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A level-headed news-discussion site with a sense of history and community 2021-05-08T09:30:00-04:00
Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

Podcast: Why Steelers fans should be excited for the 2021 draft class

Mon, 05/03/2021 - 4:30am

Jeff Hartman brings an AM studio show to the BTSC family of podcasts with the latest episode of “Let’s Ride“.

The 2021 NFL Draft has concluded and Steelers fans are mixed on their opinions. And that’s the way it should be. But BTSC is taking a look at the bright side of the draft with reasons to be excited about this class from Najee to Pressley and all the men in between. This is the main topic that will be discussed on the latest episode of the morning flagship show in the BTSC family of podcasts. Join BTSC co-editor Jeff Hartman for this and more on “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • The 2021 Steelers Draft Class and why to be excited about the new nine
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman of BTSC walks you through everything you need to know regarding the black-and-gold.

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE


Google Play: CLICK HERE

You can listen to the show in the player below.

Know your new Steelers enemies after Day 3 of the 2021 Draft

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 2:30pm
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Get to know the players that were drafted into the AFC North and are now instant rivals of Steeler Nation.

The third day of the NFL draft brought more Pittsburgh Steelers for Steeler Nation to cheer for. But with that, it serves up more players to serve as instant rivals to boo. This time around, I am going to enlist scouting report help from Andrew Wilbar (steelerfan11), Ryland B. and SNW (Itz JustNoah). These guys do a phenomenal job with prospects on the BTSC Big Board. Here’s who will oppose Pittsburgh as new members of the AFC North.

Round 4 Pick 110 Cleveland Browns select OT James Hudson - Cincinnati Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

This is another nice pick for the Browns. I had him mocked to the Steelers in Round 4. Hudson is a raw and athletic specimen that will need to improve his pass-protection skills. But he could be a future starter at LT once he grows into the role. Hudson will have time to gel at the next level.

Ryland B.: Hudson is an athletic, raw prospect at offensive tackle coming out of Cincinnati. It’s easy to see why people like him so much on tape, as he’s big, powerful, and a fluid athlete. He plays with good aggressiveness and drive, his mobility really shines on some reps. There are some pretty glaring issues though, as Hudson’s technique can be all over the place. Sometimes he plays too high, and he can sometimes reach too much instead of mirroring. He seems to be a bit grabby at times too. Hudson certainly has the potential to fix all of these issues and be a very good starter in the NFL, but don’t expect him to start day one.

Round 4 Pick 111 Cincinnati Bengals select DE Cameron Sample - Tulane Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Again, this team needs defense. Sample has speed to get to the quarterback.

Ryland B: With a leaner build and a weight of 280 pounds, Sample projects more as an edge rusher on the NFL level than a defensive tackle. Sample’s versatility, the ability to play on the edge, in the interior, and even at linebacker at times, is an impressive and valuable asset. Sample has good straight line speed and solid agility, and he’s a sure tackler who plays with a very good motor. Sample has good pass-rushing technique and run-stopping discipline, and he plays with good power although it is far from ideal for an interior defender. Sample is probably best suited as a defensive end on a 4-3 defense.

Round 4 Pick 113 Cleveland Browns trade the pick to Detroit for Pick No. 153

With the selection, the Lions select DE Derrick Barnes from Purdue. The Browns get another pick in the fifth round.

Round 4 Pick 122 Cincinnati Bengals select DT Tyler Shelvin - LSU Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Bengals going heavy on defense. They really need to,

Itz JustNoah: His production wasn’t the best in 2019 but he still looked great. He has a lot of power in his push, his hand technique is great and he wraps up well. He may not get after the quarterback but he’s incredible as a run stopper and with proper pass rushing technique he could be very good

Round 4 Pick 131 Baltimore Ravens select WR Tylan Wallace - Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Ravens double down on wideouts with a really good one. The Steelers secondary better be ready for Baltimore’s burners.

Ryland B.: Tylan Wallace has been consistently productive as a three-year starter at Oklahoma State, racking up nearly 3,500 receiving yards in his career as a contested-catch specialist. Wallace doesn’t have great size or speed, and his lanky frame limits his agility and quickness. However, he’s a good football player, period. Wallace has really great hands and tracks the ball well, and despite not being the biggest guy, he wins a lot of jump balls. He’s a scrappy, physical receiver who is an excellent blocker and tough to bring down after the catch, fighting hard for yardage every time. He also sells out for the ball when it’s in the air, fighting through the defender and contorting his body to find a way to make the catch. Wallace was an excellent college receiver, but his athletic profile may hinder his transition to the NFL.

Round 4 Pick 132 Cleveland Browns select DT Tommy Togiai - Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

More defense in “The Land”, The crowd loved the pick amd that line gets even more stout.

Ryland B.: A bit of a departure from the raw, highly-athletic prospects that make up a good portion of this list, Togiai doesn’t have the highest upside, but instead has one of the safer floors in this class. He doesn’t have elite size, but he still uses it well, as he has good strength and power and is a good run defender. As a pass-rusher he’s less developed but he still is fairly quick and mobile and can collapse the pocket from the interior. His hand usage really stood out as well. He’s a very solid prospect to round out the top 10 at his position in this year’s draft.

Round 4 Pick 139 Cleveland Browns select OT D’Ante Smith - East Carolina Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Protection for Baker is imperative. Dude can’t afford to lose any more brain cells.

Ryland B.: The first thing that stands out about Smith is his weight, listed at 274 pounds on most sites. While I think he plays a lot bigger than his listed weight, he’s severely undersized for the position. However, he showed up 20 pounds heavier for the Senior Bowl and played pretty well from what I saw, which is a good sign. On tape, Smith is a mauler who plays with a nasty streak and will block to the whistle. He has good drive and power and a strong initial punch. In pass pro he was solid and showed off some good athleticism. He’s not as technically strong or polished as some of the others in this class, and his smaller school and size could be an issue, but I think Smith is a solid prospect. While trying to find some info on Smith online I came across this interview from The Draft Network with him, which is certainly worth a read.

Round 5 Pick 149 Cincinnati Bengals select K Evan McPherson - Florida Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Bungles get a kicker in Round 5? Seems about right.

BAD: Yes, the Bengals just took a kicker in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL draft. McPherson went 51-for-60 on field goals and 149-for-150 on PATs in his college career. Maybe the Cincy brass just liked the fact that he has a viral trick shot that can unscrew a Gatorade cap from 20-yards out. That will be valuable when Joe Burrow is in a body cast due to the fact that his team has down very little to protect him in the past two drafts.

Round 5 Pick 153 Cleveland Browns select LB Tony Fields II - West Virginia Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If the Browns need to sure up anything on defense, it’s in the middle. Solid pick.

steelerfan11: Fields was one of my favorite under-the-radar prospects to watch this season. Every time I watched West Virginia, he flew to the ball and continually made plays for the Mountaineer defense. He displayed his speed at his pro day, running a 4.5 flat in the 40. The big concern with him is his size. He is undersized and does not have a gigantic frame to add a ton of extra weight. He is still somewhat inexperienced dropping into zone, but he has the range and awareness to cover tight ends, running backs, and even slot receivers. If he can add about 10 pounds and maintain his speed, I think Fields has a chance to become a starting MACK linebacker in the NFL.

Round 5 Pick 160 Baltimore Ravens select CB Shaun Wade - Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Steeler Nation wanted this guy because of his having a brand name. I always think the Ravens draft well, I’m just not sold on Wade.

steelerfan11: Wade had a fantastic year in 2019 when Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette were manning the outside, but Wade struggled mightily when he was asked to be a boundary corner in 2020. Wade made a few decent plays, but he struggled for the most part. However, literally whenever Ohio State moved him to the slot for a few plays, he was his old self and was blanketing receivers. Ty Fryfogle of Indiana absolutely torched Wade all day when he was playing on the outside, but on the few occasions he was put in the slot, he did well against Whop Philyor and the other Indiana receivers. As a prospect, I like Wade’s athleticism and upside, and I think the 2020 season was just a fluke. Some think that he will move to safety, but I honestly think playing the nickel is what he does best. If he can be an inside-only corner for a team, he could be a potential pro-bowler down the line.

Round 5 Pick 169 Cleveland Browns select DB Richard LeCounte - Georgia Photo by Jamie Gilliam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Browns bolster a solid secondary with LeCounte.

steelerfan11: LeCounte’s pro day numbers will make you shy away from him, but he was the leader of a Georgia defense that will likely have six or seven players drafted this year. He is an excellent leader on the field and was nearly flawless in terms of communication. He ran a horrible 40 time at his pro day, but much like Paris Ford, some numbers are almost so bad to believe that you really can’t believe it. If you watch the tape, you would guess that he would run three-tenths of a second faster than he actually did. If he can prove that his athleticism is better than what he showed at his pro day, he could become a starting free safety down the line.

Round 5 Pick 171 Baltimore Ravens select DL Daelin Hayes - Notre Dame Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The ravens are trying to bolster their defensive unit and have had plenty of free agent departures in recent years. Hayes was a guy I wanted to see in the Steel City.

steelerfan11: Hayes is the 4-3 version of Joseph Ossai, except he does not have the high ceiling that Ossai has. He is a natural pass rusher and looks very fluid coming around the edge, but his athleticism is not eye-popping. He never eclipsed three sacks in one season at Notre Dame, but he had a good Senior Bowl week which was highlighted by a strip sack in 11-on-11 drills. He is a solid run-blocker and sets the edge well, but there are still questions as to whether he can be a three-down player in the NFL.

Round 5 Pick 184 Baltimore Ravens select FB Ben Mason - Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Baltimore always finds Pro Bowl-quality fullbacks. Here’s another.

steelerfan11: Fullbacks don’t generally get this high of a grade, but I had to make an exception for Big Ben Mason. Michigan used him sporadically at defensive end because of his outstanding strength. Mason generally does a good job of picking up blitzes as a pass blocker, and he maintains a good pad level as a run blocker. He got opportunities as a runner in short yardage situations as well, and Michigan had success with it. His contributions on special teams also helps his draft stock.

