5 Steelers who could make their first Pro Bowl in 2023

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Pittsburgher Hervey Allen, who is known for his 1933 novel Anthony Adverse which told stories of the early United States and was later turned into a blockbuster film famously said: "Each new generation is a fresh invasion of savages."

Now that the Big Ben era is over in the Steel City, Steeler Nation is hoping that this new generation of Pittsburgh Steelers are savages, as Allen proposed.

Plenty of Steelers on the active roster have made pro bowls in the past. These include T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Diontae Johnson, and Chris Boswell.

Let's take a look at which Steelers players have the best chance to make their first pro bowl this season.

1. George Pickens #14 Wide Receiver

George Pickens is coming off of a stellar rookie season in which the Steelers 22-year-old wideout ranked 4th in receiving yards amongst rookies (801 yards). Perhaps even more impressive, Pickens had an average Yards Per Catch of 15.4 yards (8th in the NFL).

The high-jumping, acrobatic catches that Pickens made in 2022 have fans thrilled to see what he can do in 2023. If Pickens can showcase his elite body control once again and become more of a red zone threat in 2023, a Pro Bowl selection is likely.

2. Alex Highsmith #56 Outside Linebacker

When perennial pro bowler TJ Watt went down with an injury in week 1 of 2022, Alex Highsmith had to carry the load. The UNC Charlotte University alum did so masterfully. Highsmith played in all 17 games and received pro bowl alternate list honors in 2022.

Receiving Pro Bowl alternate honors was odd, considering he ranked 6th in the NFL in sacks (14.5) and tied for the most forced fumbles in the NFL (5). After signing a massive 4-year $68 million contract extension with the Steelers in July, Highsmith will surely want to prove 2022 was no fluke. There should be no snubbing #56 when it's all said and done in 2023.

3. Isaac Seumalo #73 Offensive Guard

Another pro bowl alternate last season, new-signing Isaac Seumalo is bound to make his presence known quickly to a Steelers offensive line that has been mediocre in recent years. Seumalo was a pivotal piece to the Philadelphia Eagles team that made it to Super Bowl LVII in 2022.

The 29-year-old Hawaii native allowed just one sack through 1,135 offensive snaps in 2022 and played in all 17 games. His elite blocking skills could drastically improve the Steelers running game with Najee Harris & Co. Plus, Hawaiians tend to be fan favorites in Pittsburgh a la Troy Polamalu.

4. Najee Harris #22 Running Back

The man runs like he's chewing nails, about to spit out a barbed wire fence. Back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons still haven't left #22 satisfied. Najee Harris is no longer healing from a foot injury that plagued him in 2022— and that, combined with a beefed-up Steelers offensive line, could make for a breakout season for the third-year running back in 2023.

The Steelers will most likely be a run-heavy offense in 2023, meaning Najee will probably get a ton of carries. Harris could be virtually unstoppable if he remains healthy and can bull his way for positive gains this season.

5. Pat Freiermuth #88 Tight End

Freiermuth was recently ranked the 9th best tight end in the NFL according to ESPN's rankings which executives, coaches, and scouts vote on throughout the league. The man known as "MUTH" in Pittsburgh should become more of a pass-catching tight end this season, while third-round draft pick Darnell Washington handles most of the run-blocking.

An interesting statistic about Freiermuth is that all of his nine career touchdowns have come inside the red zone. If Muth can exceed his touchdown numbers through his savvy route running, the 24-year-old third-year tight end could easily make his first pro bowl.

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