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Steelers Rookies Look Ready To Make A Difference

Following the past NFL Draft, many national media members along with Steelers fans came away feeling pretty good about the haul the Steelers got, most notably the additions of Broderick Jones and Joey Porter Jr, who both looked stellar in the game against the Ravens before the bye. They’re not the only rookies the Steelers have high hopes for though. Many have raved about defensive lineman Keeanu Benton, a second-round pick out of Wisconsin.

Young Steelers Embrace The Culture

Porter Jr knows how to be a Steeler, he grew up watching his dad play on those rugged early 2000s Steelers defenses that took people’s lunch money. He grew up in the Steelers locker room and after the play he made to intercept Lamar Jackson to set up the George Pickens game-winner, he’s officially here. It’s good to see all those one-on-ones with Pickens in Training Camp pay dividends for both parties.

Porter Jr wasn’t just good against the Ravens though. He’s been solid for the Steelers all year in the times they unleashed him. He’s been exactly what was promised, an elite press-man corner. He’s played 86 snaps allowing a passer rating of 0.0. The kid is flat-out balling when he gets action. The Bears gave us this guy for Chase Claypool? Tough scene.

Left Tackle Broderick Jones got his first career NFL start against the Ravens and also impressed. In 37 pass-blocking snaps, Jones allowed just one pressure against what is usually a pretty good Ravens pass rush. Impressive stuff from the first-round pick out of Georgia. Jones and his competition at Left Tackle, Dan Moore have always been in this together, showing great comradery in training camp, but little brother Jones might’ve just sealed Moore’s fate. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to say that game from Jones was better if not just as good as anything Moore has put on tape.

Keeanu Benton has been quietly putting together a solid rookie campaign so far as he enters week six as PFF’s second-highest-rated rookie Defensive Lineman with a 78.3 rating, coming in right behind Eagles stud Jalen Carter. Not bad for a guy nobody in Pittsburgh had even heard of before his name was called on draft night. Benton can slot in at nose tackle or defensive end, his motor stays the same. Great stuff from 95, hopefully, his snaps increase after the bye week.

Other Steelers Rookies To Look Forward To

The three guys already named are the guys you get to see on Sunday, but what about the ones we haven’t gotten to see much of? Edge Nick Herbig was electric in the preseason. He was flying around out there. He hasn’t seemed to get many snaps yet in the new season, or at least hasn’t been able to get his hands on those splash plays he was making in the preseason yet. Between the greatness of TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith and the solid stopgap that is Markus Golden, Herbig hasn’t had much opportunity to get his nose dirty yet but his time is coming.

Another rookie that many Steelers fans were excited to see was Cornerback Cory Trice. He was a seventh-round pick from Perdue and after seeing him in OTAs, Steelers fans were quick to compare him to Porter Jr. They do look like twins out there, and Trice is believed to be close to the same skill set as Porter Jr, a lengthy press-man corner. Unfortunately in Training Camp, Trice suffered a non-contact knee injury that ended his rookie campaign before it even started, a tough pill to swallow for the ones who were excited to see him this year.

Looking at it so far, this is one of the Steelers better draft classes in a while. They got at least three guys who appear to have Starter capability, and that’s without mentioning Tight End Darnell Washington who hasn’t gotten much receiving work but has excelled as a blocker. Omar Khan has been great in drafting and free agency scenarios up to this point, now it’s just up to the guys to perform on the field. The Steelers will need these guys to continue their strong play down the stretch if they want to stay involved in the playoff picture when the time comes.


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Will The Steelers Make The Playoffs

  • YES

  • NO


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