Round 6 Pick 190 Cincinnati Bengals select C Trey Hill - Georgia

One of the best Bengals picks in later rounds. This guy could start for years,

steelerfan11: If you ever read my comments about my hopes for the Steelers this offseason, Trey Hill has probably been mentioned at some point in time. Hill just turned 21 and still has a lot of room to grow as a prospect, but he could start from day one if need be. He gets good leverage, uses his hands well, and maintains a low pad level. He has excellent power and is an absolute mauler in the run game, and I believe his ability to get to the second level of the defense is way better than what your average scouting report on him will say. While he has sufficient mobility and has shown the ability to pull as either a center or guard, he isn’t super light on his feet. If he remains at center, he may want to drop a couple pounds. I believe that Hill is one of the most underrated players in this draft. If he is still there on day three, some team is getting an absolute steal.

Round 6 Pick 202 Cincinnati Bengals select RB Chris Evans - Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Does Cincy realize that they didn’t just draft Captain America? I bet that they really think that the Marvel Superhero is coming to the jungle.

BAD: Evans is a dynamic, late-round pick to add depth to a team’s running back corps. He is a natural athlete with good hands and route-running ability as a receiver out of the backfield. The rub on this guy is that he is inconsistent bouncing it outside and goes down easily.

Round 6 Pick 211 Cleveland Browns select RB Demetric Felton - UCLA Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

More of a receiver now than a running back. With Schwartz and now Felton, The Browns just got faster and harder to flush down.

Ryland B.: Felton is a highly athletic and versatile running back. He has great speed and excellent agility, although his lack of size and power could be a concern at the NFL level. Felton is dynamic on the outside, but running between the tackles will not be an option for him at the next level. What makes Felton special is his ability to play receiver, as he lined up in the slot at times at UCLA, and has looked good running routes at the Senior Bowl this year against good competition. Felton’s strong hands and aforementioned quickness make him a threat catching passes, and his speed and running ability make him an interesting day three option, although he is far from an every down player.

Round 7 Pick 235 Cincinnati Bengals select DE Wyatt Hubert - Kansas State Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Good depth and future ST captain? Possibly.

Ryland B.: Hubert was quite productive at Kansas State, but his physical limitations may prevent him from replicating that in the NFL. AT 6’3”, 270 pounds, Hubert is more compactly built than the average NFL pass-rusher, and paired with his below-average athleticism (for the NFL), I see him having a hard time against offensive tackles on the next level. Hubert would win reps with a relentless motor and good technique, which makes me think he could be an excellent special teamer in the NFL .

What do you think of the players who are going to be new to the division? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers and the 2021 NFL Draft.

Grading the Steelers sixth round selection of Quincy Roche

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 1:30pm
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Miami Edge Quincy Roche with the 216th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Good news, Steelers Nation. After being subjected to a mind numbing amount of mock drafts and plenty of unsubstantiated speculation during what seemed like an inordinately long pre-draft process, minus the Scouting Combine to break up the monotony, the 2021 NFL Draft is finally upon us. I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.

There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Miami Edge Quincy Roche with the 216th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft. This was another huge shocker for yours truly, but for a totally different reason. I couldn't believe that Roche was still on the board at that point of the sixth round. I thought he could have been gone by the fourth round, and would represent exceptional value in the fifth. If the young man flourishes on the edge in the Steelers 3-4 defense as I expect he will, then he may one day be remembered as a draft day steal.

Based on the Steelers need for depth on the edge, his reputation as a skilled pass rusher, and his projected draft value; I give the Steelers selection of Quincy Roche a initial draft grade of B, though I was tempted to go higher.

Roche was a dominant defender for his three seasons playing for the Temple Owls, before transferring to Miami for his final season. Although he wasn't quite as dominant after the step up in talent, he solidified the fact he was a NFL prospect. Roche stands 6'2" and weighs 243 lbs. He has played the majority of his collegiate career with his hand in the dirt, but will be asked to stand up in the Steelers 3-4. He surprised plenty of scouts at his pro day by running a 4.62 forty with a 32" vertical . He also posted 23 reps on the bench press.

Many scouts looked at him as a highly disruptive overachiever, getting every once of production out of his limited athleticism through superior effort and being football savvy. Even though I definitely wouldn't consider that assessment an insult, he showed that he has better speed, strength, and quickness than he was being given credit for. He has been a very productive defender during his time at both Temple and Miami. He has shown a tendency for making impact plays with multiple tackles for a loss and forced fumbles on many of his sacks. He even recovers an inordinate number of fumbles, including ones resulting from his strip sacks. He has definitely displayed a nose for the football.

Some evaluations suggested that Roche is not a quick twitch athlete with the flexibility to naturally bend around the edge on his pass rush, but his Miami coaches disagreed with those assessments. They spoke highly of his football IQ and instincts, and lauded his tendency to make game changing plays. Apparently plenty of teams agreed with some of the negative evaluations, but all it takes is for one team to recognize the potential.

The Steelers claimed they had a late third to fourth round grade on Roche, and they were shocked he was still available in the sixth. The young man should be in an ideal position to enjoy NFL success, with a Steelers franchise who have excelled in identifying and developing linebacker talent. He will not be asked to do too much immediately, mainly to spell T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith for a series or two each game. He will be expected to utilize his athleticism and aggression on the coverage teams. Based on the lack of edge depth currently on the roster l like his chances of making the final roster to start the season.

Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.

I am pleased to welcome Quincy Roche to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC staff and community. Go Steelers!

Stock Report: See whose stock is rising, and falling after day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 12:30pm
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers added a lot of players to their roster on the last day of the draft.

The Steelers Stock Report is here to give you updates on trends and events that are likely to affect the team in the future. With 6 players selected on the third and final day of the 2021 NFL Draft, let’s take a look at how that affects the team.

Stock Up: James Pierre and Justin Layne

The Steelers have four cornerbacks on the roster with on-field experience in their defense. Joe Haden, Cameron Sutton, Justin Layne and James Pierre. It was assumed the Steelers would need to add multiple defensive backs in the draft, or at least a mid-round pick that could play significant snaps in their rookie season.

Instead the Steelers added a 7th round “Swiss Army Knife” utility defensive back and several undrafted free agents. With Justin Layne 3 days away from a hearing on felony gun charges, the Steelers showed remarkable faith in the ability of James Pierre to be the #3 corner, as his competition is uncertain at best. This may also show that the Steelers think Layne’s legal problems will not interrupt his career.

Stock Down: Joe Haeg

Joe Haeg signed with the Steelers to backup both offensive tackle spots. After drafting Dan Moore Jr. from Texas A&M Adrian Klemm stated that they do not see Moore as a developmental prospect, but plan to throw him into competition for a role from the very start. That’s not great news for Joe Haeg, who not only has increased competition for his spot, but also has the specter of the compensatory pick calculations over his head, as cutting Haeg could help the Steelers secure a pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Stock Up: Competition in the trenches

The Steelers added Kendrick Green in day two of the draft, but in day 3 they added a tackle in Dan Moore Jr., and then invested in an inside linebacker, a position that seems to have significant depth. Significantly deep is an understatement for the defensive line position, with seven lineman returning that played snaps in 2020, and yet that didn’t stop the Steelers from trading a 2022 4th round pick to acquire Isaiahh Loudermilk in the 5th round. They also added Quincy Roche at outside linebacker in the sixth round. It is clear the Steelers want a lot of competition in their front seven on defense and on the offensive line.

Stock Down: Vince Williams

The inside linebacker the Steelers acquired in the 4th round is Buddy Johnson from Texas A&M, a team leader that also led the team in tackles. Johnson is a smaller linebacker and a high testing athlete (9.22 RAS) but he isn’t a coverage linebacker, he’s more of a Buck linebacker, and the “more athletic version of Vince Williams” we have been expecting the Steelers to look for.

Buddy Johnson may start the season as primarily a special teams contributor, but he will compete for snaps, and push the Steelers 2nd longest tenured defender for playing time.

Stock Up: Attitude

The Steelers cited the competitive “nasty” attitude of their 3rd round pick Kendrick Green, then continued to draft players and cite their personality and attitude as important factors. The Steelers were clearly targeting players with a little more nastiness in their game, and it may be a reaction to the way the Steelers took an entire half to recover from the botched snap touchdown in their Wild Card game. The Steelers focused on finding players that are team leaders with a little more fight in them, and I don’t think it is a coincidence.

Stock Down: Jordan Berry

The Steelers always bring in someone to be the second punter for the offseason, but this year they drafted that second punter, and Pressley Harvin III looks more like the future starter than a camp body. Harvin led the NCAA in average punt distance, and among punters with significant punt attempts, came second in net punt yardage. His hang time and distance fit the older NFL style of punter, but he also excels in placement of his punts, which is usually preferred now. For anyone who is a fan of kickers, this summer should provide an interesting match-up between the talented rookie and the veteran who has survived a lot of these competitions.

Steelers Nation reacts to the Steelers Day 3 draft picks

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 11:30am
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL Draft is complete and the fan base is amped up.

Finally, the 2021 NFL Draft is completed. After six total selections on Day 3, 8 more undrafted free agents, and a handful of rookie camp invitees the process is complete. With any new acquisition you know the fan base will react. Below you will find the best reactions to the Steelers 2021 Day three draft picks.

Dan Moore Jr., OT, Texas A&M

Kendrick Green loves the Steelers Dan Moore Jr pick. #Steelers

— BlitzburghVideos ✨ (@BlitzVideos) May 1, 2021

That's two zone-blocking run-first OL in Kendrick Green and now Dan Moore Jr. in back-to-back picks for the #Steelers. Clear message sent after drafting two skill position guys. First time since 1984 they got 4 straight offensive players. (Louis Lipps year). #NFLDraft

— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) May 1, 2021

Dan Moore Jr. was drafted with pick 128 of round 4 in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 8.98 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 118 out of 1143 OT from 1987 to 2021. #RAS #Steelers

— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 1, 2021

Going to the STEELERS
So PROUD!!!! ☝

— Stacy Moore-Kelly (@StacyMooreKell1) May 1, 2021

The Steelers filled all of their offensive holes with their first fourth round pick. Moore offers the Steelers great length, and a key developmental piece. Moore is another road grader, and one more piece in the puzzle of fixing the run game.

Buddy Johnson, ILB, Texas A&M

Steelers take LB Buddy Johnson

1. Cowboy collar
2. First name 'Buddy'
3. Wears #1

GREAT pick

— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) May 1, 2021

The incomparable Steelers ILB coach Jerry Olsavsky on the team’s 4th-rd pick Buddy Johnson

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 1, 2021

Buddy Johnson’s momma with the ultimate draft day drip

— Lia Musgrave (@LiaMusgrave) May 1, 2021

Steelers covering all their needs. Buddy Johnson coming to the burgh!

