Defensive grades for Steelers and their rivals entering 2022 draft
By Austin Lloyd
An old sports claim is that defense wins championships. If such a theory is true, then how good are the AFC North’s current chances of winning a title next year?
We have already covered the offensive half of each AFC North team entering the upcoming NFL draft, and a rather obvious takeaway was that some of the offenses listed were better than some of the others.
But while a team’s offense plays a heavy role in how a season may unfold, the defensive end of the spectrum is arguably just as important. After all, a squad with an “okay” offense can make a fair amount of noise with an elite defense constantly stifling its foes; it happens in sports all the time.
With that said, there are definitely some offensive concerns to look at when approaching the AFC North (most namely with the Steelers). However, could any of the division’s powers surprise fans in 2022 solely by their defenses coming to play?
Only time will tell the NFL world for certain, but until then, it wouldn’t hurt to look at what each team can build off of with the draft coming later this month. So without further ado, here are the pre-draft defensive grades for the Steelers and their three rivals in the AFC North.
Just like when breaking down the offenses, please remember that the appearances of the active rosters are what will get the most attention here; 2021 statistics–while important–will only hold so much weight in the grading criteria.
With all of that out of the way, let’s get started.