6 Pittsburgh Steelers next in line to be Pro Bowlers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have some exciting young talent on the roster that have yet to reach the Pro Bowl.
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

Sure, being chosen to play in the Pro Bowl isn't the honor it used to be. That said, it does gauge the public perception of a player. After all, it's one big popularity contest.

The Steelers have some of the league's most exciting young talent, however several have yet to reach the Pro Bowl. Of course, Pittsburgh will need to produce more acceptable results, both statistically and on the scoreboard, for these players to get the attention required to reach the Pro Bowl.

Nonetheless, these Steelers should be the next in line to earn a Pro Bowl selection for the first time within the next year or two, ordered from least likely to most likely.

#6: DT Keeanu Benton

Statistically, there isn't much to say about Keeanu Benton's rookie campaign. In 17 games and nine starts, the second-round pick in 2023 tallied 20 tackles, with one tackle for loss, one sack, and two forced fumbles. His eight QB hits are notable, but Benton was brought in as a run-stopper, so he needs to take that next step.

Still, visually, Benton clearly understands his role in the Steelers' defense and has a presence in the middle of the defensive front.

Like many defensive linemen before him, his national notoriety may fall short of the pride Pittsburgh fans have in him. However, he's gotten plenty of mention from commentary teams and analysts for his ability to make impact plays even when it doesn't show up in the stat sheet.

#5: CB Joey Porter Jr.

Joey Porter Jr. had enough of an impact in his rookie season to earn the right to follow each team's No. 1 receiver after he took a starting role on the outside.

His stats backed it up as he allowed just 47% of passes in his coverage to be completed while allowing a single touchdown.

Porter is already recognized as a star in the making in league circles and has that vocal aspect his father had to ensure he gets his due attention. It's only a matter of time before JPJ is topping Pro Bowl votes among cornerbacks. A strong 2024 season could see him get his first selection, though a trip in 2025 is more likely, all things considered.

#4: EDGE Alex Highsmith

For whatever reason, Alex Highsmith is an overlooked player in the NFL from a national perspective. It's likely a natural occurrence considering even TJ Watt gets his unfair share of snubs too.

Despite a monstrous 2022 season, Highsmith still hasn't been named to a Pro Bowl in his bright career. A dip in production with a healthy Watt opposite of him in 2023 doesn't help much.

It'll take more than 10 sacks to get his first Pro Bowl invitation. He needs style points and a positive narrative to grab the necessary votes.

#3: TE Pat Freiermuth

Despite being confidently regarded as a top-10 tight end in the NFL, Pat Freiermuth hasn't had the production required to get a Pro Bowl nod.

It seems Freiermuth is either lacking yards, touchdowns, or simply targets each season, but the hope is with competent quarterback play and play calling, Freiermuth finally has a chance to put together a complete season in 2024.

Still, Russell Wilson isn't known for utilizing his tight ends as often as you may expect. But with the Steelers lacking a true No. 2 receiver in the offense and Freiermuth being arguably the most talented tight end Wilson has ever had, the veteran may make more use of his new weapon this season.

#2: RB Jaylen Warren

Najee Harris got his Pro Bowl invite as a rookie, but his running mate will soon do just the same.

Many football fans inside and outside of the Steelers fandom believe Warren is a better back than Harris already. Whether that is truly the case or not doesn't actually matter. What does matter is that Warren has such attention surrounding him that with a larger volume of touches, he could easily steal votes during the selection process.

Warren had over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in a mismanaged 2023 offense. If the offense improves as expected, Warren could have some valuable reps for the Steelers offense that will grant him even more attention.

Even if Warren doesn't get the nod in 2024, his chances drastically go up if Harris doesn't return in 2025. With that being a real possibility, Warren is more than ready to be the featured back in Pittsburgh, which is a surefire way to be a Pro Bowl selection.

#1: WR George Pickens

George Pickens is one of the most popular NFL receivers who has yet to have a statistical breakout season. He topped 1,100 yards on just 63 receptions last year and it still felt underwhelming.

Pickens has such a high ceiling that it's tough for him to match his expectations. But it should be more likely now that he has competent quarterback play, particularly with Wilson under center.

Wilson has made a career of completing rainbow deep passes and Pickens has been a joy to watch on 50-50 balls early in his career. It's a quality pairing that should benefit Pickens in the stat sheets on a weekly basis.

So long as Pickens's sometimes questionable attitude doesn't disrupt his playing career, it's not unreasonable to believe it's only a matter of time for him to be a Pro Bowl selection.