The Pittsburgh Steelers enter this season with one of the best pass rushing duos in the league with TJ Watt and Bud Dupree returning. Dupree is under the franchise tag and this could be his final season as a Steeler, so here are some potential replacements.
The Steelers had one of the top defenses last season and that was in part of the best pass rushing duo in the league. Now with Dupree potentially leaving after the season, the Steelers could be looking for help opposite of Watt. Alex Highsmith is a highly regarded prospect heading into his rookie season, but he is more of a project at this point.
Depending on how the season shakes out, and how Highsmith does, the Steelers could be looking for some off the edge pass rushers. Pass rushers make Steelers defenses iconic and legendary across the league. Here are some potential replacements in case Bud Dupree decides to sign elsewhere this upcoming off-season.
Rousseau is raw and still has a lot to prove for this upcoming season to show that he is the top pass rusher in this class. He is very talented and played great ball last season for the Hurricanes as he showed up big time on the stat sheet for Miami. He totaled 15.5 sacks and two forced fumbles and was an all around force down in Florida. Rousseau is still very young and is a mold able prospect that still has a high ceiling for future production at the next level.
Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
Wake Forest might not be the strongest college football programs, but Basham has put up really nice numbers while there. Basham is still a young prospect, but with his weight at 275 pounds he seems to be a more 4-3 tech edge then a 3-4. But his numbers don’t lie with him putting up 11 sacks this past season and 4.5 the year before that. Basham has also added three forced fumbles to his resume this past year.
Quincy Roche, Miami
You can’t end this list without adding another Hurricane to it as they have one of the top pass rushing duos in the nation. Roche is still in progress when it comes to his physical development as he hits the scale at 235 pounds. If he can add weight and continue his dominance this season then he could surpass his Miami teammate that is number one on this list.
Roche totaled 13 sacks and added one forced fumble to his stat sheet last season. Even though he will need to fill out his frame some more, Roche is a perfect size and developmental prospect the Steelers search for.
The Steelers might need to add to their pass rushing pipeline come this draft even though they just took Alex Highsmith in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.