— Drew Hannis (@DrewHannis) May 1, 2021

The Steelers added another thumper to their inside linebacker room. This one was seen as a bit of a reach, but a near perfect fit. Being able to sit and learn behind a number of veterans will do him some good. —Side note don't you just love Coach Olsavsky what a clip

Isaiahh Loudermilk, DT, Wisconsin

"I'm from the south. You know they say defensive linemen are just like pretty women. There's not a lot of them, and everybody wants one. When you find a big guy like that, you want to get him." - #Steelers DL coach Karl Dunbar on 5th round pick Isaiah Loudermilk. #NFLDraft

— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) May 1, 2021

I love GMKC but there’s always that one pick every draft that you think he has a serious brain fart and you’re just thinking “what are you doing?!”. This was it.

— Dylan F. Nasse (@Dylfreakinnasse) May 1, 2021

— Mark I Am (@lmanpunk) May 1, 2021

Steelers DC Keith Butler says fifth-round pick Isaiahh Loudermilk kind of reminds him of a young Cam Heyward. Obviously not as developed at this point, hence their vastly different draft spots, but he'll "learn a lot from" Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, etc.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) May 1, 2021

This pick caught everyone off guard. From the trade to get the pick to the pick itself this one came out of left field. The Steelers love Loudermilk, but to most of the fan base/media he was a relative unknown.

Quincy Roche, LB, Miami

Love the Steelers taking Quincy Roche there. Thought he was overrated when people were talking about him as a top 50 guy, but being on the board at 216? 4th rd grade from me, limited but savvy rusher with good physicality and competitive edge.

— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) May 1, 2021


— zach (@zachburgh) May 1, 2021

Another draft W

— Pittsburgh Steeler News (@steeler_news101) May 1, 2021

New Steelers pass rusher Quincy Roche, who grew up in Baltimore, with the line of the day

"I'm in a house full of Ravens fans but I told my family I don't even want to see the color purple anymore. I have somebody dropping off a Terrible Towel tonight." #NFLDraft

— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) May 1, 2021

Perhaps the biggest steal of the Steelers 2021 draft. I have yet to come across someone who didn't love the value and talent of Roche. Positivity flowed through the internet when this pick was announced.

Tre Norwood, CB, Oklahoma

STEELERRRRRR NATIONNNN, let’s go! Excited and thankful for the opportunity to be apart of the organization. Can’t wait to get to work! #SteelerNation #Godsplan #Staythecourse

— Tre Norwood (@trenorwood_3) May 1, 2021

Already better than Denzel ward and Marlon Humphrey. You love to see it.

— Aubrey Graham Cracker (@DmainEvent95) May 1, 2021

Good pick, guy can do everything on defense

— (34-15-3) (@CrosbyWRLD) May 1, 2021

Steelers pick Oklahoma DB Tre Norwood, who could help fill depth needs at both CB and S. That's why I like the pick. Also had five interceptions last year.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) May 1, 2021

When the Steelers finally got a corner in the draft you could feel the fan base exhale simultaneously. Like Coach Mike Tomlin said he’s a Swiss army knife that can do a little bit of everything for this defense.

Pressley Harvin III, P, Georgia Tech

Important FYI: new Steelers punter Pressley Harvin III also throws dimes.

— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 1, 2021

Pressley Harvin III, just drafted by the Steelers, is:
—the first Black man ever to win the Ray Guy trophy (nation's best punter)
—an accomplished saxophone player
—surprisingly good at throwing!
—the heaviest punter ever drafted (256 pounds)
—your new favorite player

— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) May 1, 2021

Yinz are gonna love @pharvin27 DAHN ‘ere.

An absolute ball BOMBER #ForTheBrand

— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 1, 2021

I’m going to do everything in my power to get this kid to the Pro Bowl every year of his career #HarvinHead

— Michael Beck (@MichaelBeck56) May 1, 2021

Possibly my favorite pick of the draft was a punter, yes you read that right. The kid has a rocket of a leg and the physique of a guard, sprinkled in with a sneaky throwing ability that will slow down even the most aggressive teams. This was a fun pick for much of Steelers Nation, and a kid we will likely grow to adore.

So with that the draft is over! What are your thoughts on these picks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Podcast: A weird, wild and winning Steelers’ draft weekend

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 11:00am

Join BTSC’s Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis as they sum up the Steelers picks in the 2021 Draft.

The 2021 NFL Draft is complete and the Steelers came away with nine new Men of Steel. How did they do? Was their haul a boom, bust or a head scratcher. Join BTSC’s Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis in wrapping up the Steelers picks from Najee Harris to Pressley Harvin. Join the triumphant trio as they combine the down all things Steelers and with shenanigans galore.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel.

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE


Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Grading the Steelers fifth round selection of Isaiahh Loudermilk

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 10:30am
Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Wisconsin DL Isaiahh Loudermilk with the 156th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Good news, Steelers Nation. After being subjected to a mind numbing amount of mock drafts and plenty of unsubstantiated speculation during what seemed like an inordinately long pre-draft process, minus the Scouting Combine to break up the monotony, the 2021 NFL Draft is finally upon us. I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.

There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Wisconsin DL Isaiahh Loudermilk with the 156th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft. Well that certainly was a huge surprise. The Steelers entered the day without a fifth round selection, but traded a 2022 fourth round selection to the Miami Dolphins for the right to select Loudermilk. Honestly my first reaction to the pick was ‘Who?’, closely followed by a earnest ‘Why?’

These are the head scratching type of picks that I would rather not attempt to even give a letter grade. I want to be fair to the young man and I want to keep the faith in the Steelers decision makers like I am always preaching. However, applying a grade to every selection is part of the job description, so here we go. I give the Isaiahh Loudermilk selection an initial draft grade of a D, though I was tempted to go lower. I readily admit I know nothing about the situation compared to the Steelers decision makers, but I do have questions.

The Steelers gave up prime future draft capital to move into the fifth round to select a young man who was expected to be a priority free agent. Seriously? Were the Steelers that concerned that some other franchise was actually going to select him before their sixth round selection rolled around? This wasn't a spur of the moment knee jerk reaction. This was a calculated decision on all accounts. Even if the Steelers thought this young man was the steal of the draft I would still have to ask, who was competing with the Steelers for his services? Only the Steelers can answer that question.

Loudermilk has excellent size and solid athleticism. He stands 6'6" and his listed playing weight was listed at 274 lbs. He has plenty of room to add weight to his lengthy frame. He definitely looks like a NFL defensive end, but sometimes looks can be deceiving.

He has plenty of experience as a four year letterman, but the production and impact plays have been infrequent to say the least. He is a space eater at this point in his career, specializing in tying up blockers and preventing them from reaching the second level. He struggles to gain leverage against the running game, and hasn't shown any real pass rushing prowess.

The best evaluation I could find on him said he may have the potential to become a end of the roster backup defensive end. We can always hope that the Watt brothers shared some insider information about the young man that made him too good to pass up. I will happily admit if I am wrong on this grade. I pray that I am.

Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.

I would like to welcome Isaiahh Loudermilk to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC community and Steelers Nation!

Podcast: Welcome to Pittsburgh, Quincy Roche

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 10:00am

The Steelers selected Quincy Roche in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. Join BTSC for a special roundtable podcast to welcome Roche to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers continued shaping their future by selecting EDGE Quincy Roche in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. BTSC’s Michael Beck, Geoffrey Benedict and Matt Peverell break down the pick of Roche on the latest episode of the BTSC post-NFL Draft podcast.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Grading the Steelers 4th round selection of Buddy Johnson

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 9:30am
Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Texas A&M LB Buddy Johnson with the 140th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Good news, Steelers Nation. After being subjected to a mind numbing amount of mock drafts and plenty of unsubstantiated speculation during what seemed like an inordinately long pre-draft process, minus the Scouting Combine to break up the monotony, the 2021 NFL Draft is finally upon us. I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.

There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Texas A&M LB Devodrick "Buddy" Johnson with the 140th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft. Buddy Johnson is a football player, pure and simple. He is a hard hitting inside linebacker with solid athleticism and excellent intangibles. He has impressive leadership qualities, he was team captain for the Aggies, and plays with a obvious passion for the game.

Based on the aforementioned parameters of need, fit, and value; I am giving the selection of Buddy Johnson an initial draft grade of B, once again based on my faith in Colbert and the Steelers proven track record on finding diamonds in the rough at linebacker.

Johnson stands 6' tall and weighs 230 lbs. He scored a 9.22 RAS overall at his pro day, exceeding the expectations of most scouts in attendance. His lack of prototypical size dropped his score slightly, but it was still the seventh highest score for a linebacker in this class. His speed and agility scores were rated "great", while his composite explosion score was "elite". He ran a 4.59 forty and had a 38" vertical. He is a superior tackler, consistently driving through the ball carrier and wrapping up. He works his way quickly through traffic, but could improve his route to the ball on occasion. Better to be naturally aggressive and have to learn control than the other way around.

Johnson is a smaller but more athletic Vince Williams clone. He is a old school type linebacker who likes to bring the pain, but predictably struggles in coverage. The good news is that his impressive athletic measurables would seem to suggest he may be able to improve in coverage with more experience and improved technique through coaching.

Johnson's superior athleticism isn't always immediately evident on the field or on film. Some early evaluations claimed he was tight in the hips and lacked top end speed. There seems to be a disconnect between the film and his measurables. There are multiple reasons for why that may be true, but the Steelers apparently weren't too concerned. They also don't appear to be worried with the lack of length of their interior linebacker group. They are more concerned with the size of the fight in the dog than the size of the dog in the fight.

Johnson should be a special teams standout right from the start of his Steelers career, and his aggressive nature should make him a instant fan favorite for Steelers Nation. He has the look of a Steelers inside linebacker who could possibly develop into a starter at some point down the road. I expect a spirited training camp battle for depth positions at inside backer.

Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.

I am pleased to welcome Buddy Johnson to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC community and Steelers Nation!

All you need to know about the Steelers’ Day 3 draft picks

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 9:17am
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected six players on the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft. Here is all the coverage on their Day 3 picks.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made some bold, and strong, statements in the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting five picks on Day 3. Many of the picks, including a trade into the 5th round, were highly criticized by the fan base, but this doesn’t seem to bother Mike Tomlin or Kevin Colbert.

