Steelers final report card: Grading each positional group for the 2023 season

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Tight ends: C

We all had high hopes for the tight end group in Pittsburgh this year, but needless to say, we were disappointed with the way things turned out. Pat Freiermuth was coming off a career year in 2022, while we were hoping that Darnell Washington would prove to be one of the biggest draft steals after the Steelers took him in the third round this past April. So far, that hasn't been the case.

Freiermuth missed a long stretch this year with a hamstring injury. As a result, he started just 9 games and dressed for 12 total contests. We thought that Freiermuth could push toward his first 1,000-yard season if he was able to stay healthy, but even when he was on the field, he wasn't a focal point of the offense.

Freiermuth finished the season with just 32 receptions for 308 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Meanwhile, Washington was a complete non-factor in the passing game -- despite his 6'7'' frame and unmatched length. He caught just 7 of 10 passes for 61 yards this year.

Connor Heyward chipped in pedestrian numbers through the air, but the collection of this group graded out rather poorly in 2023, according to Pro Football Focus. The tight ends weren't detrimental to the offense, but they weren't exactly a positive either for most of the year.