4 current Steelers who will become studs in the playoffs

Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith (56). Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Alex Highsmith

While Claypool was voted as the team’s best rookie, an argument could be made that Alex Highsmith would have earned that award had he played as many starting snaps as the receiver. That isn’t to say Claypool isn’t deserving, but Highsmith has looked great for a small school rookie at a position that typically takes a few years to develop at before true success is achieved. While critics could point to him only netting two sacks this season, he did this despite playing less than half of the total defensive snaps.

He seems to be getting better each week he plays too, as he has showcased good strength and an above-average pass-rushing skill set. He had one of the best games of his rookie season last week against the Browns last week. He got his second sack and consistently beat Browns’ top rookie Jedrick Wills each play. He did this despite not playing across from T.J. Watt due to the veteran resting for the week.

Heading into the playoffs, the Steelers have two good rushers coming off the edge. While Watt is the obvious threat, Highsmith could further benefit with less focus from the offenses. Don’t be surprised to see him keep winning as a rusher, and even if the sacks aren’t there, the pressures will be. With the Steelers set to lose Bud Dupree in free agency, having all of this early success from Highsmith is promising. He seems destined to become a true stud this week in the playoffs.

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While the Steelers are in a decent spot in the playoffs, they will need the talent of some unforeseen players to ensure they can win. Keep these four players in mind as they look to shed the average label and try to become as dominant as they can be. The playoffs are giving each of them a great opportunity to take their game to the next level.