PFF ranks the Steelers 2020 Rookie Class as the 8th Best in the NFL despite no First-Round Pick
Normally the Steelers have one of the best draft classes every single season. This year was no different. They drafted a 4th round stud in Kevin Dotson who quickly became one of the best offensive linemen on the Steelers. Dotson was so good he had 219 pass-blocking snaps and allowed only 1 quarterback pressure with 0 sacks. That is incredible. Another rookie who quickly made an impact on the Steelers in 2020 was Chase Claypool.
Claypool was one of the bright spots heading into the 2020 season. Even Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin were raving over his work ethic during training camp. They were right about Claypool. He had a rookie season unlike any other. During Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles Claypool broke the Steelers rookie franchise record with 3 touchdown passes caught and 1 rushing touchdown. He is also the first Steeler Rookie to rush for a touchdown and catch a touchdown since runningback Franco Harris did in 1972. He ended up finishing his rookie season with 62 receptions, 873 receiving yards, and 9 touchdowns. Had the Steelers unleashed him more during the 2020 season he would have surpassed 1,000 receiving yards.
Pro Football Focus recently graded each of the NFL team's 2020 rookie draft classes. They say despite not having a first-round draft pick the Steelers still managed to get into the top 10 of the 2020 draft classes. Chase Claypool was ranked the seventh most valuable non-first round rookie in the NFL season according to Pro Football Focus. Claypool saw more deep targets than anyone in the NFL. Although Claypool was ranked 11th in the NFL in regards to deep receiving yards with 347 yards he managed to draw 2 more pass interference calls than anyone in the NFL with 7. This is the second most Pro Football Focus has recorded in the past decade.
PFF ranked Alex Highsmith 102nd overall, but he was hot and cold at times during the season. He finished the 2020 season with a PFF grade of 72.0. That is graded 11 points higher than PFF had ranked Bud Dupree in 2020 before he tore his ACL. It is also 30 points higher than PFF had ranked Bud Dupree during his rookie season in 2015. It seems PFF is very high on Alex Highsmith going into the future with the Steelers.
The Steelers 2020 draft was ranked in the top 10 of Pro Football Focus's ranking despite not having a first-round draft pick. Essentially the Steelers got Minkah Fitzpatrick for a first-round draft pick in 2020. That is an incredible draft. The Steelers never miss a beat when it comes to the NFL draft. That is what makes this organization so special.