Steelers Impress PFF Analysts for Second Straight Year

The Pittsburgh Steelers impressed in back-to-back drafts, according to Pro Football Focus.

In the website’s draft report card for all 32 teams, the Steelers received an A+ for the second straight year.

The Steelers are the only team to receive an A+ from PFF for the 2024 draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers draft grades the last two seasons:

2023: A+
2024: A+


— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) April 29, 2024

PFF analysts Trevor Sikkema, Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo elaborated in an April 28 video on the PFF YouTube page.

“I like the Steelers’ draft a lot,” Palazzolo said. “This is the second straight year now that we’ve loved the Steelers’ draft. When that happens, you would assume this would be a good year for Pittsburgh. I like when you look back at the draft, whether it’s intentional or not, and you see the themes emerge. With 3 offensive linemen in their first 6 picks, 5 picks, I think those guys are all starters too.”

Monson agreed that every player the Steelers picked over the first two days could be a starter off the bat.

“The Steelers absolutely had a fantastic draft,” he said. “Love the value that they got for a lot of those positions. They tagged good players to fit relative areas of need. It’s a great draft.”

Steelers Offense Named ‘Most Improved Unit’

PFF was impressed by the Steelers’ 2024 draft before the weekend ended.

In an April 27 article, PFF named the Steelers offense one of the most improved units through the first two days of the draft.

The Steelers used the first two days to select Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu, West Virginia center Zach Frazier and Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson.

“Pittsburgh enjoyed a good first two days, getting players at positions of need at good value compared to both the PFF big board and the consensus big board,” wrote Ben Linsey. “And each of their first three picks addressed the offense.”

The Steelers added one more offensive player on the third and final day of the draft in South Dakota State guard Mason McCormick.

“You love the team identity players,” said Sikkema, via the PFF YouTube page. “We say every year ‘this guy feels like Baltimore Raven.’ I feel like that’s the one that gets talked about the most, but McCormick feels like a Pittsburgh Steeler.”

A Healthy Wilson Could be a Draft Steal

PFF analyst Steve Palazzolo believes Steelers’ late third-round pick linebacker Payton Wilson could be a steal if he remains healthy.

“Payton Wilson, it’s always easier on the grades when a guy falls because of injury. There’s a reason why he fell because of those injuries, but if Payton Wilson stays healthy, as pick 97 in the draft, you’re talking about a starting-caliber linebacker.”

According to an April 26 report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the North Carolina State product slid in the draft because of a significant history with injuries.

From our NFL Draft coverage: The #Steelers selected at No. 98 a stud LB with stellar tape (but very real injury history) — NC State LB Payton Wilson. Despite all that, never misses games and had a million tackles.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2024

“First off, he has a multitude of injuries,” Rapoport said, via Sports Illustrated. “First, there’s a left shoulder injury that was operated on. It was not a great operation. That certainly is a lingering injury. But that’s actually not the worst of it. He has torn his ACL twice, and my understanding, after talking to several sources, is that one of his knees does not have an ACL. It does not have an ACL.”

Wilson partly addressed his injuries in an introductory conference call with reporters on April 27.

“I think when you turn on my tape, you can kind of see that I play with my hair on fire,” he said. “I think that’s truly because of what I’ve been through. Just really understanding that you can’t take this game for granted, because no one in the world knows when that last snap is going to be. Everything that I’ve gone through, I’ve really learned to trust my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as continue to play the game like it’s going to be taken away from you. I just play as hard as I possibly can and prepare as hard as I possibly can.”

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