Rookies that could have bigger roles with the Steelers in year two
The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 rookie class could have bigger roles to play in 2023 as there will be turnover across the roster.
Getting impact players in the 2022 NFL Draft was something the Steelers needed to accomplish to have any hope of competition this season. They were able to get some young players and put them into the starting lineup at different points in their rookie years. Results varied with how their performances went, but most of the impact that these players applied was in a positive light.
Kenny Pickett gets an honorable mention for this list as many will have even higher expectations for him heading into year two. It was just announced that Matt Canada will be returning for 2023, and that will put more pressure on Pickett to show progress. He has another step that he needs to take in his sophomore year, plus the likelihood of his leadership role expanding seems high.
Leal could have high expectations in year two with the Steelers
Pittsburgh used their third-round selection on DeMarvin Leal this past spring and it got a lot of love. It was a highly valued pick at the time, even if people spoke about his upside rather than his immediate impact. This rookie was able to show some promising things during his rookie campaign. That role was limited and had some bumps in the road as Leal dealt with injury.
A major thing that will affect this player’s career moving forward will be his deployment on defense. Leal lined up in the trenches for the Steelers this season despite being undersized right now. He could be an edge rusher at his current weight, but they could always ask him to try and fill out his frame more to become an every down lineman.