The Steelers added some defenders to their roster for the first day of the draft, and they seemed to check almost all of the positional boxes of need which existed heading into the draft.

Looking back, the Steelers did something they needed to do in fortifying the offensive front on Day 2. Freiermeuth is known as a great two-way tight end, and Green is the type of physical center who can put the nasty back into the run game. This a running game which ranked dead last in both yards per game and yards per attempt. After addressing the offensive line, which they might continue do on Day 3 of the draft, the Steelers’ running game should be improved in 2021.

The addition of Najee Harris in the first round combined with Freiermeuth and Green, the Steelers have gone all offense on the first two days of the draft for the first time since 1995 when they took Mark Bruener, Kordell Stewart and Bredan Stai for the first three picks of the draft.

With that said, be sure to check out all of our coverage on the Day 3 selections here in this stream, and be sure to check back so you don’t miss a thing on all of our draft coverage as the Pittsburgh Steelers now get to know the players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Updating the Steelers various depth charts after Day 3 of the NFL draft

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 8:30am
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After six picks in the final day of the 2021 NFL draft, the Steelers’ depth charts are much more complete.

After drafting six players on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL draft, the Steelers currently have an adequate number of players in most position groups. The projected depth charts all the positions from players drafted on Day # for the Steelers, not including the newly signed undrafted free agents, are as follows:

Offensive Line
  1. David DeCastro
  2. Chukwuma Okorafor
  3. Zach Banner
  4. Kevin Dotson
  5. B.J. Finney
  6. Joe Haeg
  7. Kendrick Green
  8. J.C. Hassenauer
  9. Dan Moore
  10. Rashaad Cowerd
  11. Aviante Collins
  12. Anthony Coyle
  13. Jarron Jones
  14. John Leglue
  15. Brandon Walton

Exactly were players fall when looking at the entire offensive line is quite difficult. With the top five players being the players who will likely be called the starters to begin offseason activities, their exact order is insignificant. The next two players are likely Joe Haeg and the newly drafted Kendrick Green. Both players should have ample opportunity to move into the starting lineup should they prove they are the best option. Additionally, J.C. Hassenauer and Rasheed Coward have starting experience and are likely the next two guys who could earn a spot. Fourth-round pick Dan Moore ends up sandwiched between them as a prospect set to make the team and with nowhere to go but up.

Of the final five players on the list, Aviante Collins is the only one who has actually appeared in an NFL game although he is new to the Steelers. The other four players were all on the Steelers 2020 practice squad at some point.

Inside Linebacker
  1. Devin Bush
  2. Vince Williams
  3. Robert Spillane
  4. Buddy Johnson
  5. Ulysees Gilbert III
  6. Marcus Allen
  7. Miles Killebrew
  8. Tegray Scales
  9. Jarvis Miller

It makes sense for Devin Bush to be on top of the list followed by Vince Williams and Robert Spillane. Exactly where Buddy Johnson will fall after being a fourt- round draft pick remains to be seen. Ulysees Gilbert can’t stay healthy while Marcus Allen is still converting over from the safety position. I wouldn’t even have Miles Killebrew on the list as I think of him more as a safety, but the Steelers list him as a linebacker. Scales and Miller are currently guys more in line to fight to make the practice squad.

Defensive Line
  1. Cameron Heyward
  2. Stephon Tuitt
  3. Tyson Alualu
  4. Chris Wormley
  5. Carlos Davis
  6. Isaiah Buggs
  7. Henry Mondeaux
  8. Isaiahh Loudermilk
  9. Abdullah Anderson
  10. Calvin Taylor
  11. Demarcus Christmas
  12. T.J. Carter

The Steelers were already jam-packed with defensive lineman before the NFL draft, but decided to add a 12th. Where Loudermilk falls in the hierarchy remains to be seen as there are seven players who were all on the 53-man roster in 2020 placed ahead of him.

Outside Linebacker
  1. T.J. Watt
  2. Alex Highsmith
  3. Quincy Roche
  4. Cassius Marsh
  5. Jamir Jones

Steelers needed more bodies at outside linebacker, and with getting great value with Quincy Roche in the sixth round I’ve already penciled him in as the number three option. Of course it will probably start with Marsh since he was with the Steelers last year, but we’ll see how it all plays out.

  1. Joe Haden
  2. Cam Sutton
  3. Justin Layne
  4. James Pierre
  5. Tre Norwood
  6. Stephen Denmark
  7. Trevor Williams

The Steelers add Tre Norwood and he is set behind the guys who got snaps last season. This position group is about to get very interesting with the addition of multiple undrafted free agents coming soon.

  1. Jordan Berry
  2. Pressley Harvin III
  3. Corliss Waitman

Yes, the Steelers used a seventh-round draft pick on the punter and I did not pencil him in at the number one position. The fact the Steelers are returning their punter from last season naturally keeps him on the top of the list. But Harvin will be given every opportunity for the job to be his and his alone.

Podcast: Welcome to Pittsburgh, Isaiahh Loudermilk

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 8:00am

The Steelers traded a 2021 Round 4 pick to Miami to select DL Isaiahh Loudermilk in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Join BTSC for a special roundtable podcast to welcome Loudermilk to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers waited until Day 3 to add defense and they did it in a big way with a very large player. After trading into Round 5 with Miami, the Steelers selected a near 300 lb. defensive end in the form of Isaiahh Loudermilk. With help from some BTSC friends, Michael Beck, Geoffrey Benedict and Matt Peverell break down the pick of Loudermilk on the latest episode of the BTSC post-NFL Draft podcast.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Grading the Steelers fourth round selection of Dan Moore

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 7:30am
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Texas A&M OT Dan Moore with the 128th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Good news, Steelers Nation. After being subjected to a mind numbing amount of mock drafts and plenty of unsubstantiated speculation during what seemed like an inordinately long pre-draft process, minus the Scouting Combine to break up the monotony, the 2021 NFL Draft is finally upon us. I have been given the distinguished task of trying to apply a letter grade to each Steelers selection.

There are specific criteria necessary when attempting to accurately and fairly grade any draft pick. Only time will reveal the validity of any grade given, but I will utilize certain parameters as I attempt to apply an initial grade for each Steelers draft pick. I base each grade on projected roster fit, potential immediate impact, and assumed draft value. Draft value is achieved by evaluating each players actual selection against their projected draft position, whether that be player rankings or projected round.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Texas A&M OT Dan Moore with the 128th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Steelers entered the draft determined to improve their running game and they have utilized the first three rounds to make that goal come to fruition. I thought I had a rather firm grasp on how the Steelers were going to go about implementing that plan, based on their initial three selections and the Kevin Dotson selection last year. However, this pick has me questioning what I thought I already knew. This selection screams zone blocking philosophy, instead of the power concept I was projecting.

Based on the aforementioned parameters of need, fit, and value; I am generously giving the selection of Dan Moore an initial draft grade of C, based solely on my faith in Colbert and the scouting department. There definitely appeared to be more polished prospects available at his selection that could have made a more immediate impact for the Steelers.

Moore has solid size and athleticism for a offensive tackle, particularly for the left side. He is 6'5" and weighs 312 lbs. He has long arms and big hands. Mobility is a plus, and he was a three year starter on one of the top collegiate offensive lines in the nation last season.

Honestly, other than that I really don't know what else I can tell you. The evaluations are all over the place with this guy. Some say he would be a better fit in an aggressive power run blocking scheme, while others feel certain he will excel in a zone blocking concept. Some say he slides smoothly around the arc in pass protection, but others say he is a heel clicker. They praise his long arms and big hands, but speak negatively about his grip strength and hand placement. The dreaded words "needs to improve his intensity and aggression" were present in each evaluation, regardless of the wording. Like I said, the evaluations struggled to reach a consensus. For what it's worth, based on the limited amount of highlights l could find on him on such short notice, he looks like a guy that would fit a zone blocking scheme. He actually has some similarities to our very own Chukwuma Okorafor.

In conclusion, Moore looks like a developmental project at this time, based on the aforementioned limited information. Therefore I don't think he offers the Steelers much in terms of immediate contributions, but many of us were way off on Kevin Dotson's potential impact last year. His development will take patience and plenty of practice reps. OL Coach Adrian Klemm will have his hands full coaching up the young man and cleaning up his technique. The talent appears to be there, but tapping into it will take time and hardwork. The Steelers must believe he has a very high ceiling, and they are willing to wait for the payoff.

Now we want to hear from the BTSC community and from Steelers Nation. What do you think about the selection and what initial grade would you give it. Please place your vote in the attached poll and share your reasoning in the comment section below.

I am pleased to welcome Dan Moore to the Steelers family on behalf of the BTSC community and Steelers Nation!

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Draft class

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 6:30am
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books, and time to take a look at all the players picked by the black and gold!

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Draft is in the books. The three day selection process saw the team draft nine players, this one more than the expected after they traded a 2022 4th Round pick to the Miami Dolphins to move into the 5th round.

When the dust settled the Steelers had nine new players on their roster, and it is worth taking a look at who they got throughout the draft.

Here is a breakdown of the draft picks, by day:

Day 1

Round 1: Najee Harris, RB Alabama

Day 2

Round 2: Pat Freiermuth, TE Penn State

Round 3: Kendrick Green, C/G Illinois

Day 3

Round 4: Dan Moore Jr., OT Texas A&M

Round 4: Buddy Johnson, LB Texas A&M

Round 5: Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE Wisconsin

Round 6: Quincey Roche, EDGE Miami

Round 7: Tre Norwood, CB/S Oklahoma

Round 7: Pressley Harvin, P Georgia Tech

Undrafted Free Agents

CB Shakur Brown (Michigan St)
S Lamont Wade (Penn St)
LB Jamar Watson (Kentucky)
LB Calvin Bundage (Oklahoma St)
CB Mark Gilbert (Duke)
WR Isaiah McCoy (Kent St)
S Donovan Steiner (Florida)
WR Rico Bussey Jr (Hawaii)

The draft might be over, but adding players to the roster is far from finished. All 32 NFL teams will now turn to adding Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (UDFAs) to their roster. We will have all of the news, rumors and updates for you right here at BTSC. So, be sure to check back early and often for the latest news on the 2021 NFL Draft class, as well as other news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Get the latest BTSC gear for the Steelers’ top pick, Najee Harris

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 6:00am

The Pittsburgh Steelers have taken Najee Harris in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and you can get this awesome shirt for the newest member of the black and gold.

