Several Steelers make PFF's NFL Top 50 Best Linemen
Pro Football Focus has named its top fifty best linemen in the NFL. This list included both offensive and defensive linemen. Three other Steelers linemen were named in this list as well. Let's get into the list.
TJ Watt was listed at number 3.
Watt has earned a 92.6 PFF grade since the start of the 2019 season, two points more than any other edge defender over that span, and he has started 2020 with three consecutive game grades above 90.0. Through four weeks of the season, no edge defender has a higher pass rush win rate than Watt's mark of 29.3%. His older brother J.J. was once considered the best edge defender in the NFL, but now it looks like it's T.J.'s time.
Cam Heyward was listed at number 10.
Why he's ranked here: This might be Heyward's 10th NFL season, but he is still producing as though he is in his prime. He has already tallied one sack, four QB hits and nine hurries across 99 pass-rushing snaps, while his 18.2% pressure rate is tied with Fletcher Cox for the sixth-best mark at the position.
Stephon Tuitt was listed at number 31.
Tuitt is one of several tough matchups in pass protection along the Steelers' defensive front. His 17 quarterback pressures in 2020 are fewer than only Aaron Donald among interior defenders, building on what looked to be a career year in 2019 before a season-ending injury.
David DeCastro was listed at number 44.
DeCastro has seen his run-blocking grades take a hit in recent seasons, which has led to lower overall grades than the career-high 89.0 mark we saw in 2017, but he remains a wall in pass protection. He joins Zack Martin and Brandon Brooks as the only two other active guards with at least 1,000 pass-blocking snaps and a pass-blocking grade of 90.0 or higher since 2015.