Steelers Rookie Grades: Dotson, not Claypool, atop the class

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Here are the Steelers final grades for their rookie draft class from 2020

While the Steelers season ended in disappointment on Sunday, one positive takeaway that they got is a strong draft class. Despite the team not having a first-round pick, Pittsburgh had one of the brightest draft classes of the year. Talent was found everywhere, and even those that didn’t find a starting spot still made an impact as a depth player.

With consideration given to where they were taken, here are the final grades for the Steelers 2020 rookie class.

James Pierre

Grade: A-

It may have taken him all season, but James Pierre finally found a way to crack the defense during the past two weeks. Had he not done that; his grade would have been stagnated from the midseason one I gave him (a B+). With his solid special teams play continued and the fact he made some plays on defense as well though, Pierre has easily jumped into the low A range. That isn’t to say he was elite, but the fact that as an undrafted rookie Pierre made this roster and eventually got to play on the defense is a telling sign of his future with the team.

No one expected him to make the roster due to the limited offseason let alone the fact he was an undrafted rookie, but he has proven that he belongs. Now, it will be up to him to develop as a defender and take on the role of top outside backup. He seems to have jumped Justin Layne for now, which is a good first step, but he needs to set himself apart from the rest of the competition next offseason. He has a bright future with this team, and his early returns as an undrafted player make him an easy “A” grade.

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