The 2021 NFL Draft is over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have nine new players, not counting undrafted rookie free agents, and their prized addition is none other than Alabama running back Najee Harris.

Harris was the first running back taken in the draft, and is considered one of the most well-rounded running backs coming into the professional ranks. Either way, fans are excited, and rightfully so, so why not get some new gear to show off your Steelers pride?!

The new design is simple, and is officially licensed by the NFLPA.

It reads: NAJEE

The image shows Najee Harris hurdling over a defender, something he has done to defensive backs since he was in high school all the way to the national stage for the Crimson Tide.

Check out the design below:

By now, you might be wondering how to order yours? Just click the link below, and get yours today!!

Did you know we have a BTSC Apparel store? You can get this design, and many others including the classing BTSC design shirt, in the link below!

BTSC Apparel Store

Podcast: Welcome to Pittsburgh, Dan Moore and Buddy Johnson

Sun, 05/02/2021 - 5:00am

The Steelers selected OT Dan Moore with the 128th pick and LB Buddy Johnson, both out of Texas A&M, in the NFL Draft. Join BTSC for a special roundtable podcast to welcome to Pittsburgh.

After the Steelers took Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth and Kendrick Green in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Steelers stayed on the offensive line with Dan Moore from Texas A&M. With help from some BTSC friends, Michael Beck, Geoffrey Benedict and Matt Peverell break down the pick of Dan Moore on the latest episode of the BTSC post-NFL Draft podcast.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Part 1 (Dan Moore):

Part 2 (Buddy Johnson):

2021 NFL Draft: Steelers officially announce the signing of 8 undrafted free agents

Sat, 05/01/2021 - 9:10pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers added another 8 undrafted free agents just hours after the NFL Draft ended.

While the Pittsburgh Steelers may have just added nine new players to the roster via the 2021 NFL Draft, their work was far from done at the end of the seventh-round. With fewer prospects this year due to all players gaining an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of viable options for the Steelers to add were more than some believed their would be.

Pittsburgh added another eight names to their roster once the draft ended, completing the 2021 draft process.

CB Shakur Brown (Michigan St)
S Lamont Wade (Penn St)
LB Jamar Watson (Kentucky)
LB Calvin Bundage (Oklahoma St)
CB Mark Gilbert (Duke)
WR Isaiah McCoy (Kent St)
S Donovan Steiner (Florida)
WR Rico Bussey Jr (Hawaii)

We have agreed to terms with eight undrafted free agents following the conclusion of the 2021 #NFLDraft.

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2021

Steelers 2021 Undrafted Free Agent Tracker: All the signings and rumors

Sat, 05/01/2021 - 7:47pm
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

All the news surrounding the latest undrafted free agents the Steelers are hoping to sign.

With the 2021 NFL Draft now in the books, the Pittsburgh Steelers will quickly switch their attention to eligible prospects who went undrafted. Long before the seventh-round ended, the Steelers will have reached out to players they were interested in who were expected to be available and it should not take long for the first few signings to be made.

Undrafted players are allowed to sign with whoever they chose, with the more popular names likely to be given a signing bonus to encourage them to pick one team over another.

It is worth noting than none of these signings are official until confirmed by the team, with players sometimes changing their mind about a destination at the last minute when another team offers a higher signing bonus.

As rumors begin to emerge of players Pittsburgh is targeting, we will add them in this post, as well as any confirmed signings from the players own social media accounts.

News and rumors:

Breaking: I am learning that former Missouri cornerback DeMarcus Acy is signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers #Steelers

— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) May 1, 2021

Former Michigan State CB Shakur Brown is signing with the #Steelers, per source.

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 1, 2021

Former Penn State safety Lamont Wade is signing with the #Steelers, per source.

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 1, 2021

#Kentucky LB Jamar Watson is signing with the Pittsburgh #Steelers

— Brandon Olsen (@WNS_Brandon) May 1, 2021

Former Oklahoma State LB Calvin Bundage is signing with the #Steelers, per source.

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 1, 2021

This is cool. Steelers signing Sean Gilbert's nephew and Darrelle Revis' cousin, Mark Gilbert, who was a top cornerback prospect at Duke before multiple injuries hit. Aliquippa the hot bed continues!

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) May 1, 2021

Gilbert is heading to the Steel City @MGilbert_3 @steelers #DukeInTheNFL | #GoDuke

— Duke Football (@DukeFOOTBALL) May 1, 2021


Franklin Mac McCain III, CB, North Carolina A&T signing w/ Pittsburgh Steelers. Just lost Mike Hilton to free agency, might have great chance to make team at nickel. Plus athlete w/ instincts & ball skills, playmaker. Full report: #NFLDraft2021 #NFLDraft

— Bex_R (@Bex_R86) May 1, 2021

Source: The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to sign Florida undrafted free agent safety Donovan Stiner.

A three-year starter for Florida who had 62 tackles last season.

— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) May 2, 2021

Saturday Night Open Thread: Post NFL Draft Edition

Sat, 05/01/2021 - 7:00pm
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Come and join this merry band of Steelers’ faithful for some lively debate about our Steelers, good food and the merits of the odd cold beverage.

So a bunch of fresh new faces will be with the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2021 NFL Draft is now over. How y’all feeling about the picks?

Please note that as we often find with OTHER open threads, the negativity was strong with many over the past few days. However, this ain’t the place!

Slide up the bar, let uncle canuck pour you a glass of your favorite bevy or better yet let him rustle you up one of his famous burgers. It’s all good baby!

  1. Which pick based on ‘your perceived’ value did you like best and why?
  2. While the pick of Najee Harris surprised like 2% of Steeler Nation, which pick was your biggest surprise?
  3. How did you take the draft in? Snug in your man cave, or at work? Online or did you watch on TV? Gasp, did anyone make it to the mistake by the lake and take it in, in person?
  4. A couple of weeks ago I came upon the “Commitments 2” cd. This made me wonder what movie would you say has the best soundtrack, no it doesn’t have to be a ‘musical’.
  5. Pizza!!! Thin or regular crust? Fork and Knife, or by hand? Pineapple, or NO???

2021 NFL Draft: BTSC Big Board, Top 50 undrafted free agents available

Sat, 05/01/2021 - 6:07pm
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the best of the rest heading into undrafted free agency following the 2021 NFL Draft.

Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft is over, with the Steelers having selected nine players over the draft’s seven rounds.

The draft may be over, but there are still some quality players available. Below, I’ve listed the top 50 players still remaining heading into the next day of the draft. The rankings are based off of Andrew Wilbar’s top 300, with the analysis and stats being from the BTSC Big Board.

And as always, the consensus rankings are from big boards from CBS Sports, Drafttek, ESPN, Mock Draft Database, and Tankathon.

For the last time, let’s look at the top 50 players remaining:

70. Dylan Moses — LB — Alabama
#32, Sr, 6’3”, 240 lbs
Consensus ranking: 59 (76, 48, 54, 62, 53)
2020 season stats: Tackles 80, TFL 22, Sacks 6.5, FF 1, FR 0, PD 4, Int 1, (13 games)

Necksnation: Once considered a potential top 10 pick, an underwhelming 2020 caused Moses to plummet on draft boards. He is an above average tackler who is very athletic, although it isn’t always evident in his film. Moses’ awareness is a reason for concern. In the film I watched, he was frequently getting fooled by read options, and it sometimes looked like he didn’t know where the ball was. His coverage skills could also use some work, as he only registered two interceptions and four pass breakups in his three seasons at Alabama. However, if he can return to his 2018 form, Moses has the potential to be a quality starter for an NFL team.

107. Tamorrion Terry - WR - Florida State
#5, Jr., 6’4”, 210 lbs
Consensus ranking: 107 (78, NA, 129, 116, NA)
2020 season stats: 23 receptions, 289 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD (6 games)

steelerfan11: Terry has dropped significantly on big boards on national sites, but I am not totally sure why. Terry is not the most sure-handed receiver in the world, but I think a lot of his drops are because of poor concentration and adjusting to the football a bit late. I think he can and will improve in that area. Terry’s size and speed make him incredibly difficult to cover on the boundary one-on-one, and his ability to high-point the ball make him an excellent contested catch receiver. His length allows him to create separation vertically, and his agility and footwork make him dangerous after the catch as well. He is raw, but guys with this much size and speed are not usually available in the middle rounds. If he can solve some of the technical issues in his game, he has a chance to be special.

113. Darius Stills - DL - West Virginia
#56, Sr, 6’1”, 285 lbs
Consensus ranking: 96 (57, 130, NA, 102, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 25, TFL 7.5, Sacks 3.5, FF 1, Int 1, PD 3, (10 games)

steelerfan11: Stills is similar to Jalen Twyman in that nobody seems to be sure where he will fit as an NFL defensive tackle. He is probably best suited as a 3-Technique, but his quickness could allow him to become a solid 5-Tech. His quickness off the snap and violent hands help him to get penetration as a pass-rusher. He also does a good job of winning the battle for leverage and maintaining a good pad level. He has good overall awareness and is very consistent at finishing tackles in the backfield, but he will occasionally take himself out of a play by getting upfield too quickly and overrunning plays that are in obvious rushing situations. Overall, I like the upside he brings and find him to be worth the risk if he is still available on day three.

126. Tariq Thompson - S - San Diego State
#14, Sr, 6’0”, 200 lbs
Consensus ranking: 177 (NA, 138, NA, 216, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 41, Sacks 0, Int 1, PD 4, FF 1, FR 1, (8 games)

steelerfan11: If you like versatility and physicality, this is your guy. When I watched San Diego State during the season, it seemed like Thompson was always making plays. He has the speed and fluidity to cover a lot of ground in the secondary, and he is not afraid to hit people. He has the ability to play nickel cornerback and either safety position, which would be a huge plus for the Steelers. Considering that depth is needed at safety and nickel corner, Thompson should definitely be on the Steelers’ radar. I think he will go in the fifth round range, but if he were to fall to round six, the Steelers should be elated. He would actually have a chance to capture Mike Hilton’s former role as the nickel cornerback in Keith Butler’s defense.

