3. Alex Highsmith, Edge Defender
T.J. Watt is the Steelers player who has routinely gotten the most attention over the past several years (and rightfully so), but we need to focus on just how brilliant Alex Highsmith was in Week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Highsmith wrecked LT Orlando Brown Jr. all game long, and it was only a matter of time before he recorded a sack.
In addition to causing quick pressure on the quarterback and forcing Jake Browning into a number of bad throws, Highsmith also had one of the more impressive interceptions you will see from an edge defender this year. The former third-round pick lunged for a pick on a pass attempt down the seam -- sealing a game that was over before it started.
The former college walk-on has done nothing but impress since coming to Pittsburgh back in 2022. This year, you could make a strong case that Highsmith is and has been the second-best player on the team next to only T.J. Watt.
Highsmith does not have gaudy sack numbers this season, but the film speaks louder than the box score stats, and anyone who consistently watches him knows that. Highsmith just added one of the most impressive games of the season to the most impressive season of his career.