(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
In April, the Pittsburgh Steelers used their first four picks on two offensive skill players and two offensive linemen to help an aging quarterback and a young receiving core that shows potential, but at times are prone to mental errors. I am going to discuss how things are going along in their rookie seasons.
Harris was the Steelers, 2021 first-round pick that has solidified himself as one of the best young backs in football. During their three-game winning streak, Harris has accounted for 129.6 total yards per game and he has won NFL Offensive rookie of the month for October. One difference is they built their offense around Harris's skillset. After averaging 13 carries per game in the first four games, Harris has carried the ball 24 times a contest over the last three games. While 3.7 yards per carry isn’t what you want the averages are going up due to other factors that I will mention later.
Freiermuth, aka “Penn State Pat” has been developing chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger over the last couple of weeks in which was put on display on his game-winning touchdown catch in Sunday’s win. Pat has been being relied upon more on third downs by making the tough catches over the middle at a more consistent pace than some of the other pass catchers on the team. I have not seen one occasion where Ben looks at Freiermuth with frustration because he didn’t run a route correctly on an incomplete pass. I thought during the draft process that Penn State Pat would have the second-best tight end in this year’s class only behind Kyle Pitts of the Atlanta Falcons.
I had my doubts about how quickly the Steelers were going to replace a future Hall of Famer in Maurkice Pouncey when he retired after last season. While Green is not a Hall of Famer yet he has shown rapid improvement throughout the season. Ben has raved over the Illinois product about his work ethic and he has his best showing on Sunday against the Browns. He did not allow a sack and was pushing Malik Jackson off the ball and getting blocks to the second level. Green, Kevin Dotson, and veteran Trai turner are already developing to an above-average interior offensive line.
Dan Moore Jr.
I was having my doubts on a fourth-round pick on how he will protect an immobile, 39-year-old quarterback. At the start of the season, he had his struggles like rookies do. However, he has seemed to turn a corner mostly holding his ground against Myles Garrett and Carlos Dunlap. I believe the Steelers projected him more of a project player but he has stepped into the fire and survived and shows the potential to be a solid left tackle and that is more than what you want of a 4th round pick.
These four players are shining and are going to be pillars for the Steelers' offense even after Ben walks into the sunset.