127. Hamilcar Rashed - EDGE - Oregon State
#9, Sr, 6’4”, 235 lbs
Consensus ranking: 103 (110, 86, 127, 98, 94)
2020 season stats: Tackles 23, TFL 2, Sacks 0, PD 1, FF 1, FR 0 (7 games)

Ryland B.: Rashed’s 2019 season was incredible, as he garnered 22.5 tackles for loss, leading the nation and being named a First Team All-American. But his 2020 season was a big step back. Known for his high motor and production, Rashed showed neither in 2020, often looking disinterested in the game and spending more time than usual on the sidelines. He only recorded two tackles for loss the entire season, and his lack of polish really showed. Still, there’s reason to hope that Rashed can regain top form in the NFL, as he has incredible athletic upside and has shown the capacity to be both effective and productive when defending the run and rushing the passer. The other major concern with Rashed is his weight, listed only at 235 lbs. However, Rashed has the frame to bulk up and size was never a huge issue for him in college. He’ll probably be limited to a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker, but Rashed has the potential to be an elite pass-rusher on the next level.

130. Jamie Newman - QB - Wake Forest
#9, Senior 6’4”, 230 lbs.
Consensus Ranking: 149
2020 season: Opted out
2019 season stats (Wake Forest): 2,868 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 574 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns.

steelerfan11: I was disappointed to see Newman opt out of the season, because it would have been interesting to see how he would perform in a pro-style offense. It will take him time to transition to the NFL game, but he has the arm talent and athleticism that will get you excited. He failed to show accuracy on a consistent basis at Wake Forest, which is why he is not ranked higher.

144. Marvin Wilson - IDL - Florida State
#21, Sr, 6’4”, 310 lbs
Consensus ranking: 75 (107, 46, 79, 73, 71)
2020 season stats: Tackles 17, TFL 2.5, Sacks 0, FF 0, (6 games)

Ryland B.: Once considered the top defensive line prospect in the draft, Wilson’s stock has taken a nosedive due to a 2020 season in which the star defensive tackle seemed to regress. Wilson is a powerful defender with a strong bull rush and solid athleticism. He’s a decent pass rusher but is strong against the run, although he’s one of those players whose impact may show up more on tape than on the stat sheet. It’s worth noting Wilson has had his share of special teams highlights, having success blocking both kicks and punts. Despite his inconsistency, Wilson has a decent floor, and an even higher ceiling if he can maximize his potential.

148. Josh Imatorbhebhe - WR - Illinois
#9, Sr., 6’2”, 215 lbs
Consensus ranking: 193 (NA, 197, NA, 189, NA)
2020 season stats: 22 receptions, 297 receiving yards, 3 receiving TD (7 games)

Ryland B.: Players like Imatorbhebhe are why it’s worth it to scout late-round prospects. He’s a freakish athlete with great size, speed, and an elite vertical. Problem is he wasn’t very consistent at Illinois and is still incredibly underdeveloped all-around. Still, with some good coaching, Imatorbhebhe’s size, speed, explosiveness, and physicality could turn him into a formidable wide receiver on the NFL level.

149. Nick Eubanks - TE - Michigan
#82, Sr, 6’5”, 236 lbs
Consensus ranking: 202 (NA, 262, 188, 157, NA)
2020 season stats: 10 receptions, 117 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD’s, (5 games)

steelerfan11: Eubanks was never utilized well by Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan coaching staff. Eubanks has a lot of athletic upside, and he was reliable when called upon in the passing game, but I feel as if he was not called upon as much as he should have been. Most scouting reports may knock him for poor blocking skills, but I think that he was actually solid in that department for Michigan. He has the size (256 pounds) and speed that you want in a tight end. While there is no denying that he is raw, he brings fringe TE1 upside who will probably be a solid TE2 in the NFL.

151. Carson Green - OT - Texas A&M
Sr, #54, 6’6”, 320 lbs
Consensus ranking: 280 (NA, 362, 198, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: (9 games)

steelerfan11: Green was one of the more unheralded standouts at the Senior Bowl. There is no denying that his hand usage needs to improve and that he needs to get a little stronger, but he brings a lot of upside as a right tackle in the NFL. His footwork is not the neatest, but he is very tough, physical, and relentless as a blocker. Since he is not the most gifted athlete, some project him as a guard, but I liked what I saw from him at the Senior Bowl, and his tape against Alabama was impressive from both pass-blocking and run-blocking perspectives. If he is given time to develop and add functional strength, I think he could have a career similar to what Matt Feiler has had with the Steelers.

152. Jaret Patterson - RB - Buffalo
#26, Junior, 5’9”, 195 lbs
2020 season stats: 1,072 rushing yards, 19 rushing touchdowns, 7.6 YPC, 0 receptions, 0 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns.

steelerfan11: Patterson nearly set a single game FBS rushing record this season before being pulled in the fourth quarter. He shows good balance through contact and the ability to sneak through the tiniest hole. Footwork is tremendous, and he displays natural hands as a receiver. One knock on him is that he doesn’t have top end speed, and it takes him a while to build up his speed. Overall, he projects as a key piece in a committee backfield that can fill in as a workhorse back if necessary.

154. Sadarius Hutcherson - OT/G - South Carolina
Sr, #50, 6’4”, 320 lbs
Consensus ranking: 188 (NA, 171, NA, 205, NA)
2020 season stats: (10 games)

Ryland B.: A good run-blocker with versatility and lots of experience at the SEC level, Hutcherson could turn out to be quite the steal. He’s a good athlete who plays with great power and aggressiveness, but he’s rather underdeveloped and can be inconsistent. He’s the type of player who is best selected in the later rounds with the hope of developing into a starter farther down the road.

155. Drake Jackson - C - Kentucky
Sr, #52, 6’2’’, 292 lbs
Consensus ranking: 132 (129, 107, NA, 160, NA)
2020 season stats: (10 games)

steelerfan11: Jackson does not have the length that some of the other prospects bring to the table, but he has starter potential. Jackson is fairly quick on his feet and has enough functional strength to hold his own against 0-Tech and 1-Tech defenders. He does not have guard versatility like some of the other centers, but he has good hand usage and anchors well. He is somewhat limited physically, but he could become a decent starter in the right scheme.

157. Naquan Jones - DT - Michigan State
#93, Sr, 6’4”, 340 lbs
Consensus ranking: 235 (NA, 225, NA, 244, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 24, TFL 5, Sacks 0, PD 1, FR 1, (7 games)

steelerfan11: Jones is one of my favorite sleepers in this class. His hand usage needs work, and he is not incredibly quick off the snap, but once he gets his body moving in the right direction, he is a threat as a pass rusher from the interior. He is best suited as a 3-4 nose tackle, which makes him a logical fit for the Steelers. He maintains a good pad level in the run game and does a good job of getting leverage on opposing linemen. Jones did not get a ton of opportunities to display his skill set before 2020, but he showed improvement in almost every aspect of his game this season. The Steelers do not currently have a 5th round pick, but he should definitely be considered in round six if he happens to fall that far.

158. Pooka Williams - RB/WR - Kansas
#1, Junior, 5’10”, 170 lbs
2020 season stats: (Opted out during season) 196 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 3.8 YPC, 6 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns.

steelerfan11: Williams is an electric playmaker who could not be contained coming out of the backfield in college. He has good vision, quickness, and elusiveness, which makes him nearly impossible to bring down one-on-one in the open field. He runs good routes out of the backfield and displays good hands as well. Size will limit him to being a change-of-pace option in the NFL.

161. Brock Wright - TE - Notre Dame
#89, Sr, 6’4” 255 lbs
2020 season stats: 3 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns

steelerfan11: You are probably familiar with Tommy Tremble, but there is another Notre Dame tight end who has some intrigue as well. Brock Wright was buried on the depth chart behind Cole Kmet in 2019 and then Tommy Tremble and Michael Mayer in 2020. Wright is a good in-line blocker, but not many people are aware of his athleticism. At Notre Dame’s pro day, Wright ran a 4.62 in the 40, a 4.25 in the 20 yard shuttle, a 7.27 in the 3-cone drill, and did 26 reps on the bench. Wright was actually rated higher than Tremble coming out of high school, but he was not used much in the passing game, accounting for only 7 receptions in his collegiate career. However, all indications seem to point to Wright having reliable hands. His athleticism makes me think that he is capable of doing at the NFL level, but his elite blocking by itself makes him worthy of late day three consideration. Wright is also well-respected in the locker room. If he can reach his full potential, he has a chance of becoming a low-end starter down the line.

162. Quinton Morris - TE - Bowling Green
#80, Sr, 6’4”, 251
2020 stats: 20 receptions, 248 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns

Ryland B.: Morris is an experienced tight end with solid athleticism. He’s a good blocker with decent functional strength and technique. He’s not particularly dynamic but has good long speed and is a solid route runner. He has good hands as well and could be a solid depth TE in the NFL.

168. Deon Jackson — RB — Duke
#4, Sr, 6’0”, 220 lbs
2020 stats: 161 attempts, 682 rushing yards, 5 rushing TD’s

steelerfan11: Jackson is an explosive runner who has a nice blend of speed and power. The only major flaw in his game is ball security, as he was accounted with five fumbles last season. That is the main reason why I would be a bit hesitant to draft him. However, he would be more than worth the risk if he goes undrafted. The guy has 4.4 speed at about 220 pounds, and he is a reliable receiver and pass blocker. If he can learn to secure the ball, he could be a nice running back down the line.

172. Mac McCain III - CB - North Carolina A&T
#29, Sr, 6’0”, 186 lbs
Consensus ranking: 390 (NA, 390, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 26, FF 1, FR 2, PD 6, (9 games)

steelerfan11: Sleeper alert!!! I absolutely love this guy on tape, and his athleticism isn’t too bad either. He is very aggressive at the line of scrimmage, although being too “grabby” is something that scouts may mark as a negative. I like his competitiveness and physicality despite not being terribly big, and I appreciate his willingness to help in run support as well. He also tested well at his pro day, running a 4.45 in the 40, a 4.12 in the short shuttle, and a 6.94 in the 3-cone drill. This guy may not even get drafted, but he has the tape and talent that is worthy of a day three selection. This dude has serious upside, and somebody is going to get a steal.

173. T.J. Vasher - WR - Texas Tech
#9, Sr., 6’6”, 210 lbs
Consensus ranking: 199 (NA, 196, 123, 279, NA)
2020 season stats: 19 receptions, 227 receiving yards, 2 receiving TD (7 games)

steelerfan11: When you get to the later portions of day three, I find it better to take a shot on a special talent who has had some injuries than take a guy who’s upside is a solid special teamer or career backup. Vasher has had his share of injuries, but the talent is undeniable. Adding more weight to his 6’6 frame could help him from a durability standpoint, but he has good speed and runs good routes for a receiver at that size. He has good ball skills and has shown success on contested catches as well. Yes, the injury concern is real, but an offensive coordinator could really get creative with a healthy Vasher.

