Every Steelers player ranked by tiers entering the 2023 offseason
Steelers Tier 2: Approaching Pro Bowl level
Pat Freiermuth, Cameron Sutton, George Pickens, Alex Highsmith
While the Pittsburgh Steelers certainly don’t have as many young up-and-comers as a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, they certainly have a few players to get excited about. After a big drop from the All-Pros of tier 1, my tier two performers from the 2022 season consist of four players who are nearing a Pro Bowl level.
When healthy, Pat Freiermuth was one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL this past year. Entering Week 16, Freiermuth trailed only the great Travis Kelce in terms of his overall grade from Pro Football Focus. However, the Steelers didn’t target him much over the final stretch of the season. Still, Freiermuth has a chance to be a staple of this offense for a long time.
Joining Freiermuth in tier 2 on the offensive side of the ball is rookie WR George Pickens. The talented second-round pick outplayed his draft status in 2022. Though he still has a lot to prove, Pickens showed that the sky is the limit and the best is yet to come. Despite shaky QB play for much of the year, Pickens was one of the most efficient receivers in football — managing an impressive 9.5 yards per target and had a passer rating of 109.3 when targeted.
Defensively, Alex Highsmith and Cameron Sutton jump up to tier 2 thanks to strong performances during the 2022 season. Highsmith earned an impressive 14.5 sacks and a league-leading 5 forced fumbles despite not playing with T.J. Watt for half the year while Sutton earned career highs in interceptions (3) and passes defended (15) for his best season yet.