Pittsburgh waited too long to take one, but Norwood is a solid pickup. Despite his ceiling, he is uncertain to make an instant impact in the secondary.

Round 7, Pick 254- P Pressley Harvin III, Georgia Tech

Grade: B+

The Steelers landed the Ray Guy Award winner in 2020 in punter Pressley Harvin III. This pick is great because Jordan Berry has regressed over the past couple of seasons, so either Harvin beats him out or it elevates the play of Berry.

Overall Grade: B

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