175. Paris Ford - S - Pitt
#12, Jr, 6’0”, 190 lbs
Consensus ranking: 92 (98, 82, 109, 83, 86)
2020 season stats: Tackles 45, Sacks 0, Int 3, PD 6, FF 0, FR 0, (7 games)

Itz JustNoah: Ford opted out after playing in only 7 games, and his stock fell heavily (his pro day did not help either). Despite testing poorly, his athleticism is apparent on tape. He plays fast, he hits hard and he can create turnovers. His coverage ability is alright but he is phenomenal inside the box and stuffing runs. Due to his poor pro day numbers and his average coverage ability, he is going to fit solely as a strong safety. Although I do think the he would do well on a team that knows how to use him as a hybrid linebacker/safety, similar to Jeremy Chinn. I like the idea of picking up Ford because depth at safety is definitely needed, but I doubt we can get him in the sixth, and the fourth might be a bit early depending on how the first 3 rounds go.

185. Cade Johnson - WR - South Dakota State
#15, Sr., 5’9”, 180 lbs
2020 season stats: None
2019 season stats: 72 receptions, 1222 receiving yards, 8 receiving TD (13 games)

Ryland B.: Johnson didn’t get to play in 2020 as the FCS season was cancelled due to COVID-19, but he impressed at the Senior Bowl and definitely looked like a draftable prospect. He doesn’t have great size, but he’s a quick receiver with good athleticism all around. Johnson consistently gets separation on his routes, and showed off some great yards after the catch ability at SDSU. He has good hands and usually finds a way to hold onto the ball through contact, which is encouraging due to his smaller frame. I think Johnson is a sleeper in this draft, as he has the skill-set to be a quality slot receiver in the NFL.

187. Jack Stoll - TE - Nebraska
#86, Sr, 6’4”, 260 lbs
2020 stats: 7 receptions, 89 receiving yards, 0 TD’s

Ryland B.: Stoll is a well-built tight end to won’t offer much as a receiver, but could be a solid depth blocking tight end on the next level. He has good size, strength, and technique as a blocker, but lacks the athleticism to be a true receiving threat. He’s battled through injuries during his time at Nebraska as well. The Draft Network notes some special teams value that could help Stoll’s stock.

189. Dicaprio Bootle - CB - Nebraska
#7, Sr, 5’10, 195 lbs
2020 stats: 25 tackles, 1 interception, 0 sacks

Ryland B.: An undersized and underrated corner out of Nebraska, Bootle could be a steal in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s a quick, explosive corner with great athleticism and ball skills. He’s very fluid in coverage and might have some starter upside in the slot at the NFL level. However, his size is a big issue as is his tackling. Pro Football Network notes that he can be inconsistent as well. Also a candidate for the best name in the draft.

195. Ar’Darius Washington - S/CB - TCU
#24, So, 5’8”, 178 lbs
Consensus ranking: 104 (100, 118, NA, 100, 99)
2020 season stats: Tackles 37, Sacks 0, Int 0, PD 5, FF 0, FR 0, (10 games)

Ryland B.: I really liked this guy’s tape. He isn’t the greatest athlete but has very good game speed, and while he isn’t the biggest he has a physical style of play. As a tackler he’s very aggressive and comes downfield well, although his technique can be a little inconsistent. When playing deep, Washington is very disciplined, almost to a fault as I’d like to see him freelance a bit more, but overall he has solid range and is very fluid in coverage. He has great ball skills as well. Size and speed could be concerns, but otherwise I was very impressed with what I saw from Washington.

196. Sage Surratt - WR - Wake Forest
#14, Jr., 6’3”, 215 lbs
2020 season stats: Opted out
2019 season stats: 66 receptions, 1001 receiving yards, 11 receiving TD (9 games)

Ryland B.: I see Surratt as a less athletic Chase Claypool in this year’s draft, as he’s a jumbo-sized, muscular receiver who is a little lacking in general quickness and speed. Originally committed to Harvard, he ended up deciding to play at Wake Forest where he established a good connection with quarterback Jamie Newman. Despite not being the fastest, one of Surratt’s strengths was vertical routes, where he has adequate long speed and excellent hands to make difficult catches, although he struggles with concentration drops at times. After opting out of the 2020 NFL season, Surratt looked to improve his draft stock at the Senior Bowl, but may have ended up lowering it, as he had a difficult time getting separation all week although he did have some nice catches. Overall, Surratt’s size, hands, intelligence, and physicality make him a solid mid-round target, although some question regarding his athletic ability could drop him to the later rounds.

198. Jah Maine-Martin - RB - North Carolina A&T
#30, Junior, 5’10”, 203 lbs
2020 season stats: No season
2019 season stats: 1,246 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns, 8.3 YPC, 7 receptions, 38 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns.

steelerfan11: I was very impressed with Maine-Martin’s explosiveness when I watched him. He has tremendous burst and has a nasty stiff arm. He isn’t easy to bring down on first contact, and he has some sneaky power as well. He is not a dangerous receiver at this point, and he needs to become a more consistent pass protector, but there is definitely potential here.

200. Miller Forristall - TE - Alabama
#87, Sr, 6’5”, 242 lbs
Consensus ranking: 295 (NA, 295, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: 12 receptions, 505 receiving yards, 5 receiving TD’s, (12 games)

Ryland B.: Trevor Lawrence’s high school tight end ended up at Alabama, where he spent five years before declaring for the NFL draft. Forristall isn’t an incredible athlete, but he has enough ability to compete at a high level, with decent speed and route-running ability as well as strong, reliable hands. He’s an excellent blocker as well, with good technique but also a bit of a nasty streak. His injury history could be a problem, but if he can stay healthy, Forristall is an excellent mid-to-late round prospect with a very high floor.

201. Antonio Phillips - CB - Ball State
#21, Sr, 6’0”, 191 lbs
Consensus ranking: 439 (NA, 515, 363, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 32, PD 8, Int 2, (8 games)

Itz JustNoah: Phillips is polished in coverage even though he isn’t super impressive athletically. Phillips is physical, he has good route recognition and great ball skills. He knows when to get his head around and his timing is phenomenal. He’s also a great open field tackler and provides solid run defense on the outside. Despite all this, Phillips is less than impressive with his footwork, change of direction and speed over the top. He can’t make up ground once he’s beaten and if he were to be put one-on-one against most receivers in the league, he would most likely get cooked. He has the coverage ability and ball skills to be a good corner, he just needs time to develop. If a team wants to take a chance on him because they think they can develop him, it could be a good move but very “high risk, high reward.”

205. Javian Hawkins - RB - Louisville
#10, Sophomore, 5’9”, 196 lbs
2020 season stats (Opted out during season): 822 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 6.2 YPC, 16 receptions, 127 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown.

Ryland B.: At this point in his career, Hawkins is merely a scatback and not much else. He’s extremely fast, is fairly shifty, but the rest isn’t great. He’s undersized, goes down on first contact more often than not, and has a fumbling issue. Hawkins is willing as a pass blocker but not great at picking up defenders, and is too small to do much about it when he does. He opted out to prepare for the draft eight games into the regular season, so staying in shape shouldn’t be a problem, but he might have been better off staying in school one more year to round out his game.

206. Kenny Yeboah - TE - Ole Miss
#84, Sr, 6’4’’, 240 lbs
Consensus ranking: 149 (NA, 112, 197, 137, NA)
2020 season stats: 27 receptions, 524 receiving yards, 6 receiving TD’s, (8 games)

Ryland B.: A high-upside, athletic tight end, Yeboah reportedly interested Mike Tomlin at the Senior Bowl this year. Yeboah is a big play threat at the tight end position, with good speed who really excelled going down the seam. He has good hands and the ability to track the ball well, too. As a blocker he’s not great, but shows good effort and isn’t a total liability. Yeboah’s higher ceiling makes him an interesting prospect, and if he’s available in the later in the draft, expect the Steelers to take a look.

208. Shaun Beyer - TE Iowa
#42, Sr, 6’5”, 246 lbs
Consensus ranking: 293 (NA, 386, NA, 200, NA)
2020 season stats: 11 receptions, 158 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD’s, (8 games)

steelerfan11: Those of you that read only the rankings and not the analysis probably stopped to read the analysis for Beyer after you saw that he was from Iowa. Considering the great reputation that Iowa has with tight ends, I don’t blame you. Beyer had to wait his turn behind Noah Fant and TJ Hockenson, and the quarterback play in 2020 was not the most consistent. Although part of his lack of production was due to that, he does have areas that he needs to improve upon. He lets the ball come to him rather than going toward the ball, and he has a few too many body catches. He isn’t the fastest off the line of scrimmage either, but he does a good job of creating separation downfield. He is a consistently good blocker and does a great job of finishing his blocks. Overall, Beyer is a blocking tight end who could potentially develop into a reliable red zone weapon.

212. LaBryan Ray - DL - Alabama
#89, Sr, 6’5”, 295 lbs
Consensus ranking: NA (NA, NA, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 12, TFL 0.5, Sacks 0.5, PD 0, (7 games)

steelerfan11: Once considered a potential top 50 pick, Ray’s stock began to drop after a foot injury in 2019 that nearly ended his career. He got multiple second opinions, however, and decided that he would try to make a comeback. He struggled to make it through the year healthy again in 2020, only playing five games. Nonetheless, there is too much talent here to ignore. Despite being a backup in 2018 and only starting one game, the former five-star recruit managed to record 39 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 6.0 tackles for loss. He is an excellent run defender and has the talent to develop into something decent as a pass-rusher, but he has to prove that he can stay healthy. He projects best as a 3-4 defensive end, and considering that Cameron Heyward is not getting any younger, I would find it worthwhile to take a late-round flier on Ray and see what he can develop into.

213. Shaun Jolly - CB - Appalachian State
#3, Sr, 5’9”, 180 lbs
Consensus ranking: NA (NA, NA, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 41, TFL 2, Sacks .5, FF 1, FR 0, PD 5, Int 0, (12 games)

steelerfan11: Jolly is an intriguing prospect due to his excellent ball skills and incredible instincts. He is a threat to jump on a route and pick the ball off at any time, and his fluidity, tackling ability, and smooth backpedal make him a nice fit in zone coverage. Don’t think that he is limited to zone, however, because he has the speed and awareness to keep up in man coverage as well. His size may limit him to the slot, but he has a chance to become a starter down the line.

