Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 NFL Draft grades and opinions
The Steelers 2020 NFL Draft is in the books, and they were able to address several areas of need. Here are my grades for each Pittsburgh selection.
The 2020 NFL draft is complete and the Pittsburgh Steelers added six new rookies to their roster when it was all said and done. As I’ve perused several pundits grades, I’ve seen the Steelers grade out decently across most articles, yet to a certain degree, I tend to disagree.
I think the Steelers failed to fill needs in the appropriate rounds, overreached at times, and genuinely picked certain positions they could have waited on.
With their first pick in the second round, the Steelers selected wide receiver Chase Claypool out of Notre Dame. I like Claypool as a player and I do think he’ll help stretch the field but I really don’t believe the team needed to pick a receiver here. My preference would have been an offensive line or defensive line. I’m comfortable with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington as the top three guys this season.
This pick indicates to me that Smith-Schuster is probably gone after the season. Even if that’s true, replacing him next year would have been an option.
Because Claypool is a solid player, I’ll give this pick a B- but they really should have looked at one of the lines first.
In round three, the team drafted Alex Highsmith out of Charlotte. Highsmith is an EDGE guy who has a high motor and I’m ok with adding depth at the position but I’m not thrilled that he played at a small school and I do question how his skills will translate to the NFL. Does this mean Dupree is gone after 2020 as well? It’s hard to say but the grade for this pick can’t be higher than a C-.
In round four, the Steelers turned back to offense by drafting running back Anthony McFarland out of Maryland and guard Kevin Dotson out of Louisiana Lafayette. McFarland is a speedster and a playmaker but I really didn’t’ feel they needed a running back this year. I’m down on James Conner but I really like Benny Snell. The pick could have been used elsewhere. I do think McFarland will make plays for this team but I think this means Jaylen Samuels will be released this season and James Conner will walk next year. I’ll give McFarland a B grade since he will carry some use now.
I like the Dotson pick because it addressed a need. Dotson is big, strong, and capable of making an immediate impact. I give this pick a B+.
Safety Antoine Brooks out of Maryland was taken in the sixth round. Again, this is a position where depth was needed but I think they could have waited a year. Brooks will make the team but I don’t see him as high impact. This is a C grade, at best.
In the seventh round, with their last pick, the team selected defensive lineman Carlos Davis out of Nebraska. They needed a DL but they waited too long. My preference would have been grabbing a guy like Thaddeus Moss, the highly talented tight end out of LSU here. I’m unclear as to why they didn’t and I give this grade an F for missing an opportunity and picking a position too late.
My feelings for the Steelers 2020 season hasn’t changed. I think they have a high opportunity to be successful this upcoming season but it all relies on the health of Ben Roethlisberger and in my opinion, they didn’t do much here to impact the 2020 run.