2021 NFL Draft Grades: Overall grades for the Steelers 2021 draft class

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Behind the Steel Curtain 03 May, 2021 - 07:15am 42 views

Who did the Steelers draft in the second round?

Round 2, No. 55 overall: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State My take: The Steelers got the second-best tight end in the draft with shades of Rob Gronkowski at 6-foot-5, 251 pounds and the ability to stretch the field. With Vance McDonald retired, Pittsburgh needs a do-it-all tight end opposite Eric Ebron. ESPNPittsburgh Steelers NFL draft picks 2021: Analysis for every selection - Pittsburgh Steelers Blog- ESPN

The staff of BTSC give their thoughts on how the Steelers emerged following the 2021 NFL draft.

Although truly grading a draft class comes several years into their NFL careers, grading the overall production immediately following the NFL draft is a generally accepted practice by NFL fans. With the acknowledgment that none of these players have yet to step onto an NFL field, the staff at Behind The Steel Curtain is giving their overall thoughts along with the grade of the Steelers 2021 NFL draft. Remember, we are all Steelers fans, so this is definitely going to be viewed wearing black-and-gold goggles.

Analysis: I was quite concerned with the Steelers draft through the first two rounds, not because who they selected but because of what they had yet to address. The draft of center Kendrick Green, who appears to be a better fit with what the Steelers want from the center than others they could have had sooner, made the decision to take their players in the first two rounds even better. There were a couple curious picks in the middle of Day 3, but getting Quincy Roche in Round 6 was a steal. They took a corner back late, but adding a number as UDFAs has them where they just need one to stick. The Steelers checked all the boxes of things they needed.

Analysis: This draft started out right for me when the Steelers tabbed Najee Harris, the best running back in the draft, and added to the offensive line with my other favorite pick, Kendick “Son of 2 AM” Green, and Dan Moore. Even though it took me a bit of time, I’m embracing the Pat Freiermuth pick, “Muth”!!!!! A 263 lb. punter by the name of Pressley Harvin (I’m calling him Elvis from now on). Sign me the heck up. Tre Norwood could be an answer for the loss of Mike Hilton, “The Steal” Quincy Roche was so much more at Temple than his last season at Miami, give Loudermilk a chance and I just didn’t view Buddy as a fourth rounder. But what do I know? The important people did. A definite Steelers draft and a pretty nice one overall. All that truth in 145 words, pals!

Analysis: The Najee Harris pick immediately addressed the Steelers biggest need, and did so with the consensus best running back in the draft. Kendrick Green will be a fan favorite for his Willie Colon-style physicality. Pat Freiermuth could become a stud if Matt Canada maximizes his versatility. But Quincey Roche is my favorite pick. He could be the team’s next great late-round gem as a pass rushing specialist and special teams demon. I love his motor and his cerebral approach to the game. He has me excited.

Trading a fourth in next year’s draft for Laudermilk is baffling, though. Perhaps another team was poised to take him. But it seems a heavy price to pay for a guy who likely could have been had for nothing.

Analysis: The Steelers solved my early concerns that they would find a starting center when they found Pouncey-lite Kendrick Green in the third, and that was close to winning my favorite pick. That pick salvaged the first two rounds ignoring the position for me. When they went back to the offensive line for a big project tackle with a big hole at cornerback I was a bit confused. They wouldn’t address corner until the 7th round.

One of my big wish list items was a more athletic Vince Williams to pair with Devin Bush. The Steelers took a good swing at that role with Buddy Johnson, who also happens to be a top notch locker room guy. He’ll play special teams too, and that helped him stay my favorite pick even when the Steelers took the best punter in the nation with their last pick.

Analysis: After spending a rather large amount of time these past three days researching and grading each selection, I will try to keep this answer short and sweet. I love the Kendrick Green pick, but I have to go Harris because his selection set the tone for the entire draft class. The top three selections are foundation building blocks. Buddy Johnson looks like a Steelers linebacker, and Roche could be a steal.

My overall draft grade would have been higher if not for the Loudermilk selection. I already explained my thoughts and feelings about the pick in my article, so just let me say I hope and pray he proves me wrong.

Analysis: I will probably be higher on Freiermuth than most but in the Steelers existence they have really never focused primary assets to the tight end position. In a modern offense heading into a transitionary period Freiermuth will be heavily targeted, and leaned upon if the Steelers draft a new quarterback in the coming years. This guy will be the Steelers security blanket on offense.

Loudermilk will always be question mark until he proves his worth. A relative unknown —unless you've studied 400 prospects— the Steelers invested a lot of draft capital to get him. The defensive line is already brimming with talent I don’t foresee much playing time for Loudermilk at all. It may also be hard for him just to make the team.

Analysis: The Steelers entered the 2021 NFL Draft in need of starters at multiple positions. Three—running back, tight end and center—were practically begging for good prospects to come in and take over from Day 1. The Steelers found three prime candidates to do just that in Harris, Freiermuth and Green. The rest of the class includes mostly intriguing prospects who could develop. Overall, I like what the Steelers did. But I’m normally easy to please when it comes to the draft.

Analysis: The best pick could have been Pressley Harvin III, the punter from Georgia Tech, but I decided to go with my real favorite pick — Najee Harris. Why? Because I feel Harris is going to be a game-changing running back. Not only is he an outstanding player, but also a tremendous young man. A great pick both from football and character, and I have a feeling everyone who wanted someone else at pick No. 24 will be looking for a No. 22 jersey by Week 8.

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