4 reasons Steelers fans should be thankful this season

T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Tight end Pat Freiermuth #88 running back Najee Harris #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Steelers rookie class

One of the best aspects of the Steelers 2021 season has been how great their rookie class has played. From top to bottom, this group has been one of, if not the, best in the league. The fact that both their top picks and their later-round picks, sans Buddy Johnson, have all found ways to play, and most importantly play well.

Starting with Najee Harris, the running back has been as advertised so far this season. While it would benefit the Steelers to lean heavily on the rookie, he has still produced well for the team. Even more impressive has been Pat Freiermuth. Tight ends traditionally have a tough transition to the pros, but Freiermuth has been effective as both a blocker and a pass-catcher. The rookie could be a top tight end in a years’ time.

The top guys are expected to do that in the modern NFL, but the Steelers have gotten serious contributions from their late-round picks. Pressley Harvin has had his ups and downs as a punter, but when he is on, his leg strength is incredible. Isaiahh Loudermilk has stepped up as a reserve as well, and the argument can be made that the rookie has earned more snaps due to his solid play.

The real gem seems to be Tre Norwood, as the seventh-round pick has excelled in the role he has been given. He was playing well as the dime defender, and it seems like he has earned more snaps in the slot going forward. The rookie has been a gem for the team and has a bright future with the team.

Even the rookie linemen have done better than they thought they would. Both Dan Moore and Kendrick Green have had plenty of struggles, but each has positive traits to build off of. This class should be great for the team in the long term. With the Steelers set to rebuild, the 2021 draft class should be the core of this team moving forward.