The 2021 NFL Draft is drawing close to, which is as becoming a time as any to have a look again on the rookie season of the Pittsburgh Steelers class from the 2020 NFL Draft. Whereas draft evaluation begins as quickly because the decide is in, we now have a 12 months’s value of knowledge on these gamers to realize extra compelling perception.
Over the course of the following a number of days, I can be offering an analysis of every rookie that the Steelers drafted, whereas additionally noting any undrafted free brokers that had been in a position to stick round. This won’t embrace the likes of J.C. Hassenauer and Henry Mondeaux, as a result of whereas the 2020 season was their first to accrue, they weren’t true rookies, however moderately first-year gamers.
The Steelers went into the 2020 NFL Draft with simply six picks, together with no first-round decide after dealing it to the Dolphins in 2019 for Minkah Fitzpatrick. They acquired a third-round compensatory decide for the lack of Le’Veon Bell. Their pure third-round decide was traded away the 12 months earlier than to maneuver up for Devin Bush.
They swapped fifth and sixth-round picks with Miami for fourth and seventh-round picks, whereas they despatched their earlier fifth-round decide to the Seahawks for Nick Vannett. Their different fifth-round decide, which they dealt to Miami, got here from the Jaguars in alternate for Joshua Dobbs.
Persevering with a latest pattern, the category has confirmed to be top-heavy when it comes to early outcomes, although there are nonetheless alternatives for these chosen within the later rounds of the draft to grow to be larger contributors, as properly.
Participant: Trajan Bandy
Draft Standing: Undrafted
Begins: 0 (0 begins)
The Steelers did the perfect that they may to replenish their offseason roster previous to the 2020 NFL Draft, signing plenty of former gamers from the XFL. As such, they solely had six roster spots obtainable after the draft to signal faculty free brokers.
They ended up signing 10, naturally, which required them to launch 4 gamers. Among the many 10 was former Miami cornerback Trajan Bandy, whom many had been envisioning as one other Mike Hilton: A brief however hard-hitting defensive again.
He didn’t make the 53-man roster, however Pittsburgh signed Bandy to the unique observe squad. Nonetheless, he was let go a few weeks into the season to be able to signal one other a type of authentic 10 faculty free brokers, defensive finish Calvin Taylor.
To the perfect of my data, he would stay unsigned for a few months. However the Cincinnati Bengals ultimately picked him up, signing him to their observe squad on November 18. Nonetheless, they didn’t retain him on a Reserve/Future contract after the season, and he’s at present obtainable as a road free agent. He’s the ultimate 4 of the group’s authentic 10 faculty free agent signings from a 12 months in the past who spent a while with the group in 2020, and the one a type of 4 who’s now not with them.