Steelers second biggest winner: Connor Heyward
Connor Heyward has continued to defy expectations since he was drafted. Taken in the sixth round, the immediate expectation was that he would make the quick shift to fullback given his small size. There was even talk that he could move into the running back room, as the Steelers like bigger tight ends.
Not only did he stick at tight end as a rookie, but he made an impact there later in the season. He is a good route runner and has deceptively good hands. No, he can’t block on the edge against bigger defenders, but he works well in space and is an asset with the ball in his hands.
With no true fullback on the roster, the expectation this offseason once again was a full-time move to that spot. Again, Heyward has proven that he is more than that. While he has lined up as an H-Back at times, he hasn’t done a lot of true fullback work. That role seems to have shrunk, and I expect the Steelers to use Heyward in a variety of ways because of it.
At this point, Heyward will likely see work at tight end, H-back, fullback, running back, and even out of the slot on offense. Add in his impressive ability on special teams and you have a chess piece that adds value in a wide variety of ways. He has shown off his ability to make plays everywhere and has taken quite a few steps forward in his second camp.