215. David Moore - G - Grambling
Sr, #60, 6’3”, 320 lbs
Consensus ranking: 223 (NA, 312, 184, 171, NA)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: (9 games)

Ryland B.: Moore is an athletic, high-upside guard, who really dominated in 2019 against Grambling’s FCS competition. He’s big, strong, and powerful, with good mobility and quickness. He’s a very aggressive blocker, which can also work against him, as he often lunges forward too much. Moore’s superior athleticism masked a lot of his technical inconsistencies in college, which will be more easily exposed in the NFL. However, Moore has a lot of upside and the right attitude, and a good coach could turn him into a very good lineman on the next level.

216. Shakur Brown - CB - Michigan State
#29, Jr, 5’11”, 190 lbs
Consensus ranking: 106 (82, 132, 139, 71, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 25, PD 4, Int 5, (7 games)

steelerfan11: Brown is not going to wow you with his athleticism, but he has tremendous ball skills and plays a very smart game. I was listening to Trey Wingo and Tony Pauline’s show the other day, and Pauline compared Brown to Buster Skrine. He is not a gifted athlete, but he will be a guy who can play inside, outside, and contribute on special teams. His lack of speed may limit him to zone concepts, but a smart defensive mind may be able to get some solid production out of this guy.

217. Briley Moore - TE - Kansas
#0, Sr, 6’4”, 250 lbs
2020 stats: 22 receptions, 383 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns

Ryland B.: Moore is a big, versatile tight end who has flown under the radar in the 2021 NFL Draft process. He has great size but is still a good athlete, and it shows in his receiving ability and blocking. He’s a high effort player, but his hands aren’t the most consistent and he has had some injury issues. Moore has some upside and would be a good late round/UDFA pickup.

223. Robert Jones - OL - Middle Tennessee
Sr, #64, 6’5”, 330 lbs
Consensus ranking: 186 (125, NA, 179, 255, NA)
2020 season stats: (8 games)

steelerfan11: Jones is a mauler who has the mobility to get to the second level of the defense in the run game. He played some tackle in college, but his lack of elite athleticism will likely keep him at guard in the NFL. Jones’ strong hands make him an effective run blocker, but he is occasionally slow out of his stance, allowing for defenders to win the battle for leverage. Overall, Jones has the upside to be a down-the-line starter, but he is best suited in a power running scheme.

225. Charles Snowden - LB - Virginia
#11, Sr, 6’7”, 240 lbs
Consensus ranking: 240 (NA, 126, 282, 313, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 44, TFL 10, Sacks 6, FF 1, FR 0, PD 0, Int 0, (8 games)

Itz JustNoah: Snowden played as an outside linebacker in UVA’s 3-4 but he has the athleticism and length to play on the inside. He’s smooth in coverage, good with his hands and he has a good first step. However, he’s overall very raw and his ability to shed blocks is not the greatest. He’s 6’7” but carries a thin frame that could lead to him getting bounced around as a pass rusher. Due to his athleticism, length and lack of pass rushing ability, I think he would fit best in a 4-3, where he can still play “outside” but not be a true pass rusher. I like Snowden as a prospect but he’s a low ceiling, high reward type player and I would not want Pittsburgh to draft him.

226. Olijah Griffin - CB - USC
#2, Jr, 6’0”, 170 lbs
Consensus ranking: 208 (NA, 130, 267, 228, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 22, TFL 1, PD 4, Int 1, (6 games)

Ryland B.: Griffen is a quicker than fast corner who is a good athlete despite lacking elite long speed (4.53 40 yard dash). He’s lacking in size but plays aggressively and physically. He has good ball skills although his hands aren’t great, as he can be counted on to knock the ball down but not necessarily intercept it. He’s a willing tackler in run support as well. Griffen has his limitations, but he could be a very good corner in the NFL.

230. C.J. Marable - RB - Coastal Carolina
#1, Junior, 5’10”, 200 lbs
2020 season stats: 886 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns, 5.2 YPC, 31 receptions, 228 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns.

steelerfan11: Marable was a big part of Coastal Carolina’s success on offense this season. He is a speedy and shifty runner who is a dangerous threat as a receiver, averaging 8 yards per reception for his career. He does bring value as a kick returner as well, which is something that gives him value in year one. Pass protection still needs work.

240. Trill Williams - CB/S - Syracuse
#6, Jr, 6’2”, 198 lbs
2020 stats: 24 tackles, 1 interception, 4 passes defensed, 0 sacks

Ryland B.: Williams is a big, physical defensive back with a good athletic profile. Williams has shined in both coverage and run support during his time at Syracuse. He also has some versatility, as he can play both safety and corner. However, despite being a good athlete, Williams can be a little stiff and isn’t the greatest at mirroring receivers. His awareness and feel for the corner position is still developing as well, which is why many see his fit at safety in the NFL.

242. Josh Pederson - TE - Virginia
#86, Sr, 6’5”, 235 lbs
Consensus ranking: NA (NA, NA, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: 32 receptions, 367 receiving yards, 0 receiving TD’s, Punts: 1, 47 yds, (10 games)

steelerfan11: The son of former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, Josh is an intriguing prospect that has gotten very little buzz. He is what you would expect out of a coach’s son and then some. Pederson is smart and has good leadership qualities, but he also brings some athletic upside. He needs to add a good bit of weight, but he runs good routes and has decent speed. Run-blocking is a bit of a work in progress, but he could become solid in that department if he adds a good 20-25 pounds. He is also very good after the catch. In an interview with NFL Draft Diamonds, Pederson said that he models his game after Zach Ertz. He isn’t there yet, but if he is given a couple years to develop and get stronger, I think he could be a force to be reckoned with.

244. Christian Uphoff - S - Illinois State
Consensus ranking: 277 (NA, 389, 229, 213, NA)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 70, TFL 5.5, Int 2, PD 7, (15 games)

Ryland B.: Uphoff is a big, athletic safety who has had some success as a return man on special teams as well. He has a lot of upside, but is also technically sound for the most part, possessing good ball skills and range, while also being a sufficient run defender. Uphoff looked really good in college, but the big question is whether or not he can translate that success from the FCS to the NFL.

245. Matt Bushman - TE - BYU
#89, Sr, 6’5”, 245 lbs
Consensus ranking: 223 (NA, 196, NA, 250, NA)
2020 season stats: None
2019 season stats: 47 receptions, 688 receiving yards, 4 receiving TD’s, (13 games)

steelerfan11: Bushman is older than the other prospects in the class, but he was very productive before an achilles injury kept him out of action in 2020. Bushman is a solid in-line blocker, but his lack of functional strength may keep him from becoming elite in that area of his game. He has decent athleticism and has a big catch radius, but his age and injury are both issues that will cause him to drop to day three. He brings enough upside to warrant a 5th or 6th round selection, but the issues are too worrisome to take him any higher than that.

250. K.J. Costello - QB - Mississippi State
#3, Senior, 6’ 5”, 225 lbs
Consensus Ranking: 314
2020 season stats: 1,283 passing yards, 6 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, -65 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns

Ryland B:. I watched a lot of K.J. Costello when he was at Stanford, and came away fairly impressed. He’s a pocket passer through-and-through, who goes through his reads well and has good throwing mechanics despite some awkward arm angles at times. Costello isn’t very mobile, but can navigate the pocket fairly well and scramble when needed. He’s definitely not a mobile quarterback, though. He has good arm strength and solid accuracy. At Mississippi State, Costello took a step backwards, letting some poor decision-making take over and passing for an ugly 6-11 touchdown to interception ratio. Still, Costello has a chance at a good future in the NFL, even though he doesn’t fit the mold of the modern quarterback.

251. Kevin Jarvis - G - Michigan State
Jr, #75, 6’6”, 325 lbs
Consensus ranking: NA (NA, NA, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: (7 games)

steelerfan11: Jarvis has a good bit of experience at guard for the Spartans. He does a good job of getting to the second level and finishing his blocks,but he will play over his feet at times and lose his balance. He isn’t very quick off the snap either, but he has some versatility and has held his own as a pass protector wherever he has lined up. There is some starter potential here, but considering his experience, one would hope that he would be more technically sound than what he is at this point.

255. Ryan McCollum - OL - Texas A&M
Sr, #77, 6’5’’, 300 lbs
Consensus ranking: 226 (NA, 226, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: (9 games)

steelerfan11: Texas A&M had maybe the best offensive line in the country outside of Alabama, and the experienced McCollum was a big part of that. While he may not have the upside of his teammates Carson Green and Dan Moore, he is a fundamentally sound player that provides center/guard versatility. Functional strength is lacking, but he has solid footwork and gets good hand positioning. He could be a very nice depth lineman with the upside to be a spot starter in the right scheme.

256. Marlon Williams - WR - UCF
#6, Sr., 6’0”, 215 lbs
Consensus ranking: 140 (142, NA, NA, 137, NA)
2020 season stats: 71 receptions, 1039 receiving yards, 10 receiving TD (8 games)

steelerfan11: Williams was a productive college receiver who excelled at winning 50/50 balls. He has great hands and the ability to high-point the football. He has good lower body strength and is tough to bring down. However, having the thick frame that he has makes him a little less agile than some of the other receivers that may be available in this range. Route running is not a strength, but Williams uses his toughness and sure hands to make the difficult catches when he is unable to separate from defenders. He is yet another slot option that could be an absolute steal due to the depth of this class.

259. Max Duffy - P - Kentucky
#93, Sr, 6’1”, 190 lbs
42 punts, 45.1yd avg, 75yd long

Ryland B.: Duffy is a rugby-style punter who many have ranked as the best of his class. He’s had good production during his time at Kentucky and is a good athlete for the position. He can hold as well. The only major concerns are Duffy’s age (28), and his history of concussion issues.

There’s certainly a lot of talented players still on the board, and the Steelers should have lots of options in undrafted free agency.

This is the last edition of the 2021 BTSC Big Board, and I’d like to thank the team that worked on it for their great work and effort, as well as all of the readers and commenters here at BTSC for their feedback. We appreciate every click and comment.

Which UDFA’s do you think the Steelers should sign? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned to Behind the Steel Curtain for more NFL Draft news and analysis.