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 price of information on these gamers to achieve extra compelling perception.
Over the course of the subsequent a number of days, I might be offering an analysis of every rookie that the Steelers drafted, whereas additionally noting any undrafted free brokers that have been capable of stick round. This won’t embody 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 obtained 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 change for Joshua Dobbs.
Persevering with a current development, the category has confirmed to be top-heavy by way of early outcomes, although there are nonetheless alternatives for these chosen within the later rounds of the draft to become greater contributors, as effectively.
Participant: James Lockhart
Place: Outdoors Linebacker
Draft Standing: Undrafted
Begins: 0 (0 begins)
Sadly because of the restrictions in place on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 class of undrafted free brokers was not practically as attention-grabbing as they usually are. With no spring in-person exercises, no preseason, and no entry to coaching camp — to not point out lowered coaching camp rosters — we discovered far much less about school free agent rookies than we frequently do.
Despite that, 4 of the ten that they did signal ended up spending a while with the workforce in the course of the common season, and three of them even nonetheless stay. The opposite six didn’t make it out of coaching camp, however among the many longest-lasting was exterior linebacker James Lockhart, a university defensive finish for the Baylor Bears earlier than signing in Pittsburgh. He lasted till the tip of August earlier than being waived, the Steelers re-signing Saeed Blacknail with a necessity at extensive receiver.
The San Francisco 49ers claimed Lockhart off waivers; nonetheless, he failed to point out as much as the workforce, and as an alternative introduced that he can be retiring. Thus ended his NFL profession, maybe a narrative he can inform the youngins’ when he’s a granpappy, of the time he was as soon as a Pittsburgh Steeler for one coaching camp.