EDGE Alex Highsmith (3rd round): B-
I don’t mind the Alex Highsmith pick at all. I’m a fan of talking small-school stars later in the draft, and Pittsburgh’s compensatory third-round selection was essentially a fourth-round pick. Highsmith tested just above average as an athlete, but he plays much faster than his timed numbers.
For the Steelers, he should compete with Ola Adeniyi as the primary backup at edge defender and has starting upside if the competition jump doesn’t prove to be too much for him. Overall, I like his combination of bend and pass rush moves.
RB Anthony McFarland (4th round): B
Anthony McFarland was a solid value pick for the Steelers at this point in the draft. Though he’s only 5’8” and 208 pounds, McFarland ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and that speed shows up often on film.
McFarland averaged nearly 8.0 years per carry as a freshman and 6.7 yards per carry over 245 college touches. The Maryland running back brings something to the table that Pittsburgh’s backfield didn’t have prior to this: speed. He can take any given play to the house. Though we could have made the case for Pittsburgh addressing more pressing positions of need, McFarland could prove to be a valuable asset to an offense lacking speed.