5 second-year Pittsburgh Steelers poised for big seasons in 2022

Pat Freiermuth #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Pat Freiermuth #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Billy Turner (77) blocks Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (92). /

The Pittsburgh Steelers have some young players who showed promise as rookies. These five players are poised for breakout seasons in year two. 

It’s hard to not view the Pittsburgh Steelers as a team on a downward spiral. In addition to having major questions marks at the quarterback position for the first time in 18 years, Mike Tomlin’s defense fell back down to earth in 2021.

Entering the 2022 offseason, Pittsburgh is projected to have more roster turnover. While Kevin Colbert has ample cap space to work with, the Steelers are short on draft capital. Fortunately, there’s hope.

Though it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the 2021 rookie class, the outlook heading into the next season is pretty encouraging. Here are five second-year players poised for big seasons in 2022:

Steelers DL Isaiah Loudermilk

Isaiahh Loudermilk didn’t get enough praise for what he was able to come in and do as a rookie fifth-round pick. From a high-school player who played 7-on-7, to a widely unknown college player at Wisconsin, to his rookie season in the NFL, I don’t think many would have predicted that Loudermilk would have been as good as he was right away.

From a statistical standpoint, Loudermilk was underwhelmed as a rookie, and it wasn’t always pretty. However, he showed the ability to hold up at the point of attack and quickly detach from blocks to tackle the ball-carrier close to the line of scrimmage.

Loudermilk weighed in at just 274 pounds at his Pro Day but has clearly put on muscle since then. With a full offseason of NFL weight training, Loudermilk should add ample strength to play the 5-technique position. He’s a player who could take a big step up in his second season for the Steelers.