5 best Pittsburgh Steelers players through the first quarter of 2021 season

Cameron Heyward #97 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Cameron Heyward #97 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Melvin Ingram (8). /

4. Steelers EDGE Melvin Ingram

Looking at Melvin Ingram strictly from the box score would be a poor way to evaluate his impact so far this season. While he’s been credited with just one sack on the season so far, his ability to get consistent pressure on the quarterback has been remarkable.

Ingram is quickly proving to be one of the best rotational edge defenders in the NFL thanks to his craftiness and experience to line up on either side of the formation. The former Pro Bowler has the flexibility to rush from anywhere on the field and an arsenal of crafty moves at his disposal.

When T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith are healthy, he has shown to be even better, as he can stay fresh and rotate in for each player. Though he’s lacking basic production, advanced statistics suggest he has been much better than stats would indicate.

Through four games, Ingram has earned 11 pressures and 7 quarterback hits on 119 passing snaps. All of this equates to him earning the 18th-best grade among NFL edge defenders, via Pro Football Focus.

Ingram clearly passes the eye test and has easily been the strongest addition to this team in the offseason. If he’s able to get to finish at the quarterback a bit more frequently, he could rise up these rankings even further by the halfway point of the season.